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School Certificate Major Issue

Urban Growth and Decline

Geographical Processes

Urban Growth in Australia

Refers to:
the spread of cities outwards
the growth of new urban areas in parts of the country
that were once rural
Most of the largest cities (State Capitals) are on the coast
in Australia and are growing most rapidly
Regional centres and smaller towns are found in
important areas of agriculture, mining or tourism. Some
of these are growing, but others are declining

Geographical Processes
Associated with Urban Growth
Suburbanisation and Urban Sprawl
Urban Consolidation
Associated with Urban Decline
Urban Decay
Urban renewal

Geographical Processes
associated with Urban
e.g. in Sydney

Refers to outward growth of large cities from a central location (CBD)
and the formation of SUBURBS often with their own suburban
business district (SBD)
Associated with spread of residential land
Most suburbs have some industrial land, community facilities like
schools, churches and hospitals, and recreational landuse like parks
and sports fields
Was slower before the widespread use of the car in the 1960s.
Early suburbs followed the railway lines.
Since then:
population growth from natural increase,
rural-urban migration or immigration
a desire for a home on a quarter acre block
dependence on the car
Governments (State and local) of cities like Sydney have now
introduced Plans to control this growth.

How Sydney has grown

through suburbanisation
(shown by orange shading)

Hornsby Plateau
Blue Mountains
Central Business
District (CBD)
Cumberland Plain

Woronora Plateau
Qu. In which direction has
Sydney been able to grow
most rapidly? Why?

Urban Sprawl
Refers to the uncontrolled growth of suburbs on
the city edge (rural urban fringe)
Creates problems of:
infrastructure provision like roads, water,
electricity and waste management, as well as
social services like schools, hospitals and
recreation facilities
traffic congestion, long journeys to work,
pollution (mainly from cars), isolated
communities with lack of services on the city
edge, and destruction of farmland and natural

Urban sprawl
What is the message of this cartoon?

Urban sprawl on the rural-urban fringe

Identify some of the social, economic and environmental issues

that would be associated with this type of urban growth.

Rural-urban fringe Camden, SW Sydney

What are the advantages

and disadvantages of living

on the rural-urban fringe?

New development
area planned

Sydneys growth history. The orange area is the

projected growth of the city by 2031 if urban sprawl is
not checked.

How can growth from urban

sprawl be controlled?
The State Government of NSW has
introduced two policies
Urban Consolidation

Urban Consolidation
Introduced by the NSW State Government in
the1990s to increase population densities in
areas of Sydney where people live already
Areas selected include for this process are:
Central Business District (CBD),
Established residential suburbs of the middle
part of the city
Old factory/port sites in the inner city which are
lying idle

Urban Consolidation in Sydney CBD

What are the advantages and disadvantages of living in these tower


Killara Sydney
Describe the
typical suburban
scene on the left.

Describe the type

of buildings now
encouraged under a
policy of urban
consolidation below

Urban Consolidation in
the Northern Suburbs
Established Residential

Other forms of Urban Consolidation

Townhouses in Killara.
Duplex-style units. How do they
Suggest why these are popular types differ from town houses?
of residential development in areas of
urban consolidation.
What are dual occupancies
and granny flats?

Urban consolidation in St. Ives. Why has this location been

selected for new urban growth in Ku-ring-gai?

Urban consolidation Cecil Street, Gordon

What groups of people would favour this type of development
and which ones would be opposed?

Urban consolidation in Hornsby and Chatswood

What type of urban
consolidation has taken place
here high, medium or low


What are the

advantages and
disadvantages of
urban consolidation?

Advantages of urban
Reduces urban sprawl
Uses infrastructure
already existing (roads,
sewage lines, electricity,
water supplies)
Gives people more
choice of housing
(families are getting
smaller and the
population is ageing)
Residents are closer to
jobs and all city amenities
Travel time to work is

Disadvantages of
urban consolidation
Much infrastructure in
inner city areas is old and
already overused!
Traffic congestion
Traditional character of
suburbs changes with
high rise development
Loss of privacy and
overshadowing in former
low density suburbs
Small areas of remaining
bushland in existing
suburbs are threatened

Urban growth in other

urban areas in Australia
Has largely been the result of two geographical
1. Decentralisation from large cities like Sydney
(Government Policy)
2. Urban rural migration (decisions by individuals
to undergo a treechange or seachange)


Another policy introduced

in the 1980s to control
Sydneys urban sprawl and
attract urban growth in
regional areas
People and businesses
moving to Bathurst/Orange
and Albury/Wodonga were
given concessions to draw
them away from large cities
Both regional centres
have productive agricultural
hinterlands and are on main
route ways to major the
cities of Sydney and
Established populations
were to provide the work
force for new industry

A view over Albury Wodonga.

Why do you think that decentralisation has not been very successful?

Recent regional urban growth Gold Coast

Why has this urban region grown so rapidly in recent decades?

New growth area in Western Australia Mandurah, SW of Perth

Why have urban regions in Western Australia grown rapidly

What are some concerns of rapid growth in coastal areas?

Some answers
Why have coastal areas
Major cities :
are getting too big
are too expensive to live in
(housing/ rents are high)
create long, journeys to work
have high levels of traffic
congestion, pollution and crime
Coastal areas
Offer cheaper, more attractive
lifestyles ( a Sea change!

i.e. urban rural migration

has taken place

Decentralisation is being

Issues of development
on coasts
(Think of your study completed at
Collaroy last year)
Coasts are fragile ecosystems
which are easily damaged by
Beaches and dune systems
are unstable and urban
development is under threat in
Coastal amenity is lost with too
much development

Growth of Regional Centres e.g.Mudgee and Dubbo in NSW


Why would these

inland urban centres
have grown recently?

Some answers
Why have these two regional centres grown?

Has always been a
prosperous farming
area in the sheepwheat belt of NSW
Has grown recently
as a wine producing
region many former
city residents going to
the country for a
Tree change!

Has become an
important regional
centre for the Central
West region
Growth recently has
been as a major
warehousing and
distribution centre.
Western Plains Zoo
has also opened up.

Urban Decline
Has occurred in:
a. Large cities like Sydney and Melbourne
b. Small regional towns in Australia

Urban Decline in Large Cities

Sometimes known as urban decay
Associated with older, inner city residential areas
or industrial/port suburbs
Become run down and neglected when factories
and port industries close and people lose jobs.
Unemployment often leads to other social
Governments of large Australian cities have
sought to redevelop these areas
Redeveloped areas have become ideal locations
for urban consolidation

The (old) Rocks- first settled area in Sydney

Why did this area
become one of urban

Urban Renewal
Introduced to restore the built environment and
the quality of life of people in former areas of
urban decline/decay
Structures in old factory sites and port areas, old
warehouses and power stations have either
been pulled down and replaced with new
buildings and facilities - a process known as
OR refurbished - a process known as
New residents have moved in

What urban process has

occurred in this part of
How has the landuse
What have been the benefits
of this type of development to

The Rocks area today

Balmain industrial suburb in the 1960s.

Identify different types of land use.

Example of Urban Renewal - The old Distillery at


What is a distillery? What has it now been

converted into?

Old warehouse at
What has it been converted
What would be the advantage of
living here?



Gentrified Cottage in Balmain

Urban Renewal - Darling Harbour

What type of landuse is evident today?

What was here before?

Rhodes Pennsula


What urban process has taken place here?

a form of urban renewal
Takes place on older buildings regarded as part
of the cultural heritage of an area. Residents
wish to preserve them
Front of buildings usually kept as it was, but
other parts usually restored to modern standards
Value of gentrified buildings now much higher
than before and so old residents are usually
forced to leave the area
Newer, more affluent residents move in

A gentrified house in Glebe. Why is it so small?

Would you like to live in this house? Explain your reasons.

Old Sydney
terraces in
Why did this part of
Sydney become an
area of urban decay?
Why would it have
been a suitable
location for urban

Gentrified terraces in Melbourne.

What aspects of our cultural heritage are being preserved here?

Urban Decline in Regional

Smaller towns in the Wheat Belt have
declined because of drought and low farm
profits. People have left for larger regional
centres or coastal cities e.g. from Trangie
Many mining centres have declined and
people have left e.g. Broken Hill in NSW
Some major industries like steel have
declined e.g. at Newcastle(NSW) and

Urban areas are always changing

It is very important that governments and
local councils plan for this growth
That the growth is sustainable
i.e. Peoples needs must be met and the
environment must also be protected both
now and in the future