The Lord Mayors of Australia’s capital cities have welcomed a policy paper released by the Bus Industry Confederation (BIC) today proposing national leadership to drive the creation of ’20 minute cities’ in Australia.

“The Lord Mayors of Australia’s capital cities welcome the timely and constructive contribution BIC’s Connecting Neighbourhoods: The ‘20 minute city’ policy paper makes towards a national discussion on urban Australia”, said Lord Mayor Martin Haese, Chair of the Council of Capital City Lord Mayors (CCCLM).

“With almost nine in ten Australians living in urban Australia, and 80 per cent of all goods and services produced in cities, our future as a strong, secure and sustainable country will largely be determined by the quality of our cities.

“While Australia’s cities rank highly globally for being liveable, let’s not be complacent, we can and should strive to do more to lock in future prosperity and share the benefits across the community. “ Lord Mayor Haese said.

Connecting Neighbourhoods: The ‘20 minute city’ focuses on the pivotal role of transport in making cities work, connecting people to services, employment and education opportunities. The paper also outlines a new governance process through a Council of Australian Governments (COAG) mechanism involving Australia’s three tiers of government, including Lord Mayors, working together to deliver better planning outcomes in Australia’s cities.

“As Lord Mayors we welcome the opportunity to work alongside other levels of government to strengthen the quality of life Australians experience in our cities, and to ensure that people living and working across cities, be it inner, middle or in outer suburbs have the opportunity to share in these benefits.“ Lord Mayor Haese said.

“Prosperous, liveable cities don’t happen by accident. Robust planning and coordinated, upfront investment in infrastructure, especially transport, is needed by all three tiers of government.

“Ultimately, our cities are comprised of many neighbourhoods; providing well integrated land use and  transport planning at the local level is important to building strong global cities. Enabling people to access most of their daily activities mostly within a 20 minute walk, cycle or public transport trip is an excellent target to strive for to focus collective government effort.”