City limits: why Australia's cities are broken and how we can fix them


The random number generator at coughed up 16 and 84, corresponding with the entries of James ( “Berlin. History makes a city and it’s so beautiful in the snow”) and Taylor R (“Luang Prabang, Laos is a small city in central Laos on the confluence of two rivers…”). Congratulations, James and Taylor R and thanks everybody for the fascinating entries. Go read this commentary on the favourite cities nominated by readers.


In City Limits, Grattan Institute luminaries Jane-Frances Kelly and Paul Donegan set out ways to solve the big issues besetting Australian cities, like declining home ownership, worsening traffic congestion, lengthening commutes, deepening social isolation, growing economic polarisation and deteriorating economic efficiency.

They say that instead of bringing us together,

Australia’s cities are dividing Australians— between young and old, rich and poor, the outer suburbs and the inner city. Neglecting our cities has real consequences for our lives now, and for our future prosperity. Using stories and case studies to show how individuals, families and businesses experience life in cities today, City Limits provides an account of why Australia’s cities are broken, and how we can fix them.

Fairfax columnist Ross Gittins describes City Limits as:

An eye-opener … Cities have a much bigger effect on the way the economy works and the way we live than most of us realise.

To be in the running to win, all you have to do is nominate your favourite city in the world and give one reason (related to it as a place) why you think it’s the best.

As always, the quality of your nomination has absolutely no bearing whatsoever on whether or not you’ll win. The winner will be determined at random. You just can’t be in the running unless you make a nomination. Of course, a little elaboration and even a modicum of wit would be appreciated.

If you really lack the imagination to think of a city and a reason, no problem; I’ll accept any of these: “Melbourne, laneways”; “Sydney, harbour”, “Brisbane, Queenslanders”.

Submit your entry below, using the Comment box. Entries close Thursday 12 March 2015. Only one entry per person and you must have an Australian address.