Mike Day, co-founder and director of RobertsDay and an award-winning urban planner and designer, has set forth 10 predictions regarding progress and development in metropolitan areas; marking the inception of a fresh and exciting decade in the urban planning arena—one that, according to Day, will reshape our cities.

Driving these changes will be key factors such as population increases, technological enhancements, and shifts in transportation modes. In all ways, Day predicts, the cities of Australia will move with the future.

Day predicts, for example, that certain suburban areas will assume the characteristics of a mini metropolis, offering luxury in scale. These features will include smaller parks and main streets, housing developments with shops on top, terraces and readily available public transport.  

In the 2020s, mixed and overlapping use buildings will merge to form increasingly self-sufficient communities. These include apartment buildings built atop shopping centres, providing literal one stop shopping—and living—for residents.

As might be expected, more and more planning decisions will be geared toward the achievement of a healthier, more sustainable environment. In response to the dangers of climate change, city planners will be taking aspects like water and air quality, green spaces, public spaces, waste management, and public health into consideration.

Toward the attainment of this and other goals, more and more neighbourhoods in the next decade will tell the concept of private vehicle ownership to take a walk; adapting various modes of walkable, mixed use and connected community plans to give residents an alternative to automotive transport. Pedestrian lanes, alternative modes of transport like scooters and electric bikes, and public transport choices ranging from Uber to trackless trams, will be the order of the day—and, for that matter, of the decade.

In terms of affordable housing, more towns will opt for townhouses in the next decade. Residents seeking affordable, compact, strata-free homes with courtyards and abundant street frontage attached for walking and community interaction couldn’t do better than a townhouse. Along the same lines, smaller homes with plentiful amenities surrounding also will be all the rage in the new decade.

And regardless of the mode of housing available, neighbourhoods in the new decade always should come complete with extensive walking and public spaces, along with a cohesive personality and sense of identity for each community.

What’s with all of this walking? Well all things considered, walking seems the preferred mode of transport in 2020. And in the neighbourhoods of the new decade, the Walk Score will actually affect property values. Centred around a scoring system of 1-100, this system measures the ease with which one can walk from any given address to schools, stores, public parks and workplaces. An elevated Walk Score will enhance the value of a property; a Walk Score of 70, for example, indicates the availability of public transit and the possibility that the person living at that address can reach valuable amenities sans an automobile. Each point ranking above the threshold score of 70 is worth an estimated $700-3000 in property value.

And of course, ranking among the easiest ways to enhance a neighbourhood’s Walk Score would be the development of walking and cycling roads which operate like superhighways—without all the exhaust fumes—and encourage more vigorous physical travel.

Indeed, it seems that the ‘day’ has arrived for more efficient—and ecoefficient—living. Day himself says so.