Australian cities are sliding down the rankings of the world’s best cities according to one of the most respected international surveys.
The 12th annual Monocle Top 25 Global Cities survey has seen Australia’s only three ranked cities, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, each take a hit compared to last year, with the common denominator being housing affordability.
YIMBY Qld co-founder, Natalie Rayment believes the rankings should ring alarm bells for governments across the country.
“Australia is fast following in the footsteps of major US cities in regard to a lack of affordability in the housing market,” Natalie said.
“For the first time in many years, no American city has made the top 25 and this is largely due to the housing affordability crisis gripping that country.”
Natalie started YIMBY Qld (Yes In My Back Yard) after seeing the work being done internationally to shine the light on good development outcomes and how destructive anti-development forces can be.
“YIMBY groups have been set up across the US to fight against the oppressive anti-development lobbies that have seen housing in the US’s major cities pushed well beyond the reach of all but the most privileged,” Natalie said.
“We can’t afford for that to happen in Australia, but sadly we are headed down that track.
“Admittedly there are other factors taken into consideration in the Monocle survey but, at the end of the day, they all come back to planning issues.”
The Monocle survey takes into account money spent on public infrastructure, how good, or bad (and expensive), the public transport system is, crime rates, liveability (night life, green space etc) and housing affordability.
“Brisbane, which only got back on the list last year, slipped to 24th due largely to costly and unreliable public transport and housing affordability,” Natalie said.
“We got extra brownie points for the expansion of the Brisbane airport and for making efforts to clean up Oxley Creek and consider water taxis on the Brisbane River.
“Melbourne slid four spots, from five to nine, on the back of their growing housing affordability issues, but gained points for being ‘unfussy’, allowing dogs into cafes, alcohol in parks and not restricting nightlife with lock-out laws.
“Sydney on the other hand took a hit because of lock-out laws as well as housing affordability and congestion.”
Natalie said the majority of these issues, both good and bad, come down to infrastructure spend and planning laws and how they impact on a city’s ability to grow.
“At YIMBY Qld we want to inspire debate on what is good development and how it can provide sustainable and sensible growth to our cities,” Natalie said.
“Simply saying no to new development and new ideas because it may change the way our neighbourhood looks is a dangerous attitude to take.
“This year’s Monocle survey is dominated by European cities that have found the balance between retaining centuries of tradition and the need to adapt to the modern world.
“No doubt they had to overcome some growing pains and we should be doing more to learn from their mistakes and successes.”
Monocle Top 25:
1. Munich; 2. Tokyo; 3. Vienna; 4. Zurich; 5. Copenhagen; 6. Berlin; 7. Madrid; 8. Hamberg; 9. Melbourne (down from #5); 10. Helsinki; 11. Stockholm; 12. Lisbon; 13. Sydney (down from #7); 14. Hong Kong; 15. Vancouver; 16. Amsterdam; 17. Kyoto; 18. Dusseldorf; 19. Barcelona; 20. Paris (new in 2018); 21. Singapore; 22. Fukuoka; 23. Auckland; 24. Brisbane (down from #23); 25. Oslo