Australia’s new cities: past, present and future

Image: Studio Kazanski/Shankland Cox (1975) Monarto: nuova città in Australia, Domus 545, pp 1–8. New city proposals that emerged over the 1970s through the Whitlam Labor Government’s Department of Urban and Regional Development (DURD) included Albury-Wodonga; Macarthur; Bathurst-Organge; and Monarto in South Australia. Monarto did not proceed, despite extensive research, planning, and design. It is now a free-range zoo.

Examining the history, current state, and future prospects of purpose-built and strategically planned new cities in Australia.


  • Dr Elizabeth Taylor
    Monash Art, Design and Architecture
  • A/Prof David Nichols
    Prof Paul Walker
    The University of Melbourne
  • Prof Robert Freestone
    The University of New South Wales
  • Dr Julian Bolleter
    The University of Western Australia

Funded by

  • Australian Research Council

While most Australian new city projects have been at best ambiguously successful, they provide important lessons for considering future strategies in the face of projected urban growth.

Dr Elizabeth Taylor

The project expects to generate new knowledge in urban planning and architectural history particularly in relation to decentralisation, housing affordability and metropolitan primacy. Urban Planning and Design researchers will contribute to the national conversation regarding political vision for large-scale infrastructure through a book, short film, and media engagement on the topic. This should provide significant benefits to community dialogue on issues of heritage, housing and environment.