How our cities, towns and communities are planned and designed influences where we live, work and socialise, and how we move around.

Did you know...

  • The Perth and Peel regions are expected to grow to a population of 3.5 million by 2050
  • Around 800,000 new homes will be needed over the next 30 years to accommodate our growing population
  • Better planning is critical to create a more connected and liveable city, where we have improved access to employment, essential services, local amenities and transport options closer to where we live. 

Creating a compact and connected city

The Perth metropolitan area stretches more than 120km along the coast, yet only 50km inland.  Most of our employment opportunities are concentrated around the Perth Central Business District (CBD), meaning many residents are travelling long distances to get to and from work.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics,the average commuting distance of Perth residents is more than 15km, with those who commute to the CBD for work travelling an average of 17km. This puts significant pressure on our roads and public transport routes, particularly to the CBD during peak times.

This pressure is worsened by urban sprawl, as new developments on the fringes on Perth increase commuting distances and often aren't well served by public transport, limiting travel options. 

For Perth to remain productive and liveable, it will be essential to improve land use and transport options. More effective planning can reduce the need for people to travel so far and so often, as well as improve access to a range of practical transport options.

Density done well

As Perth grows to meet the needs of current and future generations, new homes, jobs and amenities will need to be built within existing suburbs. It is essential that planning for urban infill and increasing density is done well. 

This means understanding and being sensitive to the character and nature of existing suburbs and ensuring new homes are primarily located near activity centres and public transport hubs. This will improve travel options and relieve pressure on roads. 

Effective urban planning will help to facilitate growth, while ensuring Perth remains a liveable city that offers safe, easy and sustainable mobility. 

RAC's position on urban planning

  • Land use and transport planning should improve or enhance the community's access to employment, leisure, social, health and recreation opportunities by a range of practical transport options
  • Continued urban expansion through development of previously undeveloped sites in Perth's outer suburbs, which are not well served by public transport, is not supported 
  • New communities should be planned and designed to reduce reliance on vehicles and the need for car parking
  • Infill developments of increasing densities should primarily be focused around activity centres and public transport hubs, which will help relieve the pressure and manage travel demands on routes to and from the city 
  • Infill development in established suburbs must be sensitive to the character and nature of these areas and supported by improvements to active and public transport infrastructure and services 
  • We support decentralising employment to reduce the extent and distance people need to travel to work 

RAC calls on the State Government to:

  • Guarantee funding to review and develop a strategic land use and transport model for Perth
  • Continue to adequately resource the works to reform the WA planning system to ensure it is strategically-led, enables the delivery of a compact and connected city and appropriately empowers and engaged community

More information

RAC's Public Policy

RAC advocates for all Western Australians, whether they are a driver, passenger, cyclist, motorcyclist, or pedestrian.

This document outlines what we stand for and our public policy positions to support better mobility for Western Australians.

The policies in this document are approved by the RAC Council.

RAC's Public Policy 2018-19 (PDF 795KB)

Other reports

RAC State Budget Submission 2019-2020 (PDF 534KB)

RAC Response to the Green Paper concepts for a strategically led planning system (PDF 534KB)

RAC Response to 'The Value Capture Discussion Paper' (PDF 812KB)

RAC Submission on the Revised State Planning Policy 3.6 (PDF 148KB)

Employment self-sufficiency health checks - planning for Perth's congestion challenges (PDF 795KB)

Travel planning for new developments: Advice for local governments (PDF 795KB)