Better connected, buzzing with new infrastructure and a population racing towards 3.1m — this is life in Brisbane in 2032.
By the time the flame is lit to open the Olympic Games, the city will be home to 530,000 more people and a large Millennial demographic, many of whom will live in four-bedroom houses with “Zoom rooms” in city fringe suburbs boasting amenity-rich lifestyles.
New data crunched by consulting firm Urbis paints a picture of a global lifestyle city where the way we live, work and play will change dramatically in a decade’s time.
An aerial of the Gabba precinct where the Cross River Rail is being built.
Quality of life should improve thanks to new stadia, improved road and public transport networks and huge investment in infrastructure.
Brisbane’s workforce will swell to just over a million employees by 2031 — an increase of nearly 14 per cent, with more jobs in real estate, mining and digital communication-based industries and about 10 per cent working from home.
The neighbourhoods in suburbs close to Olympic venues, such as Woolloongabba, Albion, Annerley, Coorparoo and Hamilton will become lifestyle hubs, packed with outdoor restaurants and green spaces, pop-up entertainment venues, co-working facilities and swanky apartments.
Brisbane won’t look like this in 10 years. Picture: NCA NewsWire/John Gass.
Getting around the city will be much easier thanks to the Cross River Rail, the Metro and a host of new green bridges and cycle paths.
The river will be embraced even further, with Victoria Park, New Farm Park and South Bank to become ‘destination parkscapes’ and riverside suburbs like Kangaroo Point and West End to benefit from new and improved amenities.
The population of Greater Brisbane is forecast to increase by 1.9 per cent each year for the next decade, but Urbis director Ashley Lane said some suburbs would see bigger increases in population than others, as further infrastructure and amenities were introduced.
Green space and the Brisbane River will be embraced more in a decade. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Josh Woning.
“More people will be able to live a high quality, well supported lifestyle in the city centre, while the established CBD fringe neighbourhoods are anticipated to experience stronger residential growth and development “ Mr Lane said.
“Good growth should be expected in suburban centres and neighbourhoods that are well serviced and accessible.”
It is likely the city’s population will be getting younger (or at least not ageing as rapidly) with more 25 to 34-year-olds choosing to live locally or move to the city in the lead up to the Games.
An artist’s impression of how the proposed Kangaroo Point green bridge will look.
“Currently pre-Covid forecasts suggest a 16,000 increase in this resident cohort over the next decade, however this figure could potentially double given the growing education and employment opportunity that comes with an Olympic city,” Urbis director Kate Meyrick said.
Based on pre-Covid projections, the Woolloongabba area could see one of the greatest uplifts in the Generation Z and younger Millennial age group, with an expected 3 per cent rise in the number of 25 to 34-year-olds.
Simon Kuestenmacher, co-founder and research director at The Demographics Group, said Brisbane would be shaped and dominated by the Millennial generation over the next 10 years as it reached the “family formation” stage of the life cycle.
Brisbane is predicted to have more Millennials living here over the next decade. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Tertius Pickard.
“The trend of ‘the returners’ (young people who moved away and returned to Brisbane with partners or kids) will continue simply because all of these young Brisbane kids who started families in Sydney and Melbourne are now comparing house prices with those cities and Brisbane and seeing them as a bargain in comparison,” Mr Kuestenmacher said.
“Millennials are the biggest generation by far in Australia and they procrastinated having kids. So Millennials in Brisbane will want three bedrooms, maybe four, for an average of 1.7 kids and a Zoom room, with more people working from home.”
Demographers say Millennials will want to live in a four-bedroom house in a lifestyle suburb with good amenities. Picture: Richard Walker.
Hamilton, in Brisbane’s inner north, is also tipped to experience a significant long-term population increase and potential diversification of residents once the proposed Olympic Village is repurposed.
“We may also experience greater multicultural diversity as more international students and skilled migrant visa holders are drawn to the new economic opportunity, liveability and growing lifestyle attributes of the city,” Ms Meyrick said. “This will drive inner-city hubs and take-up in the apartment market.”
According to Urbis, the greatest employment opportunities will be in real estate and mining, with both industries predicted to grow by more than 30 per cent, while creative and digital communication-based industries are forecast to grow by about 25 per cent in the next decade.
Northshore Hamilton will undergo a spectacular transformation to become the main Athletes’ Village for the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Green professional services, clean and renewable energy, water and waste management and environmental management services will also be key industries.
“Jobs of the future will increasingly rely on different skills sets — creativity, critical thinking, data analytics, communication, collaboration and coding will be the new normal and empathetic problem solvers will be in high demand,” Ms Meyrick said.
Where we work will also change.
Urbis director David Wilcox said the city centre would remain the natural home for service sector activities, major corporates and government, while increasing its information media and IT footprint.
Brisbane’s workforce is expected to expand to over 1 million in a decade. Picture: Brad Fleet.
“More and different jobs are anticipated at key nodes across the city, including the airport precinct and fringe city neighbourhoods at East Brisbane, Newstead-Bowen Hills, Herston, Kelvin Grove, and South Brisbane,” Mr Wilcox said.
The rise of agile working will also see changing workforce patterns with some employees able to blend working from the office with working from home or co-working hubs — increasing activity in suburban neighbourhoods and property prices in certain suburbs.
Griffith University’s urban environmental planning lecturer Dr Tony Matthews said properties in suburbs like Annerley would gain in value when The Gabba was upgraded and Cross River Rail completed.
An artist’s impression of what the Gabba Olympic stadium could look like in 2032.
“Money will pour into the area and that is going to give the council and the private sector an awful lot of confidence to invest in development there,” Dr Matthews said.
“So, expect more housing, more upgrade of the public realm, better paving, better lighting, better public spaces, more priority for pedestrians.
“There is going to be a radius of property uplift around the major Olympic hubs, particularly for infrastructure — and how far that will extend is questionable — but within 1 to 2km of Olympic clusters, there will be significant property uplift.”
The Cross River Rail under construction in Woolloongabba. Photo Lachie Millard.
Dr Matthews said suburbs like Ipswich and Capalaba would become more fashionable.
Capalaba, already earmarked for a major rejuvenation, will benefit from a new White Water rafting facility in Birkdale, just on the border of the southeastern suburb, while the Olympic polish will also rub off on Ipswich.
“Think how Teneriffe came into fashion,” he said. “About 20 or 15 years ago, it was an area with dilapidated old factories and now it is a happening place with a big brand reputation and that will come with the Olympics as well for certain areas like Capalaba and Ipswich.”
BRISBANE SUBURBS SET TO BECOME LIFESTYLE HUBS IN 2032
Suburb Distance to CBD Median house price Median unit price
- Annerley 6km $871,750 $411,800
- Woolloongabba 4km $915,000 $445,000
- Bowen Hills 3km N/A $425,000
- Hamilton 8km $1.86m $494,053
- Kangaroo Point 1km $1.075m $552,568
- Albion 4km $978,666 $440,373
- East Brisbane 4km $967,000 $460,332
- Herston 3km $1.07m $477,500
- Chandler 15km $1.8m N/A
- Ipswich 31km $410,935 N/A
- Redland Bay 25km $670,552 $484,000
Property Council Queensland executive director Jen Williams said the Games could be the catalyst for the next generation of urban renewal across Brisbane, including precincts like the Mayne Rail Yards in Bowen Hills, Hamilton North Shore and Albion.
But Ms Williams warned poor planning could impact housing affordability and undermine the city’s liveability.
“Governments need to be thinking now about how we keep Brisbane as a liveable city as we head towards 2032,” Ms Williams said.
Originally published in the Courier Mail HERE.