Hatch RobertsDayurban planning and design firm and subsidiary of the global services firm, the hatchappointed Richard Brice as Australia’s first Chief Economics Officer.
With over 20 years of experience as an urban economist, financial analyst and policy advisor, Brice has served as Director of Property Advisory Services at EY and as Advisor to Victoria’s Minister of Planning. He has also worked in the Government of the State of Victoria and for the City of Port Philip, where he helped shape Australia’s largest urban renewal project, Fishermans Bend.
Brice is also the current chair of the Property Council’s Educations Precincts Committee and the UDIA’s Tax, Finance and Investment Committee, where he helps develop policy on Victoria’s tax system and improve project finance.
According to Brice, the changing global landscape and local issues induced by the pandemic will reprioritize Australia’s challenges over the next three to five years.
Australia needs to focus on four major areas by 2025:
- Sustainable development;
- post-COVID population growth;
- affordable housing; and
- areas of the city that are economic engines.
With sustainability continuing to grow as a major global priority by 2030, Mr. Brice said sustainable design will be a prominent feature of new developments and can no longer be seen as a cost.
“To date, the Australian design and construction industry has viewed sustainable design as a cost; a sustainable apartment or building costs more,” he said. “Instead, governments, planners and developers must have access to research that demonstrates the economic and financial benefits of sustainable development.
“This research can highlight savings for residents and tenants and increased rental income that can offset costs. Good corporate citizens and individuals will increasingly turn to sustainable design.
Brice cites Fishermans Bend in Melbourne as an example, with the aim of achieving sustainable development. The Fishermans Bend project will redevelop underutilized spaces into sustainable, livable neighborhoods that will house 80,000 residents and generate 80,000 jobs by 2050. The project has invested in mixed-use neighborhoods, walkable places, sustainable public transportation, biodiversity and green infrastructure to reduce the urban heat island effect and achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Managing post-COVID population growth will be another challenge.
“Australia has always been very attractive to migrants, but moderate population growth over the next few years will be a problem for Australian cities and regions which now depend on population and labor force growth to boost jobs. taxes and economic growth,” Brice said.
Neutralizing the cost of social housing will be the third challenge.
“Governments will need to explore how investing in social housing can save money in other wallets,” he said. “Providing safe housing and a safe living environment for our low-income earners will result in myriad benefits, including greater participation in educational opportunities, reduced need for mental health support services, and reduced costs. in the portfolio of justice.
Finally, the fourth challenge lies in setting up our neighborhoods, according to Brice. Fishermans Bend in Melbourne and Macquarie Park and Green Square in Sydney are examples of urban areas that attract skilled workers and as such become economic engines.
“The best examples are areas that are recognized as being industry driven. For example, Sydney’s Macquarie Park is an education hub, attracting consumers and residents from Sydney’s student and educator demographics,” said Brice. “Policy makers and planners will need to think about developing industrially-oriented neighborhoods and integrating everything into them – from major educational institutions and commercial spaces to transport, shopping and essential services.”
In his new role, Brice will create a unique urban solutions offering for governments and urban developers in Australia, with end-to-end strategic solutions that include property strategy and portfolio management, development sustainability assessment , assessment of benefits, costs and economic impact, and detailed market assessment. The service will also include identifying investment opportunities based on Australia’s future major infrastructure projects.
“Richard’s unique skills and experience will help Hatch RobertsDay tap into emerging growth areas. In particular, his strong experience in advising state and local governments and urban developers on complex land transactions and the economic impacts of developments will help increase the value and expertise we provide to government and industry leaders,” said Mike Day, founding partner of Hatch RobertsDay. .
“As we continue to build our team, adding real estate advisors, urban economists and analysts to the mix, our company will be able to continue to deliver high-quality urban results that result in timeless cities and livable.”