WHERE WILL THE 12 MILLION LIVE?

3 big questions

I read an article a few days ago reporting on the Intergenerational Report finding that by 2015, there will be 2 million more people living in Perth and 12 million more living in Australia.

For me this raised a number of questions, three of which are as follows:

  • Where are they going to live
  • What sort of environment will they live in
  • Are we planning adequately

We cannot cater for these people by building more and more slums involving ugly houses in ugly developments further and further from the CBD. Perhaps this all justifies the increasing number of units being built and explains why there are now more units being built in NSW than houses.

We seem very concerned about the economic environment that we leave our children and specifically the level of debt we leave them. At the same time we seem quite casual about the physical environment we leave them and the impact of climate change and resource degradation.

Setting aside the highly selective Intergenerational Report, I would argue that most of our planning is short term – delivering the roads and infrastructure we will need next year rather than for the next 40 years. That is why there are always road works on our freeways. That is why our cities are built around freeways. That is why our governments are looking at cars and busses rather than trams and trains.

This has little to do with branding, marketing or communication, the usual focus of my writings – but the issues I raise here effect us all, and even more so our children and grandchildren even more.

When are we going to take the environment seriously and even as an opportunity – instead of perfecting our rationalisations when we ignore the environment because we are employing people and creating economic activity.

When are we going to do what is best for our children rather than what is best for our quality of life today?

I could go on, but suffice to say that I find the selfishness of human beings distressing and the capacity to rationalise very distressing indeed.

This issue will be discussed in more detail on THE D. JOHN CARLSON NETWORK – www.djohncarlsonnetwork.com

D. John Carlson is a behavioural scientist, strategic planner and lateral thinker focusing on branding, marketing and communication. Visit his blog – www.djohncarlsonesq.com

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