The Regional Australia Institute (RAI) has released a new report that busts the four greatest myths about regional cities and provides a way forward for growth and economic sustainability.

The report Lighting Up our Great Small Cities: Challenging Misconceptions challenges the idea that regional cities are the poor cousins of big cities. The report reveals that as a group, regional cities have comparable growth and productivity to bigger cities over the medium term. The potential for sustained growth in regional cities, according to the report, is dependent on a locally tailored policy approach.

This report is partnered with RAI’s Blueprint for Investing in Regional City Deals: Are You Ready to Deal?, which provides a roadmap to help regional cities prepare to leverage their economic potential.

The Australian Government’s Smart City Plan, released in 2016, provides some guidance for future policy in relation to all cities, including regional cities. This plan recognises the opportunity for long term investment and planning for growth to occur in regional cities by focusing on the unique advantages of regional cities and committing to supporting their long term growth.

The Lighting Up our Great Small Cities: Challenging Misconceptions and Blueprint for Investing in Regional City Deals: Are You Ready to Deal? reports can be downloaded from the Regional Australia Institute website.

The Australian Government’s Smart Cities Plan is available for download from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet website.

Articles reviewing the Lighting Up our Great Small Cities: Challenging Misconceptions report can be found on Australian Farmers Foundation and The Conversation websites.