The cultural influence of migrants who move to WA in coming decades will be the "wildcard" in determining how and where Perth's population lives, according to a leading development body.
Managing housing affordabil- ity against the backdrop of a rapidly growing population will be key to giving Perth a brighter and more diverse future, the Urban Development Institute of Australia (WA) says.
With Perth's population expected to hit 3.5 million by 2050, business-backed think tank the Committee for Perth has called for innovative action to reduce barriers to the development of affordable housing and to continue the revitalisation of the inner city in its Towards a Bright Future report.
UDIA WA chief executive Debra Goostrey said by 2050 the level of public transport and the capacity to centralise employment would have a major impact of where and how we live.
Urban housing, particularly near transport nodes, would be higher and urban development would run the length of the rail line from Yanchep to Mandurah.
"The wildcard will be the cultural influence of those migrating to WA and their expectations about lifestyle," she said.
"Perth will be on the map for a whole range of countries coming out because of our increasing tourism profile and they'll have a range of expectations about what that lifestyle should be."
Real Estate Institute of WA president David Airey believes easy access to quality public transport will be critical for living standards in coming years and Perth's density will have to increase with apartment living, particularly around transport hubs, shops and schools.
"Currently, Perth is the most suburbanised capital city in Australia," he said. "Our city has the least number of flats, units, apartments and villas as a percentage of overall stock than any other capital city in Australia.
"This will change. Population growth and affordability pressures will ensure that a lot of housing stock built within 10km of the CBD is two and three- storeys high and provides a wide variety of inner urban living options linked by cycle paths and light rail."Community Housing Coalition of WA executive officer Barry Doyle said the most pressing need was to increase the amount of social housing in the State to help the most vulnerable members of WA society.
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