ABC News

by Meg Purtell

The City of the Future conference has heard Brisbane could learn a lot from some of its international counterparts.

The event is exploring major issues facing Australian cities, including sustainable housing and transport options.

It has brought together international speakers and representatives from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to look at sustainable housing and transport options.

John Norquist from the Congress for the New Urbanism in the US says Brisbane is growing so quickly, a lot of burdens are being placed upon the city.

He says planners need to be looking ahead by at least half-a-century.

"Vancouver would be a great model for Brisbane to look at," he said.

"Vancouver has no freeways whatsoever yet it manages its traffic well.

"It has good distribution of traffic, it has great transit and it has huge property values better than any other city in Canada."

Mr Norquist says public transport is vital.

"I think a good lesson from the US is to not over-build highways - build streets, avenues, boulevards," he said.

"Don't build big freeways like the Riverside Expressway that's right in front of downtown Brisbane and decreases the value of the downtown by it being there.

"There's no point in having a road like that, they're being removed all over the world."