Liveability of our cities critical to property developers

Liveability of our cities critical to property developers

Sydney transport infrastructure

What is the key to building successful cities?

Global property advisor Savill has said that the answer to that question is transport infrastructure.

Australian cities which can provide the most efficient transport infrastructure, as well as essential social infrastructure, will place themselves in the best position to maintain liveability and deliver strong economic performance as they become the preferred base for the most skilled workers and the hi-tech industries that employ them over the next decade, according to Savills.

The outcome of solid transport infrastructure for property developers? Cities will be at the centre of investment opportunities through property development as urban expansion occurs to accommodate vastly increased populations.

Recent research has pointed to the preference among skilled workers for ‘liveability’ over monetary considerations. A Savills’ UK study – What Workers Want – showed that workers wanted their life contained within a half hour radius. Furthermore it was found that skilled or knowledge workers are doubly attracted to places where they can achieve both a high degree of liveability and financial rewards. Therefore, with demands for work, rest and play to be accessible withinin 30 minutes by car, public transport, walking, or cycling, the key determinant becomes  transport infrastructure.

Infrastructure Innovation in Australia

So what is happening in Australia with regard to transport infrastructure to increase the liveability of Australia cities?

Following are 3 examples of forward thinking transport infrastructure improvements within Australia.

  • 1) Tesla’s Elon Musk has developed a Supercharger network for the Tesla car that now stretches from Melbourne to Brisbane.
  • 2) Consolidated Land and Rail Australia (CLARA) aims to have a Sydney to Melbourne rail line which would take just under two hours and service satellite cities.
  • 3) Melbourne’s Metro Tunnel Project is primed for 2017 – a $10.9 Billion project to facilitate transport in Melbourne.

Towards the end of the article, you can read about Elon Musk’s partnership with Hyperloop One, an exciting transport option to debut in Dubai.

1. The Tesla Network Melbourne to Brisbane

Location map of Tesla Supercharge stations
Location map of supercharge stations on the route from Melbourne to Brisbane (Source:


2. High Speed Rail Melbourne to Sydney

The idea of satellite cities or so-called SMART cities along the route is reminiscent of the City of Sydney Council’s plans for Sydney and surrounding areas. Around Sydney, satellite CBDs are in hot-demand. With the gentrification of many outlying suburbs, coupled with improved public transport in many cities, the one-time sought-after 10km inner city radius for apartments has shifted. Now buyers have expanded their house-hunting by many kms from the city centre. As a result, developers have embraced the emergence of satellite CBDs — or cities within a city. The extension of this concept to rail routes is clever and innovative.

Australia is seeing a ‘super spike’ in infrastructure investment

A “super spike” in Australian capital expenditure is predicted, thanks largely to government investment.

That’s the view of economists George Tharenou, Scott Haslem and Jim Xu, who believe that it will provide a useful medium-term buffer for the Australian economy, particularly at a time when many are wondering what will drive economic growth in the years ahead.

So just how big must a spike in investment be to be deemed a “super spike”? A lot, as seen in the chart below, from the UBS team.

Using recent figures provided in the latest Deloitte/Access Economics (DAE) Investment Monitor, Undergraduate Business Society (UBS) the graph breaks down the dollar value of committed investment projects by mining and non-mining sectors. On the figure below you can see that q2 committed investment was dominated by a spike of public-related spending on transport, mainly in New South Wales and Victoria.

Graph showing a super spike in Australian investment in mid 2016

This is good news for property developers in Australia who are relying on infrastructure spending to increase the liveability of Australian cities.


3. Melbourne’s Metro Tunnel Project

The decision to approve the Melbourne Metro Tunnel Project’s Environment Effects Statement paves the way for major construction to start in early 2017.


Infrastructure Innovation overseas

Elsewhere in the world there are some innovative projects that are not only cutting transport times but are also utilising other new technologies such as driverless cars and Uber-like apps. One such example is the Hyperloop which is being developed for the trip between Dubai and Abu Dhabi. It is Uber meets air travel! A 2 hour trip reduced to just minutes.

Watch the video here or read the full description of using driverless cars (Hyperloop pods) to individualise transport here. The plans for Dubai are a big step in the future of transport.

There are exciting times ahead!