Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Potential for Greenfield Loss to Sprawl Downunder, Too

Australians are struggling over greenfield developments in Canberra, too, with many of the same infrastructure and environmental issues that Nashville faces in the prospect of losing Bells Bend to developers:
However, the burgeoning urban sprawl in Canberra is becoming a significant financial burden the whole community, Flannery said.

“Establishing infrastructure for services in new suburbs is an enormous cost, subsidised by the tax payer,” Flannery said.

This includes the cost of water, gas, and electricity reticulation, stormwater and sewer services, communications networks and the expense of extending the already struggling bus network to the ever-extending outer edge of the city.

“There is also an equity issue here,” Flannery said. The greatest number of affordable housing options in ACT is on the outskirts of the city. This means that less wealthy people often end up paying the most towards extra infrastructure provision.

“Disadvantaged and less financially well-off members of our community are also directly subsidising the hidden infrastructure costs of suburban fringe development … and, over time, they then have to pay the additional cost of living in an outer area of the city,” Flannery said.

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