The US-Australian City Exchange on Local Finance Mechanisms, presented by the Future Cities Collaborative, an initiative of the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, with the support of NSW Trade and Investment and AECOM, examined local and state-level funding and financing tools being used to support economic development programs and projects. The City Exchange explored how these tools are used in the United States, and how they may be adapted to the Australian context.
Attending the City Exchange was 2015 Future Cities Program participants Newcastle City Council and Penrith City Council; also joining the City Exchange were representatives from previous Future Cities Programs - Blacktown, Liverpool, and Canada Bay City Councils. Representatives from the Western Sydney Business Chamber and Urban GrowthNSW also participated, illustrating the breadth of partnerships the exchange will foster and deepen.
The 2015 Exchange was supported by AECOM, which will also be the primary liaison agency for American participants. AECOM’s teams in the United States will bring together experts in local infrastructure planning, financing, and implementation at each project site.
The seven-day City Exchange explored funding and finance mechanisms used to support public transport and economic development initiatives in Los Angeles, Phoenix, Dallas and Chicago. The mission also examined private-sector participation in urban revitalisation projects and programs, such as business improvement districts (BIDs), sports stadia and convention facilities, and housing affordability projects.
AECOM hosted the City Exchange group in each of the cities visited and their local infrastructure planning, funding and financing, and implementation leaders were able to demonstrate how innovative funding and financing methods are being used to plan, implement and sustain investment in each particular city.
AECOM’s involvement in the design and implementation of the projects examined, provided delegates with access to in-depth technical knowledge and unparalleled access to the city representatives responsible for making each project a reality.
Similarities between US and Australian state and municipal structures allowed City Exchange delegates and City representatives to share ideas and solutions to common urban challenges.