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Sunday
Dec182011

Global City and Region

 

REGIONAL SCIENCE CYCLOPS— FROM A ONE EYE TO TWO EYED VIEW OF A CHANGING

REGIONAL SCIENCE WORLD

1

 

It is interesting to note how the concept of regions now dominates virtually
all discussions of economic development. Global regional cities as the platforms
with the new economy are the accepted essential building blocks of national
economic development. As Scott (2001) says, “Cities (city-regions), furthermore,
are fast coming to function as the basic motor of the global economy
”.

 

 Full Article: www.anzrsai.org/download.pl?param=223

 

Information Systems for Strengthening Australian UrbanManagement

Richard Cardew,Tony Gilmour. Vivienne Milligan

with Professor Edward J. Blakely

Promote national consistency in urban management systems

 

 

We argue in this report that there are clear benefits to individual States, the Australian Government and the private sector from the development of a more consistent and integrated approach to urban decision making. We suggest that improved networks, protocols, exchange of information on structures and data management systems and sharing of good practice strengthens decision making.

Our view is that the first step to achieving a more integrated approach is to convene a national forum on urban information management. This forum would include information agencies and urban stakeholders. Its purpose would be to share current practice and consider the recommendations of this report. Once the proposals in this report are more fully developed an implementation plan can be presented at a national meeting of Planning Ministers that proposes concrete action steps for joint data and decision management tools.

Develop enhanced roles for urban research networks

Research organisations with national networks can contribute directly to improving information systems. Two that are identified are the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) and the Centre for Research into Sustainable Urban and Regional Futures (CR-SURF). AHURI already conducts research to an agenda negotiated between government and scholars and seeks to broaden its charter beyond the current emphasis on social aspects of housing. It has an ideal operational and governance model and a range of strategies to encourage capacity building within the professional sector. The strength of CRSURF lies in its emphasis on advancing expertise in the use of spatial data and its funded network of urban researchers.

 

Build capacity in core professions

Professional skills required to both produce and analyse urban data need to be improved. This responsibility should be shared between educators, professional associations and employers. The higher education sector is attempting to be more relevant to government and societal needs with university based institutes increasingly being brought into current policy considerations on urban management. The academic community should play a larger part in designing and acting as a custodian of urban information systems.

 

 Protect the knowledge base on urban management.

The maintenance of high quality urban information systems depends on people with highlyspecialised data management skills and systems knowledge. Small information units are especially vulnerable to staff turnover which results in information systems being unused or data not maintained. Staff succession planning and the documentation of procedures and protocols are required to ensure that core capacity continues to be available. Greater research and higher numbers of academic publications will allow for peer review and an exchange of ideas on data management.

Extend data coverage

Notwithstanding the data coverage that is available, there are important deficiencies. The

most significant of these is information on people’s preferences, experiences and aspirations that are relevant to housing and urban services. It is recommended that annual or biennial surveys of consumer preferences, experience and aspirations are conducted in conjunction with agencies that monitor changes to land, property and demographic change. The cost of these surveys would approximate $0.5m per state per survey and should be funded at partly by contributions from industry which would be major beneficiaries.

There are also significant enhancements that need to be made to government recording of property transactions so as to allow more detailed and timely information about the level of market activity and especially the important segments of the market such as new and used dwellings, dwelling types, and owner-occupiers and investors.

Move further towards data commercialisation

The US and local experience suggests that there are further opportunities to commercialise data which should lead to wider use and better recovery of the costs involved.

Commercialisation will increase the level of funding for research on urban data management in areas more likely to be of direct benefit to key decision makers.

By improving the quality of urban information, the quality of decision making by both the public and private sectors will be enhanced. Much of the data is already available and therefore relatively modest investment in coordination and additional research will leverage considerable gains. The Australian Government, State Governments, local councils, the housing industry and land agencies all stand to benefit from access to timely and comprehensive data on Australian housing and infrastructure.

Full Report: http://tonygilmour.com/yahoo_site_admin/assets/docs/Information_systems.22250329.pdf

 

 

The case of an ungoverned Sydney

 

Lack of a city-wide government The City of Sydney is too small to be called a city-wide government in terms of both

size and power. All of the other five benchmark cities have far larger consolidated city governments than Sydney, with more governing authority.

 

Centralised urban governance power with the state

government In Sydney, urban governance power is centralised in the higher New South Wales state government which remains distant from most locality-sensitive urban issues, thus resulting in slowed efficiency and

responsiveness. In the other five benchmark cities, all municipal governments have considerable autonomy devolved from higher governments for direct and effective urban administration.

 

Fragmented local governance structure Of the six cities, Sydney’s governance structure is the most fragmented by a number of indexes. Lack of a city-wide government and the spread of numerous small local governments across the Greater Sydney area generate both inter-governmental tension and fragmentation, which heavily impedes well –coordinated regional planning and implementation, and delivery of civic services the balance between the two models in Sydney

 

Full Report Right Click