Urban Governance in Australia: A Case Study of Brisbane City

  • Bhishna BajracharyaEmail author
  • Shahed Khan
Part of the Advances in 21st Century Human Settlements book series (ACHS)


Urban governance plays an important role in making cities sustainable and inclusive. This chapter provides an account of urban governance in Brisbane City Council (BCC), which is the largest city council in Australia. It focuses on two key roles of BCC: (i) its management role for the provision of urban services, and (ii) its democratic governance role for social inclusion and community engagement. BCC provides a range of services for diverse group of local communities including parks, sporting facilities, libraries, art and cultural amenities. The city has improved its services through e-governance by developing online planning tools for information on urban planning. The strategic plan of BCC aims to be holistic and inclusive with focus on sustainability and inclusiveness. In terms of democratic governance, there are challenges to community engagement partly due to the large size of the council and the top-down nature of engagement. To ensure good governance, the City of Brisbane Act 2010 requires the council to be transparent, accountable, and inclusive, and to deliver sustainable services. As this chapter will show, some of the goals of Habitat III’s New Urban Agenda (NUA) seem to already be a part of urban governance in Brisbane. Nevertheless, we argue that Brisbane still faces major governance challenges, which include the intervening role of politics in urban governance, the development of megaprojects, a growing dependence on the private sector for providing services, the increasing privatization of the public realm and the lack of well organised civil society in the city.


Urban governance Stakeholders Service delivery E-governance Sustainability Social inclusion Community engagement Megaprojects Privatization Civil society Brisbane 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Urban Planning, Faculty of Society and DesignBond UniversityGold CoastAustralia
  2. 2.Urban Planning, School of Design and the Built EnvironmentCurtin UniversityPerthAustralia

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