Australia should build new cities if we want to protect our environment and increase quality of life
Our cities are straining. They are sprawling ever further out. This means that we need more transport infrastructure per person as people have to travel further and further. Housing costs are increasingly unaffordable.
But there is a solution: build new cities with new ideas, which is what the Science Party plans to do. We'll build Turing between between Sydney and Canberra on a high-speed rail line.
People are often amazed at the idea of the Science Party wanting to build our new city. Some people think it can't be done, but there are ample examples of it being done in the past, and other countries are forging ahead with the idea. A recent article in The Conversation outlines how Indonesia is planning to do it, and the previous and current major plans to achieve it. Previously we had the Multifunction Polis (MFP) and now we have the CLARA Plan.
The CLARA plan doesn't just want to build 1 new city, it wants to build up to 8! The plan is backed by former Victoria Premier Steve Bracks (Labor) and Former NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell (Liberal). With such high-level and cross-party support, this idea is far from being fringe.
Why would we create a new city?
The advantage of building a new city is that it allows you to start with a blank slate: with no existing population to oppose, and no buildings to knock down, a new city gives you the ability to try new things.
We're planning to build underground tunnels that cover the entire city.
We're planning to build underground tunnels that cover the entire city. With the electrification of vehicles and self-driving technology, these tunnels will allow a combination of personal and mass transit style transportation. And because there are no existing buildings, those tunnels are easy and very cheap to build (by cutting a trench and building a roof on it, or "cut and cover").
It will also allow more density, which means walkable cities like Paris, and a greater concentration and variety of services and social activities, boons both for the economy but also for quality of life.
Creating a new downtown allows business rents to be lower, and allows more people to live close to their place of work.
And with increased housing supply, the cost of renting or owning your own home (both in the city and in other cities around Australia) will go down.
How would we pay for it?
The Science Party effectively believes in a similar funding plan to the CLARA plan. The cities buildings would built by private development, meaning that the government wouldn't be footing the bill. The cost of infrastructure (in particular, the high-speed rail) would be substantial. Our plan is to implement a broad land tax, which would ensure fair and stable revenue to fund infrastructure and other community programs.
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