A recent lunch event at Newcastle’s Noahs On the Beach held by the Hunter Business Chamber heard from Professor Greg Clarke – Adviser on Global Cities.Professor Clarke discussed a range of aspects and requirements for the growth and success of the Greater Newcastle area, and used a series of case studies of similar international cities to support his approach.

He found 10 core elements of successful metropolitan plans that Newcastle could adopt and is already implementing;

  1. Shared commitment to population growth, and an enhanced infrastructure and housing supply to manage this growth
  2. Agreed transport corridors and growth nodes that connect to the core city and each other
  3. Expansion and densification of the urban core
  4. Regional strategies that provide a rationale and a prospectus for improved urban design
  5. A clear assessment and understanding of firm networks and cluster activities
  6. Robust scenario planning
  7. Clear accounting and visualisation of the benefits for the most remote or rural municipalities, and the overall impacts of core services
  8. The mobilisation of citizen engagement and enthusiasm
  9. Local governments that have a strong incentive or obligation to comply with wider metropolitan plans and targets and
  10. A pipeline or sequence of projects that provide confidence both to investors and to local governments that may benefit less from the first cycle of projects

The concept of “catalytic projects” was introduced where projects can make change happen, in Newcastle, these projects are happening now including the removal of the heavy rail and introduction of light rail, the NeW Space Newcastle University building in Hunter Street, and the new Cruise terminal to mention a few. Development of a pipeline of these type of projects to drive confidence in private sector investment and local government is the key.

Local government confidence and cooperation between various LGA’s is also extremely important. Ensuring mutually beneficial policies, not mutually exclusive policies are adopted further helps drive confidence in the growth of a small city.

The case study report that Professor Clarke wrote with colleague Dr Tim Moonen reviews the experience of metropolitan planning in seven international metropolitan areas with similar size and features to Greater Newcastle. He then details 14 insights that he believes will benefit the Greater Newcastle metropolitan planning process.

From the case study, the cities studied and their key adopted metropolitan planning policies included:

City Key Metropolitan Policy
Bilbao, Base Country, Spain Culture and Identity Polycentric
Development Entrepreneurship and re-skilling
Smart city
Cardiff, Wales, UK Metropolitan Transport
Housing Economic
Development
Gothenburg, Sweden Sustainable development
Planning
Public transport corridors
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada Economic Development
Brand and profile
Talent retention
Malmö, Sweden Innovation and Green Technology
Cluster development
Labour market integration
Portland, Oregon, USA Land Use Planning Housing & Densification
Nodal strategy – 2nd centre
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada Smart growth
Three centre intensification
Tech Triangle promotion

The case Study can be found HERE