CityPulse Perth

Reimagining our future

Perth is one of Australia’s great cities and, in the near future, will be the country’s third largest.  As Perth embarks on this next phase of growth, we need to ensure the liveability, work environment and cultural pursuits of the city mature in parallel to give our communities the lifestyle they desire and deserve.

CityPulse Perth provides a fact base which describes the current state of our city, enabling us to understand the opportunities and challenges for Perth at the postcode level, using data from a range of third-party sources and PwC’s own Geospatial Economic Modelling capability, to provide an accurate picture of how we currently ‘live’, ‘work’ and ‘play’. These measures go to the heart of how we live our lives, and are easily understood and tangible so that everyone can form their own view on what is working well in our city, as well as what is not. Through this analysis, our communities can work through solutions to solve the challenges we face.

CityPulse Perth identifies which areas within Greater Perth provide most ready access to the things that contribute to making our lives easier and better – transport, housing, health services, employment, parks and recreation facilities, cultural facilities and entertainment.

Through our easy-to-use interactive maps, we can better understand where the opportunities exist for better planning and investment. We can set out a vision for our city and imagine a future where we can all live, work and play, no matter which suburb we're in.

 

Learn more about CityPulse

A vision for Perth

Imagine a future where …

  • You can arrive at Perth Airport directly from London, for the first time or returning home, and step straight onto a train that takes you into the heart of the Perth CBD – where you will find a vibrant city that is culturally rich and buzzing with activity.

  • Tourists from across Australia and around the world are drawn to Perth’s artistic and cultural festivals, the new WA Museum celebrating the state’s unique heritage, and the city’s internationally renowned urban beaches and national parks.

  • The Fremantle waterfront has been completely revitalised as a cultural hub that draws in tourists and residents alike, with the majority of freight and trade now moving through a redeveloped port at Kwinana.

  • A maritime and defence construction cluster has evolved at the Westport ‘outer harbour’ and the new Henderson Industry Incubator Zone, drawing on a skilled local workforce and injecting investment into the South Metropolitan Region.

  • Investment in public transport, including the full rollout of METRONET, has delivered to the city a world-class transport network which connects people across Perth’s suburbs, and links the nodes of Perth’s learning and innovation cluster of universities, the CBD, and the medical research precinct.

  • International students are drawn to study at Perth's world-class, innovative universities while enjoying engagement with industry-leading firms alongside a unique lifestyle.

  • Perth’s footprint is growing more slowly than its population, as a result of a clear integrated strategic planning and infrastructure strategy, which has led to higher density living around Perth’s transport and economic hubs, enabling residents, families and workers to commute more easily to local services, community infrastructure and jobs.

Discover what Perth is like as a place to live, work and play

City averages

Choose:

5.2
3.8
4.7

Key

Above average Below average Low population
Your budget for housing:

Customise

Which best describes you?
Live
How do you usually get around?

Outside work

LivePlay

Work

Work
What kinds of amenities do you like to access in your spare time?
Play
Rarely Sometimes Often
Beach
Open space inc. national parks
Culture and attractions
Rarely Sometimes Often
Bars and dining
Retail
Sports and fitness facilities

PwC’s CityPulse assesses how each area performs against each of the three 'Live, Work, Play' metrics and is based on a range of data sources; examples under the category of Live include data relating to hospital accessibility, crime rates, and housing affordability. CityPulse focuses on general access and availability and does not currently take into account the demographics or preferences of local residents. Learn more about our approach.

Key findings on Live

  • Mortgage stress is a unifying experience for Perth residents and should spur planning system reform. Our average property prices are highest in central beachside suburbs, and decline the further out you travel. However, CityPulse Perth analysis of the data reveals a story which unites homeowners across suburbs with some of the highest and lowest average prices. If we look at the western suburbs for example, we see the core experiencing considerable pressure, surrounded by concentric belts of lower and higher levels of mortgage stress.

  • We’re still a motor city – but public transport investment is making amenities more accessible. Our analysis shows that residents of most Perth suburbs currently require a car if they are to have ready access to the amenities that underpin the quality of urban life. But as Perth’s population expands towards a projected 3.5 million people by 2050, this will no longer be sufficient, and Perth will need to see major investments in public connective infrastructure to avoid a dramatic increase in traffic congestion. The good news is that CityPulse Perth shows clearly the improvement resulting from previous investment in the Joondalup and Mandurah train lines. Their capacity can be further increased to accommodate population growth.

Key findings on Work

  • Jobs in Perth are highly concentrated around the CBD, a fact which comes through clearly in our CityPulse analysis. While many of these jobs are accessible with a car, getting to work using public transport is a very different story. Job accessibility by public transport declines rapidly once you move beyond this central region.  

  • We need to foster collaboration between industry and our research institutions by encouraging the growth of Perth’s innovation precinct around and within our research and educational institutions, our CBD, and the Subiaco - Shenton Park medical hub. This will create an environment that draws in international students, investors and innovators. With the right incubator assistance, these groups will thrive and attract a sophisticated employment profile to Perth.

Key findings on Play

  • The last ten years has seen a major transformation in the cultural and entertainment options available within the Perth CBD. The Perth City Link and more recently, the Yagan Square redevelopment, is providing a mix of housing, services, shops, bars, restaurants and entertainment facilities, while major architectural projects include Perth Arena, the new Optus Stadium, Elizabeth Quay and the Old Treasury Building.   The impact of this investment leaps out from the CityPulse Perth data, with a high concentration of entertainment and cultural attractions clustered within the CBD. Future investment in the Perth Concert Hall, Perth Cultural Centre common areas and the Art Gallery/State Library would ensure even better integration of these new ‘play’ assets that have been created.

  • There is also an opportunity to look beyond the CBD in order to open up new areas for locals and visitors to easily access cultural, dining, entertainment and recreational facilities. Fremantle represents a largely untapped opportunity, in particular the establishment of a redeveloped Victoria Quay entertainment hub with the transition of the majority of freight and trade to Kwinana as part of the new Westport ‘outer harbour’ project.  A similar opportunity exists north of the river to complement the tourism investment in places such as Scarborough and Hillarys.

How do we reimagine our future?


Catching up – connecting Perth’s suburbs

In the last decade Perth’s population has grown rapidly, with our city now home to over 2 million people. At the same time, the urban footprint has been expanding to accommodate these new citizens. Consequently, Perth is one of the lowest density cities in the world – to get from the centre of Mandurah to Two Rocks takes a two-hour drive covering 135 kilometres.

The major infrastructure investments planned under the ambitious METRONET public transport program will go a long way to connecting residents of Perth’s outer suburbs to services, cultural facilities and economic opportunities. But more work is needed to make it easier for people to access the city’s existing economic and cultural centres, as well as to develop new hubs of activity beyond the CBD where people can work and play within the area where they live.


Open for innovation – new skills for a new generation

After what has been a difficult economic period for Western Australia, Perth is now leading the state’s economic recovery. As one of the most economically diversified and innovative locations in the state, Perth has made a strong contribution to WA’s resilience during the slowdown.

Perth’s southern corridor has been a strong contributor to this recovery, with the data revealing above average growth performance, as have the multiple university precincts strung along the Swan River, the medical hub in Subiaco–Shenton Park, and the resource, technology and services centres in the city’s CBD. Together these locations form Perth’s innovation precinct, but there are also surprising innovation hotspots in Perth’s Northern suburbs.


Liveability – from great to one-of-a-kind

PwC’s CityPulse analysis makes it easy to see what a great place Perth is to ‘play’. The data reveals that the city has an abundance of open space and national parks, a world-class new sports stadium and some of the country’s best urban beaches, which are easily accessible from most parts of the metropolitan area. Access to recreational waters, especially in the city’s southern suburbs, is also a major lifestyle attraction. In recent years, these traditional elements of the quintessential Perth lifestyle have been complemented by new cultural attractions.

CityPulse Perth highlights an opportunity to take our city from great to one-of-a-kind. In particular, the future of Fremantle will play a central part in helping Perth to become a truly unique place to live and play.

CityPulse is a national initiative. Subscribe to PwC's Cities updates to ensure you receive each report as they launch.

 
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Contact us

Michelle Tremain
Managing Partner - Perth, PwC Australia
Tel: +61 8 9238 3403
Email

Simon Avenell
Partner, PwC Australia
Tel: +61 8 9238 5332
Email

Justin Scanlan
Partner, PwC Australia
Tel: +61 (8) 9238 3265
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Nadia van Dommelen
Partner, PwC Australia
Tel: +61 (8) 9238 3888
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