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Adelaide has achieved high rankings in lists of the world’s most liveable cities, but the South Australian capital has faced a “brain drain” of young professionals in recent years, and urban sprawl has pushed suburban boundaries further north and south.

The South Australian Government first released its long-term plan for future growth in 2010, recently updating it to cut back population growth forecasts and amend earmarked development pockets in the inner suburbs.

What is the 30-year plan for greater Adelaide?

It is the Government’s pitch for Adelaide to become more vibrant but compact, with promises of higher-density housing, public transport improvements, and neighbourhoods geared towards pedestrians and cyclists with well-maintained parks and gardens.

There are 14 guiding principles in the plan, including to achieve a carbon-neutral city, world-class design standards, healthier communities and state economic growth.

The grand plan imagines Adelaide being more like Copenhagen, Brooklyn or Melbourne, and among hip aspirations are numerous references to retaining heritage suburbs and keeping nearby small towns safe from the wrecking ball.

In efforts to realise its vision, the Government has been tinkering with planning laws, enforcing an urban growth boundary, releasing public land for more development and spending money on transport projects.

How might Adelaide look in three decades?

Current population density is fewer than 1,400 people per square kilometre, with the plan calling for a halt to urban sprawl by building new and higher-density housing in existing suburbia.

Most Adelaide buildings would remain one to three storeys high, but there would be more townhouses, granny flats and a push for laneway housing.

Busy transport corridors could be flanked by mixed-use buildings of up to six storeys, with much taller apartment buildings in the CBD, seaside Glenelg, alongside the city ring of parklands, and at redevelopment sites such as where the Le Cornu furniture warehouse stood near Anzac Highway.

There are design guidelines which aim to ensure environmentally friendly buildings integrate well with existing suburban landscapes.

This article was originally published by ABC.net.au.

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