Perth urban sprawl

Perth has maintained a very low-density approach to development since the 1950s. As a result, it is one of the most sprawling cities on Earth, stretching over 120 kilometres from north to south and covering 100,000 hectares.

Perth has one of the fastest-growing urban populations in Australia and it is projected to more than double to 4.3 million people by 2056. If the city continues the same pattern of low-density sprawl, it could spell disaster for this globally important stronghold for nature.

Between 2001 and 2009, some 6,812 hectares of natural bush were cleared within the Perth metropolitan region alone. That's an average of 851.5 hectares every year for eight years - the equivalent of 3 Kings Parks a year, or 10 WACA ovals a week. The State Government does not currently report on land clearing in the Perth metropolitan region on a regular basis. This huge loss was discovered in 2010 by the WA Local Government Association’s Perth

Biodiversity Project using aerial photography from the Department of Agriculture. In other words, we don’t even know how much bush is being destroyed each day.

We have lost much of our unique bush and its wildlife to a sprawling city. The question is, how much more are we willing to sacrifice?
© Richard Weller 2009, Boomtown 2050: Scenarios for a Rapidly Growing City, UWA Publishing

Schematic showing the growth of Perth from 1835–2006, including a 2050 projection if the city continues to sprawl. Reproduced with permission.