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Regional aerial imagery reveals sprawling suburbs

Sep 2023

With Nearmap imagery covering up to 95% of the Australian population, we see remarkable change from increasing living (and housing) costs and a population boom.

Sep 2023

As housing pressures intensify across Australia, the phenomenon of new suburbs popping up on the edges of regional towns is becoming evident. Comparing the Nearmap back-catalogue of 10+ year historical aerial imagery with recent captures shows the pace at which farm and bushland have been swallowed by sprawling housing developments.
With imagery covering up to 95% of the Australian population, we have witnessed a remarkable change in regional areas at the hands of increasing living (and housing) costs and a population boom.
In the first three months of 2023, migration to Australia’s regional centres increased by almost 8% according to the Regional Movers Index (RMI). And while this slowed in the following quarter, the city to regional flows were up by around 16% per cent, on-average, compared to 2018 and 2019.
“From Western Australia to NSW and Queensland, the growing preference of Australians to live outside major cities is seeing regional cities like Geraldton in WA and Bathurst in NSW continue to gain population growth,” M’Shenda Turner, Director of Geospatial Content Operations at Nearmap told
“Location insights and frequently refreshed aerial imagery can provide essential information for local councils and urban planners to understand the impact of urbanisation on the environment and the liveability of these growth areas”, M’Shenda added.

Check out some of the most drastic changes across the country captured by frequently updated aerial imagery below.

Greater Geraldton in Western Australia had a five-fold annual increase in net internal migration flows according to the Regional Movers Index — attributed to strong net inflows from other regional areas.
Moorabool in western Victoria posted inflows almost double that in the 12 months to June 2022 (RMI).
Speaking to 7 News, Nearmap CEO Andy Watt commented on the population growth seen in Wagga Wagga — with the number of residents increasing from 62,000 to almost 70,000 in the past decade, and projected to increase to more than 77,500 by 2036.

"It's something we've seen looking backwards as a growing trends and absolutely looking forward we expect that to be the case. We know there are a number of government initiatives that are focused on moving the population out to those regional areas.” Watt said."

Andy Watt,CEO of Nearmap
Location intelligence and aerial imagery that is hi-res and updated frequently provide an accurate understanding of how growing suburbs and regional centres are rapidly evolving. It enables local and state governments, urban planners and developers, and local businesses alike to make quicker, more informed decisions towards improving the liveability of their area, and ensures they are better prepared to manage the demands of sprawling suburbs.
With such an accurate view of historical and recent activity, local authorities can better understand existing zoning and the regulations needed to support communities. The implications of development on existing services and infrastructure, vegetation and green space, and other natural environments can also be assessed before, during, and after development projects.
Get in touch today with our team to find out how location intelligence and aerial imagery can manage the sprawling suburbs of today — and the future
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