For two decades, increasing concerns about urban sustainability have driven Australian metropolitan planning efforts to call for fundamental changes to existing urban forms. These changes are intended to develop more compact cities characterised by a poly-nodal network of dense activity centres. In this paper we provide the first long-term, comprehensive evaluation of the implementation of this policy in greater Brisbane. We combine census, employment, Google Street View, and aerial imagery data to evaluate the conformance of greater Brisbane’s nominated activity centres against policy intent and find that the policy has conformed poorly. These results lend support to a growing number of studies that suggest Australia’s market led approach to implementing strategic land use policy is ineffectual.
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