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Brisbane is on the brink of a major transformation but needed to move quickly to future-proof itself as it embarks on city-shaping projects, a development expert has warned.
WT Partnership Queensland general manager Cameron Waters said it was critical if the city was to keep up with new technologies that will lead to changes in how people live and work.
And he believed the River City’s push to bid for the 2032 Olympics was a step in the right direction.
“Brisbane is on the cusp of something big and, in my opinion, it needs to think big,” Mr Waters said.
“It is repositioning itself from a gateway into a prime destination to live in and travel to and has the potential to be Australia’s next world city.
“Its got the climate, its got the location, its got the right culture in terms of work-life balance. It’s all here, so it’s exciting times.
“Nevertheless, Brisbane still faces challenges and road blocks and, in a time where the market demands change, it is now more important than ever to act quickly and start future-proofing the city.”
Mr Waters said a greater focus was needed on more adaptive infrastructure to enable it to become a more flexible and sustainable city and allow its successful future growth.
“But it will not be ready for this growth unless it moves now to future-proof itself to ensure it remains a thriving and liveable place.
“And something that needs to be considered is protecting the things that make Brisbane great — our culture, the outdoor lifestyle and environment — while facilitating this growth.”
Mr Waters has joined quantity surveying and construction cost management firm WT Partnership after returning to his hometown from working abroad, including a year exposed to forward-thinking urban planning in Denmark.
He said he had come back with a “fresh set of eyes” on Brisbane — a city set to experience a $15 billion infrastructure boom over the next few years as big projects like Queens Wharf and Cross River Rail finally come to fruition.
“Brisbane needs more long-term planning,” Mr Waters said.
“The planning systems need to consider the increased use of ride-sharing and the ‘gig economy, electric and autonomous cars, even flying cars given Uber Air’s planned trial in Melbourne, sustainability and renewable energy, and activating more building rooftops with gardens and amenity.”
But Mr Waters said the biggest challenge for Brisbane’s future development was the need for more collaboration at all three levels of government.
“That’s why I like the idea of a 2032 Olympics bid,” he said. “It’s one of those levers that can actually force governments to work together to deliver these infrastructure projects effectively.
“Also, if Brisbane wants to be a world city it needs to be on that world stage … the Olympics will do that.”
Source: Courier Mail