Economic diversification, urban amenity vital for Perth's high liveability status in post-commodity era: new report

Perth needs to continue to diversify its economy and housing offer and provide more urban amenities and efficient transport, to sustain its future growth and to maintain a high level of liveability, according to a landmark study commissioned by the Property Council of Australia. 

The Creating Great Australian Cities project, led by international cities expert Professor Greg Clark from the Business of Cities Ltd provides an ‘outside in’ perspective on Australia’s major cities, based on analysis of global megatrends, case studies and benchmarks.

The report found Perth’s commodity hub status means it competes with other highly specialised markets. Perth’s liveability is its key strength compared to its peers like Abu Dhabi, Calgary and Oslo.

Professor Greg Clark said “The commodities cycle has been very important for Perth, it has fuelled a lot of growth, population has expanded and the city has grown in a linear way. The city offers this amazing combination of urban labour market in a seashore environment,”

“We’ve got to a position where the recent commodity cycle is over and the task for the next cycle is to diversify the economy, embrace innovation, and exploit knowledge and know-how as well as resources.  

“Although commodities will still be important for Perth for some time to come, the economy is going to have to evolve.”

While Perth has performed well in becoming more globalised and well networked with its corporate presence in the global system, its digital technology capabilities have held it back from moving upwards in overall rankings.

“Perth needs more of the urban amenities that support the advanced services, knowledge  economy, and innovation platforms , with all the cultural, lifestyle,  and urban entertainment elements that go with that,” Professor Clark said.

“Transport systems are going to have to be more efficient at bringing people in and out of the city and land use will need  to be reformed and restructured in such a way that creates greater  urban amenities and lifestyle, with people enjoying clustered public services, transport access, and great public space.

“Perth as a city will need to accommodate its growth within the existing geographical boundaries that it has created if it wants to be affordable and offer the right environment for modern city jobs. This will mean greater focus on developing the potential of station precinct, transport inter-changes, retail locations and development corridors, to build vibrancy and great spaces and places where the city can show and enjoy its great diversity. It will need to become a high amenity, medium density, multi-centred, liveable city as well as a seafront location.” said Professor Clark.

The insights for Perth and full reports are available here.