Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates from the Australian Government

Cities Agenda

Australia’s cities are some of the most liveable in the world. Around three quarters of our population live in Australia’s 21 largest cities and these generate around 80 per cent of GDP. Continued globalisation and technological change mean that Australia’s economy will increasingly rely on knowledge-based and other services for its prosperity. Australia’s cities are gateways to the global economy and the engine rooms for these industries.

The Australian Government committed to the Smart Cities Plan in 2016. The Plan sets out the Government’s vision for productive and liveable cities that encourage innovation, support growth and create jobs.

The Smart Cities Plan represents a framework for cities policy at the federal level—and it is a framework that guides action across various portfolios, to deliver better outcomes for Australian cities, the people who live in them and all Australians.

In 2016, the Australian Government invited submissions from the public to help shape the Smart Cities Plan, a report on the findings on this consultation process is available PDF: 2666 KB .

City Deals are the key mechanism for delivering on the Smart Cities Plan. They are a genuine partnership between the three levels of government and the community to work towards a shared vision for productive and liveable cities.

The Australian Government is also progressing a number of pilot Regional Deals that bring together all levels of government to deliver agreed outcomes in the region.

Cities Reference Group

The Cities Reference Group, established 12 April 2017, provides a forum for the Australian Government to seek advice from key stakeholders about issues affecting Australia's cities. The Cities Reference Group draws representatives from across academia, industry, the research community and non-government groups.


Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

Goal 11 seeks to make cities more inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. Goal 11 is underpinned by detailed targets and indicators.

The Australian Government is already making a significant contribution toward achievement of Goal 11 through key domestic initiatives such as the Smart Cities Plan, City Deals, the Smart Cities and Suburbs Program and the National Cities Performance Framework.

Australia delivered its first Voluntary National Review on the 2030 Agenda at the United Nations High Level Political Forum in July 2018.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is made up of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and provides a roadmap for global development efforts.

Australia’s Voluntary National Review was coordinated across the Australian Government by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. It was an opportunity for Australia to showcase the work we are doing to give effect to the 2030 Agenda, both domestically and internationally.

The Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities led the development of a chapter for Australia’s Voluntary National Review on progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities).

Further information on the Australian Government’s work on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is available through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Australia-New Zealand Cities Symposium

The Australian Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population at that time, the Hon Alan Tudge MP, and the New Zealand Minister for Housing, Urban Development and Transport, the Hon Phil Twyford, jointly opened the Australia-New Zealand Cities Symposium on 25 February 2019.

The Symposium was an opportunity for the two governments and key stakeholders to discuss the challenges facing both Australian and New Zealand cities, share learnings and explore policy responses. 77 delegates participated in the Symposium program, which ran over two days.