With a rapidly growing population – north of 24 million at last count, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics – and concentrated in our major coastal cities, it appears evident many of the country’s future planning and infrastructure challenges will be urban ones.
The demand on roads, water, sewerage, telecoms and other public facilities and amenities has never been greater, as urban density increases at an unprecedented rate.
It’s the same story the world over, with just over half the planet’s population now living in major towns and cities, according to research from the United Nations. This figure is expected to rise to 66 per cent by 2050, courtesy of increasing urbanisation in Africa and Asia.
The number of megacities – those that are home to more than 10 million people – has almost tripled in the past 25 years; from 10 in 1990 to 28 in 2014.
Managing urban areas has been cited as one of the critical development challenges of the 21st century by UN population specialist, John Wilmoth. Ensuring urban land usage is regulated responsibly and housing, energy, transport and waste management facilities keep pace with demand, now and in the future, is no simple matter.
Long-term holistic planning frequently took a backseat to expediency in the past, but successfully functioning and liveable cities of the future are likely to be those that make sustainable infrastructure management a priority.
The term ‘sustainable infrastructure management’ refers to the planning, creation and ongoing management of infrastructure in a way which is socially, financially and environmentally responsible.
With local authorities under increasing pressure to contain costs, multi-disciplinary professionals who have the ability to think strategically and offer coordinated oversight of a range of services and facilities are likely to be at a premium.
Engineers, urban planning specialists and others involved in the design, delivery and maintenance of public infrastructure are well placed to take advantage of the growing array of opportunities in the sustainable infrastructure management field.
If you hold an engineering degree or related qualification and would like to augment your knowledge and experience with specialised qualifications, an online engineering masters degree could be the key to fast-tracking your skills – on your own terms.
With multiple intakes each year and flexible study schedules that allow you to pace or accelerate the learning process to suit work and personal commitments, the Southern Cross University Online Master of Engineering Management provides a deep understanding of sustainable infrastructure management.
It offers a theoretical knowledge base to enable you to make strategic decisions with confidence and fosters the skills necessary to execute and manage urban engineering plans and projects. Learn more by speaking to one of our expert Student Enrolment Advisors today on 1300 589 882.