Urban renewal game changer

Last week the Property Council hosted a roundtable for Federal Cities Minister Jamie Briggs on how innovative financing can kick-start urban renewal in our cities.

That same day we were also showcasing how this could work in practice, launching a bold new vision to make Newcastle the first regional city of the Asia Pacific.

The plan, aptly named Maximum Opportunity, focuses on creating world-class public spaces, reconnecting the city with its waterfront and building landmark attractions to put Newcastle on the international tourism map.

The plan is a potential game changer for Newcastle. But how do we fund it?

Through the proven method of tax increment financing which shares the value uplift from new urban infrastructure.

Not only has this funding model been used for more than 50 years in the US, but research shows it could be adapted for Australian conditions.

Newcastle presents a perfect test case for Australia’s first tax increment financing district – one that breathes new life into the former Steel City.

And with smarter approaches to city planning we can show governments at all levels that vision and smart financing can help our nation create not just one, but many cities of opportunity.

First published in Property Australia, 18 November 2015.