The rivalry between Sydney and Melbourne is infamous.
Each claims to be the cultural and commercial heart of Australia. Better weather, less rain, more sunshine, longer days, cheaper beers, better food.
The lists, and the arguments, continue.
One may at first glance appear to have wetter weather but how many days of rain are there each year? And are cheaper beers better if the surroundings don’t work?
The latest contribution centres on the personalities of Australia’s two biggest cities. The consultancy and accounting firm EY surveyed 2,286 in Sydney and Melbourne as part of an investigation into the future of Australian cities.
More than 80% of Australians live in cities. It’s where the majority of the jobs are found.
The EY survey, in part, asked what those surveyed thought about their own cities. The results are revealing.
“A city’s personality expresses its most aspirational and differentiating qualities,” says EY.
“The research reveals citizens are proud of their cities — and have consistent views about city personalities.”
When it comes to city pride, people from Melbourne tend to describe their city as “cultural” (48%) and “fashionable” (31%). In contrast people from Sydney see their city as “beautiful” (44%) and “famous” (31%).
Here’s the results in graphic form:
The findings show well-being improves when people are connected to their city and are confident they can build the life they want through infrastructure and digital delivery, physical and social interaction and emotional engagement.
“Cities are places where people live and work; where they connect to and engage with each other and their surroundings,” says Oliver Jones at EY.
“Citizens want to feel connected with those elements that give each city its own personality. Decision makers must factor this into the planning process, so that the qualities that make a city unique are not lost as it continues to grow.
“Great cities don’t happen by chance. They are a combination of structured planning processes married to giving people the freedom to express themselves and to innovate at work, at home and at play.”
The contribution to the national economy by cities is forecast to almost double by 2031 to $1.6 trillion. Infrastructure Australia expects 5.8 million more people will have moved into the four largest cities — Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Brisbane.
Housing, affordability and mobility top the wish lists of those in Sydney and Melbourne.
They fear that some new developments aren’t adding to the infrastructure needed to keep their cities liveable.
More than half of survey respondents (55%) say they are frustrated with the high cost of living and only 26% feel that housing is affordable.
The figures are even higher in Sydney, where 64% are frustrated by high living costs and 56% say housing is unaffordable.
Mobility is also a key issue, with two-thirds of citizens frustrated by traffic congestion in their city.
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