28 May 2015
Urban renewal - Making it all add up
A firm grasp on the macroeconomic trends and the economics is crucial for everyone involved in urban renewal to ensure public and private benefits.
I am very passionate about my economics. I believe that the work that I do in helping to develop better policies and better investments actually makes some small contribution to making society a better place for all of us. I'm Nicki Hutley. I'm a director at Urbis. I lead the National Economic Advisory Practice.
I'm Peter McMahon. I've been a partner here at Clayton Utz for the last 27 years. When it comes to these large projects there are a number of economic and financial drivers. It's important for any lawyer involved in the project to have a clear understanding of those drivers.
The story of urban renewal is a very holistic one. It requires many professional skills to bring the story from conception to fruition so we need economists to understand what is the value of the development. We need planners to make sure that that's delivered in the most appropriate way. We need financial and particularly legal advice to ensure the deals are structured so that the economic benefits that are derived are fairly distributed and that everybody understands their roles properly, so it's a very holistic approach that requires lots of skills.
There are lots of things to take into account in structuring and documenting these projects. There are tax implications, there are rezoning applications, there are infrastructure delivery aspects. There are a whole series of things to be taken into account but at the end of the day the public sector and the private sector should all be winners and their interests should be well balanced.
We're starting to be able to capture those much broader economic impacts whether it's agglomeration or land uplift or, more, importantly what other industries and opportunities are unlocked. What precinct activation can we have, and what does this mean for social outcomes as well? Do we have improved safety? Do we have improved feeling of being part of a neighbourhood and how do we capture those with tools such as social return on investment? So it's much more holistic approach than it has been in the past.
Each day when I come into the city I can see projects that I've been involved in – exciting projects which benefit the many Australians and tourists that come to enjoy the buildings.