Expert opinion

Scroll down to see what the experts have to say

Peter Seamer

Peter Seamer, AM. 

“While nearly all metropolitan Australians live in the suburbs and 85% of all jobs are in the suburbs these areas are poorly served by transport other infrastructure.

The suburbs are almost forgotten in the media debates about infrastructure and priorities.

Our cities can’t keep growing the way they have, with congestion, inequity and cost to government rapidly increasing.

The role of the Suburban Alliance in forcing a more accurate and fairer perspective on the ways that our cities should grow is increasingly important to all Australians.”

Peter Seamer, AM. 

Peter Seamer, AM. Former CEO of Victorian Planning Authority. Former CEO Federation Square. Honorary Senior Industry Fellow in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies within the College of Design and Social Context at the RMIT. Chair of the Advisory Board for the NHMRC CRE in Healthy, Liveable Communities. Former CEO of the Cities of Essendon, Greater Bendigo, Whitehorse, and Sydney. 

Raynuha Sinnanthamby

“The Suburban Alliance has been an active, strong advocate for the suburbs.

Our suburban areas all too often fade into the background as our cities, and in particular, Central Business Districts capture the attention as the focus of employment, business, commerce and political power.

The suburbs are the beating heart of this country and home to countless Australian families.

The Suburban Alliance is seeking to focus attention on the role of suburban areas and the need for suburbs to be considered and cared for as we try to preserve the great Australian dream of homeownership and the creation of communities.”

Raynuha Sinnanthamby 

Raynuha Sinnathamby is the Managing Director of Springfield City Group, recognised globally for what it has achieved with its award winning satellite city project, Greater Springfield. Now in its 24th year, Greater Springfield is Australia’s fastest emerging city. Encompassing six suburbs over almost 3000 hectares, it is home to 32, 000 people.

Prof Alan Berger
Prof Alan Berger, MIT

“The Suburban Alliance is a go-to source for up-to-date news and information about global suburban trends, and one of the few unbiased resources for learning about the suburban market and suburban land-use trends in general.

In a time when the intellectual elite and urban planning orthodoxy vilifies suburban forms, outlets such as this one ground truth what is really happening and reveals a vastly different story of the strong global desire to live in less dense, less congested areas outside of urban cores.

Urban planning and transportation policymakers should take note and radically rethink outdated models that are failing for their citizens.”

Prof Alan Berger, MIT

Alan M. Berger is Professor of Landscape Architecture and Urban Design at Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he teaches courses open to the entire student body. He is founding director of MIT’s P-REX lab, a research lab focused on environmental problems caused by urbanization, including the design, remediation, and reuse of waste landscapes worldwide. He is also Co-Director of MIT Norman B. Leventhal Center for Advanced Urbanism(LCAU).  Co editor of Infinite Suburbia (2017). 

Prof Joel Kotkin
Prof Joel Kotkin

“It’s timely that groups like The Suburban Alliance stand up for the suburbs, given this is how most Australians – and Americans, Canadians, Brits and New Zealanders – prefer to live and where most will continue to work.

Urban density has an important role but should not be mandated or forced to the exclusion of suburban development and suburban centre renewal.  

Some professionals seem happy at the prospect of forcing the vast majority into dense, centralised warrens.

They deride suburban living and suburban work. But do most ordinary Australians want to live under the conditions of the average person in Tokyo, Hong Kong or Manhattan? I doubt it.”

Prof Joel Kotkin

Described by the New York Times as “America’s uber-geographer,” Joel Kotkin is an internationally-recognized authority on global, economic, political and social trends. Author of The Human City: Urbanism for the Rest of Us (2016); co-editor of  Infinite Suburbia, (2017); plus many others. Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures (Chapman University, Orange, Calif.) Executive Director, Center for Opportunity Urbanism . Senior Advisor to the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. Executive Editor of the widely read www.newgeography.com and writes the weekly “New Geographer” column for Forbes.com. 

Dr Paul Maginn
Dr Paul Maginn

“When we think about city growth we tend to be seduced by the skyline of the CBD filled with cranes and high-rise luxury apartments.

Impressive and positive as this might be, the real growth of Australian cities in terms of population increase and residential property development lies in the suburbs, particularly the outer suburbs.

Despite this the suburbs tend to lag behind, or be overlooked by state and federal policymakers, when it comes to the provision of physical, social, economic and governance infrastructure.

In an effort to ensure that the suburbs get a ‘fair go’ the Suburban Alliance (along with the National Growth Areas Alliance) has taken up the challenge of promoting the suburbs via commissioning policy research and hosting events with key thinkers and policymakers.

It is positive to see organisations like the Suburban Alliance play an active role in the conversation/debate about the suburbs because the suburbs matters.

They matter not only now but into the future as it will be suburbanites who will decide the outcome of future state and federal elections.”

Dr Paul Maginn

Dr Paul Maginn, BSc Ulster, GradDip(TownPlanning) Belf., PhD S.Bank, is Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Science, UWA School of Agriculture and Environment where he is the Programme Co-ordinator for the Masters in Urban and Regional Planning. Paul is also Editor-in-Chief of Urban Policy and Research; a member of the International Advisory Board for Policy and Politics; Co-Convenor of the Australian Cities Research Network; and, a Board Member of Sexual Health Quarters (formerly Family Planning WA). He is a founding member of the Urban Broadcast Collective (@UrbanPodcasts), a curated network of podcasts on all things cities and suburbs, set up by a small number of Australian urban studies scholars. He has his own podcast – The Suburbanista Podcast (@SuburbanistaPod).

Wendall Cox
Wendell Cox is principal of Demographia

“The Suburban Alliance is an important resource… (that) has made substantial contributions toward improving the balance between planning for urban cores and the needs of suburban residents and suburban centres.

It performs a valuable service in monitoring other research and developments.

These efforts encourage broader economic progress and better standards of living for all city, from the urban core to the exurbs.”

Wendell Cox, Demographia

Wendell Cox is principal of Demographia, which produces the annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Surve. He is an international public policy expert with interests in economics, poverty alleviation, demographics, urban policy and transport. He has served as a visiting professor at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers in Paris since 2002.