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How Migration and People Movement are Transforming our Cities

map of Australia showing migration movements between cities Globalisation and Cities Research Program

University of Canberra research investigates the effects of migration and the movement of people to Australian cities

Urban planning lecturer Dr Richard Hu is leading a research team to investigate the effects of migration and the movement of people to Australian cities.

In collaboration with the Commonwealth Border Protection, the team is focusing on Sydney as a case study to better understand migration in terms of peoplemovement, as opposed to permanent settlement, in the new global age.

The research is uncovering changes in this movement of people from overseas and within Australia and investigating the consequences on society as a result of the combined forces of globalisation and urbanisation.

"We live in a world of flows – flow of knowledge, flow of people," Dr Hu explains. "Nowadays it is easy for people to move and relocate. There are advancements in infrastructure, technology and transport."

In a major finding, the research team has concluded that global competitiveness has a very weak association with global migration, which measures the foreign born segment of the population. However, it shows a very strong association with global mobility, which measures people movement in recent years.

This is profoundly important in understanding and encouraging Sydney's rise as a global hub for skilled talent and industry.

"These findings call for a redefinition of migration to incorporate people movement and to better capture the interplay between global Sydney and migration," Dr Hu says.

"This research informs better policy making and planning for Australian cities in an increasingly competitive and globalised world"

Dr Hu is the director of the Globalisation & Cities Research Program at the University of Canberra. Collectively the project team investigate the social, economic, political, environmental, and cultural changes of Australia’s cities in the context of contemporary globalisation.

Together with his colleagues at the University, Dr Hu works in partnership with Australian federal, state and local governments, as well as the businesssector. These collaborative research projects are providing new insights into global migration, global competitiveness, knowledge workers, housing affordability and sustainable development.

"This research informs better policy making and planning for Australian cities in an increasingly competitive and globalised world," Dr Hu says.

"The University of Canberra is an excellent place for me to carry out research into these significant areas. It has a very entrepreneurial culture designed tocomplete research for the real-world."