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Haese declares 30,000 city population target

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Lord Mayor Martin Haese wants the population of the City of Adelaide to surge.

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Haese says his “personal aspiration” is for 30,000 people to live in the city by the end of his first term in 2018.

Haese told InDaily that boosting the population of the city (including North Adelaide) by nearly 8000 people in under three years would boost everything from Adelaide’s evening economy, to the safety of its streets, to the fate of its universities.

Acknowledging that higher density city living was “not always politically popular with everyone,” he told InDaily, “we need to get to 30,000, quickly”.

“That’s a stretch, but by council elections 2018 – 30,000 people in the city,” he said.

“It’s a stretch … but it’s doable.

“If we want to have a vibrant city, if we want to have an evening economy, if we want to have a safer city, if we want to have sustainable budgets for Adelaide City Council – there’s the pragmatist in me coming out – if we want to attract tourists, if we want to enhance our brand, if we want to stimulate the construction sector, if you want to create employment, if we want our universities to thrive, if we want more international students … every bit of what I just rattled off is about residential growth.”

Haese said there would also be a cultural benefit to higher-density living in the city.

Lord Mayor Martin Haese.

Lord Mayor Martin Haese.

He said that “closer-knit” communities, in the physical sense, can often translate to “closer-knit” communities, in the social sense.

“(That way) you’ve got a community in your townhouse area, your apartment area, whatever it is,” he said.

“We need … high density, greater affordability – you’ve got to have both.

“We have to have an affordable, good quality product, and you need to have the luxe end.

“We do have a lot more mobile lives (these days).

“I think that people want a lifestyle that is a little less-maintenance, so they can get up and go.

“More young people living in the city – that’s where the city growth will be.”

However, in the Yes Minister sense of the phrase, 30,000 by 2018 is an ambitious goal.

Experts from population consultancy .id forecast that the City of Adelaide will have to wait until the year 2024 to edge over the 30,000 residents mark.

The city’s population is forecast to increase by:

Those forecasts would bring the city’s population to just over 25,000 in 2018 – well short of the Lord Mayor’s target.

While Haese’s “personal aspiration” may be ambitious, his demographics are on the money.

Young adults make up the largest proportion of the City of Adelaide’s population: around 20 per cent.

More than six-thousand 20 to 24-year-olds are expected to reside in the city and North Adelaide by 2026, rising to nearly 7500 by 2036.

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