Urban Growth and Decline - Essay

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Australia is a highly urbanised country where over 85% of the population live in cities and large towns. These urban centres are subject to urban growth and decline, which are largely due to a number of socioeconomic factors. One of these centres, the Pyrmont-Ultimo area in Sydney, had experienced such changes over the last century.

Situated on a peninsula to the west of Sydney’s CBD and Darling Harbour, the inner suburb is a manmade environment used for service and residential use. In the 19th and early 20th century, Pyrmont was an important port and industrial area, and sometimes called ‘Sydney’s backyard’. This area had a population of around 30,000 people at the time, and was one of the most grown suburbs in Sydney. Such urban growth had brought increased employment opportunities and more community services in the area, however had caused problems to rise such as inadequate infrastructure, traffic congestion, accumulation of waste and high price of properties as well.

The growth and flourish of Pyrmont stopped during the 1950’s, as Sydney began to decentralise. The decentralising policies in the 1970’s, which aimed to relieve pressure on the larger inner suburbs, had further contributed to the deterioration of Pyrmont, and led to dramatic decline in the population as the livability of the suburb decreased. This had resulted from the relocation of closedown of large factories and goods yards, which had moved to outer suburbs for greater expansion space.

Such trend is also seen in the population as urban sprawl and suburbanisation began, where many moved out for a more spacious home, as traditionally postulated. This however can result in waste of land, overuse of scarce water resources, insufficiency of infrastructure, and therefore a greater cost to expand and upgrade infrastructure in the outer suburbs. Urban consolidation is therefore brought about to combat such problems, as it makes greater use of areas with existing infrastructure and...
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