Healthy, wealthy and wise

CANBERRA is healthy and wealthy, relative to the rest of the nation, according to a new report.

“The State of Australian Cities 2011” says we take advantage of our topology to be the nation’s most prolific bicycle users and our incomes and spending are impressively high.

We are also more likely than any other city to have at least one parent in every family in work.

The report, a snapshot of all Australian cities with more than 100,000 people, showed Canberra as overly dependent on the public service for employment, and seriously under-provided for public transport.

For example, we have the lowest level of manufacturing in the nation and a low number of people employed in retail and wholesale.

We face a tripling of freight transport alone by 2030 and, because of our public transport situation, all that freight will be added to the burden on our roads.

These issues, among others, make us more vulnerable to unexpected changes than other cities, so we need to anticipate and plan.

Thanks to this and other research, we know a lot about the ACT, its strengths and weaknesses as a city.

It is now time to consider a target – a realistic picture of the Canberra we’d like.
Seamless connectivity? Reduced dependence on the car? Range of lifestyle options?

We need to decide what we want, a deadline for achieving it and what we are prepared to pay to get it.

Only then can we create effective strategies for maintaining our current lifestyle advantages and achieving the future we really want for our home.

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