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Urban Growth and Decline in Sydney, Australia

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Urban Growth and Decline in Sydney, Australia

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  • March 25, 2009
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Australia is an extremely urbanised country; about 85 per cent of the population lives in coastal areas, and most of these people live in urban areas with populations of over 100 000 people. This accounts for only about 1 % of Australia's total landmass. This level of urban growth is putting much pressure on cities to keep up with the needs of the growing populations. Though some areas of cities are being subjected to urban growth, other areas may be experiencing the effects urban decline. The suburb of Pyrmont-Ultimo in Sydney is a good example of urban growth and decline and its geological processes.

Urban growth is the increasing size of a city either in terms of an increase in population or an increase in its extent through the creation of new suburbs. This has created many issues and has impacted both the physical and built environment in a number of ways. The natural environment suffers and is replaced as more space is required to build houses and the development of industry to accommodate the ever-increasing population.

Pyrmont-Ultimo is an example of a highly built area with little 'green space' and the amount of open space per resident in 2004 was below the City of Sydney's council which was generally about 2.8 hectares(28sqm) per person but the actual ratio was only half that(14sqm per person). The increase in population also worsens traffic congestion, pollution and sewerage disposal further contributing to the destruction of the natural environment and ecosystems. Strain on infrastructure is also evident where large populations of people demand more resources and services. These needs include access to amenities such as quality housing, transport systems, roads, schools, hospitals and police and fire services.

Urban decline is when changing land uses brought about by changing locations of activities within the city causes activities to move elsewhere, leaving former factories and warehouse areas abandoned causing them to fall into a state of...