Jane-Frances Kelly, Paul Donegan
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Why Australia's cities are broken and how we can fix them
Although many of the joys of Australian life are to be found in our cities, many of our problems are as well.
Our bush heritage helped to define our identity, but today Australia is a nation of cities. A higher proportion of Australians live in cities than almost any other country, and most of our national wealth is generated in them. For most of the twentieth century, our cities gave us some of the highest living standards in the world. But they are no longer keeping up with changes in how we live and how our economy works.
The distance between where people live and where they work is growing fast. The housing market isn't working, locking many Australians out of where and how they'd like to live. The daily commute is getting longer, putting pressure on social and family life and driving up living costs.
Instead of bringing us together, Australia's cities are dividing Australians—between young and old, rich and poor, the outer suburbs and the inner city.
Neglecting our cities has real consequences for our lives now, and for our future prosperity.
Using stories and case studies to show how individuals, families and businesses experience life in cities today, City Limits provides an account of why Australia's cities are broken, and how we can fix them.
About the authors
Jane-Frances Kelly was Cities Program Director at the Grattan Institute from 2009 to 2014. She has led strategy work for the United Kingdom, Queensland, Victorian and Commonwealth governments. Prior to moving to Australia in 2004, she spent three years in the British Prime Minister's Strategy Unit.
Paul Donegan is Fellow, Cities at the Grattan Institute. He has helped governments tackle some of Australia's biggest social and economic challenges, as a Commonwealth and state public servant, ministerial adviser and at the Grattan Institute.