Integrating regional and infrastructure planning: Lessons from South East Queensland, Australia
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Economic and social infrastructure provision presents a conundrum for urban planners, especially in high growth regional economies experiencing strong population growth, increasing demand for infrastructure services and limits to their capacity to sustain long-term investment strategies. This chapter considers the South East Queensland (SEQ) regional economy and the policy decisions taken in recent years to embed and integrate both regional planning and regional infrastructure investment strategies through the statutory SEQ Regional Plan and SEQ Infrastructure Plans and Programs. This case study examines the benefits from this integrated approach as well as the challenges facing the region. Some of the benefits of the integrated approach include land use transport integration, a strategic approach to infrastructure provision, alignment of infrastructure planning with budgetary processes, and greater certainty for investments in the regional economy. The challenges for integrated planning are also numerous, and include ensuring close co-operation between three levels of government and the private sector, reconciling long term infrastructure planning with short term political imperatives, managing future uncertainty, and financing future investments in land use and infrastructure.
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