A new report into the future of freight and transport from global engineering and infrastructure advisory company Aurecon has revealed surprising insights into Australians’ preferences for moving people and goods as cities grow at unprecedented rates.
Titled 2035: Moving People and Goods, the report contains insights from more than 1,300 people who were asked to imagine their lives in 2035 and express choices about where they live, work, commute, and the delivery of goods.
With Australia’s population predicted to reach 32 million people by 2035, the survey was conducted to gain a greater understanding of the impact that freight and transport will have on future communities and liveability.
Overwhelmingly, the most important overall consideration when it came to future freight and transport decisions was convenience.
For 59% of respondents, convenience was the most important consideration in relation to transport. Fourteen per cent of respondents would forsake some transport convenience if they could save money, but only five per cent would make choices that benefited the environment over convenience.
Aurecon managing director – infrastructure, Ben Stapleton, said people and communities now placing a higher value on time is a consideration that must be factored into future planning decisions.
“As urban population growth continues to skyrocket and cities continue to expand, we’ll need to balance the increase of congestion and activity with communities’ demand for more convenience,” he said.
“Choice, speed, access and responsiveness are the clear priority of future generations. An important role for planners developing infrastructure of the future will be how to achieve this functionality and balance against cost and environmental impacts. We need to devise solutions that provide convenience as well as an environmental benefit, but this will require us all to work collaboratively on such complex matters.
“Convenience will influence every aspect of the planning and design process, and along with cost considerations, value creation, equitable access and environmental impacts and opportunities, must be considered in an holistic way to create infrastructure that meets the needs of today, and can be flexible to suit the expectations of tomorrow.
“One example of this is as an industry, we need to continue prioritising the development and improvement of integrated, reliable transport systems to create reliability and increase convenience, reducing barriers for people to use public transport and a decreasing reliance on the car.”