Towards Australian regional turnaround: insights into sustainably accommodating post-pandemic urban growth in regional towns and cities

Guaralda, Mirko, Hearn, Greg, Foth, Marcus, Yigitcanlar, Tan, Mayere, Severine, and Law, Lisa (2020) Towards Australian regional turnaround: insights into sustainably accommodating post-pandemic urban growth in regional towns and cities. Sustainability, 12. 24. p. 10492.

PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (677kB) | Preview
View at Publisher Website:


The COVID-19 pandemic has made many urban policymakers, planners, and scholars, all around the globe, rethink conventional, neoliberal growth strategies of cities. The trend of rapid urbanization, particularly around capital cities, has been questioned, and alternative growth models and locations have been the subjects of countless discussions. This is particularly the case for the Australian context: The COVID-19 pandemic heightened the debates in urban circles on post-pandemic urban growth strategies and boosting the growth of towns and cities across regional Australia is a popular alternative strategy. While some scholars argue that regional Australia poses an invaluable opportunity for post-pandemic growth by 'taking off the pressure from the capital cities'; others warn us about the risks of growing regional towns and cities without carefully designed national, regional, and local planning, design, and development strategies. Superimposing planning and development policies meant for metropolitan cities could simply result in transferring the ills of capital cities to regions and exacerbate unsustainable development and heightened socioeconomic inequalities. This opinion piece, by keeping both of these perspectives in mind, explores approaches to regional community and economic development of Australia's towns and cities, along with identifying sustainable urban growth locations in the post-pandemic era. It also offers new insights that could help re-shape the policy debate on regional growth and development.

Item ID: 65450
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2071-1050
Keywords: regional towns; regional cities; regional Australia; regional lifestyle location; regional innovation system; regional turnaround; post-pandemic urban growth; COVID-19 impact; regional planning; sustainable urban development
Copyright Information: ©2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open accessarticle distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution(CC BY) license (
Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2021 02:57
FoR Codes: 33 BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN > 3304 Urban and regional planning > 330499 Urban and regional planning not elsewhere classified @ 50%
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4406 Human geography > 440609 Rural and regional geography @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970112 Expanding Knowledge in Built Environment and Design @ 50%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society @ 50%
Downloads: Total: 641
Last 12 Months: 131
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page