Why the Future is in Greater Newcastle

By superadmin on March 13, 2019 in Blog

The Greater Newcastle will be a vibrant metropolitan city at the Hunter’s heart. The overall goal is to make Hunter the Australia’s leading regional economy and make Greater Newcastle become an entrepreneurial city with a globally competitive economy. And yes, the goal is also about making Greater Newcastle an attractive place to live in (better living conditions and to attract skilled workers and investors).

The trends where people live and stay

Let’s first discuss the past so we can better understand the present and the future. Thousands of years ago people lived in areas where there were reasonable sources of food and water. It was far from convenient though because Aboriginal Australians had to spend 50% to 66% of the day just hunting or foraging for food (plus it’s most likely they went from one place to another due to food scarcity and threat from weather, animals and other tribes).

In other areas and in more recent times ancient civilisations sprouted and were sustained near rivers (Tigris & Euphrates, Nile, Indus, Yellow River). Rivers provide both water and food (fishing). Also, the rivers also provided the irrigation and nutrients for the soil and plants (especially when the rivers get flooded which then makes the land fertile). This allowed people to reduce their time in getting food because some were able to specialise on farming and agriculture (instead of each person spending a half day gathering food). That specialisation gave way for other people to focus on other pursuits (science, arts, government). Also, having a stable source of food in one place because of farming and agriculture also allowed people to gather and permanently stay in one area.

For a time it was an agricultural economy where most jobs were in farms. Earlier we mentioned specialisation (many people gained free time to focus on other pursuits). This paved the way for the Industrial Age (which is largely due to new approaches in science, technology and way of thinking). This was also the start of urbanisation wherein a large percentage of the population flocked into few high-growth areas. For example, in Australia up to 90 per cent of the population live in just 0.22 per cent of the country’s land area. The country is one of the most urbanised nations because of the high population density in small urban areas.

How did that happen? We can better understand the answer by looking at how our ancestors lived. We mentioned earlier that people lived in areas where there were reasonable sources of food and water (thankfully a lot has improved since then especially in developed societies). Until today it stays the same because we’re still looking for areas that can provide us with sustenance. The difference is that instead of foraging, hunting or farming for food, we get the sustenance by having a job or running a business. Instead of searching for rivers we now look for tall buildings. Most of us get the food and water through this method.

Where do we find those jobs and opportunities? The answer is in the cities where businesses grow and flourish. For a time the cities were dominated by huge industrial facilities and factories. But then in modern times those facilities moved away (perhaps mainly due to zoning and looking for less expensive lands) and gave way for the white-collar workers and service-based industries. Although the blue-collar ones are still crucial to keep the economy going and to pave the way for further progress, the white-collar or knowledge workers now are filling the cities. Also, manufacturing and manual labour are getting more automated which gave us more time to focus on information-intensive tasks.

Highrises are filled with offices and opportunities that then attract more people. As a result, urban areas get a lot higher population density and the cycle goes on because growing communities tend to attract more commercial opportunities. It’s been the same way since the first tribes and civilisations appeared because people have been always searching for sustenance. The difference is that we’re now also looking for growth opportunities and population levels in major cities won’t significantly go down anytime soon (instead of going from one place to another as many tribes did). We also have to think about the humans’ increasing lifespans and compounding population growth.

The future is in Greater Newcastle

Let’s go back to the Hunter’s future metropolitan city. Earlier we mentioned that up to 90 percent of Australia’s population is in 0.22 per cent of the country’s land area. Also, 9 million of the country’s 24 million people are living in Sydney and Melbourne. Furthermore, up to 50 per cent of the jobs growth is heavily concentrated within a 2-kilometre radius of Sydney’s and Melbourne’s city centres. Indeed it’s getting crowded.

One of the apparent solutions then is to spread the progress and urbanisation. This approach will also help create better living conditions for people (avoid getting too crowded) while also providing enough opportunities so people can get sustenance and enjoy an amazing lifestyle as well.

It’s no wonder then why the priority in Greater Newcastle development is about activating the job targets for catalyst areas (Newcastle City Centre, Beresfield–Black Hill, Broadmeadow, North West Lake Macquarie, Callaghan, East Maitland, John Hunter Hospital, Kotara, Newcastle Port, Tomago and Williamtown). If there’s a high employment growth in this area, expect residential and commercial opportunities to follow (each employee is a customer of several other businesses). For instance, in the Newcastle City Centre there’s an expected 7,750 additional jobs by 2036 that will be created in the area (from 24,200 to 31,950). In Williamtown there will be 3,000 more jobs by 2036.

Expect the above-ground structures to appear consecutively before 2036 and beyond. Also expect the underground infrastructure to get more complex. Most of the time many people only see and appreciate the surface (because we think that this is where most of the action happens). However, equally important is how subsurface utilities are structured (including the electrical, telecommunications, gas, water and wastewater). The reliability of these utilities (and the zero interruption to their operations) is crucial to the proper functioning of residences and businesses in urban areas. This was also vital in supporting Australia’s early industrial growth.

Here at One Search Locators we specialise in accurately locating those underground utilities so that contractors won’t damage them during an excavation or construction activity. We provide a complete map that identifies the utilities present in the site and their exact locations. This way, the crew can avoid damaging those utilities. More importantly, the crew can stay safe because they know where the underground utilities are located. Contact us today if you require more information about our utility locating service.