Hames Sharley partnered with Deloitte on their recent ‘Make it a plan Adelaide’ report to explore how Adelaide would accommodate 120,000 more people in its Middle Metro zone by 2027. We established 5 lifestyle categories – City Central, Activity Centre Environs, Transit Corridors, Inner Urban and Middle Suburban as the focus of the growth.

We now jump forward on a hypothetical journey to explore living in Adelaide in 2027 through the daily lives of average Adelaideans.

The population growth of Adelaide in different areas.

David and Lucy moved from Melbourne to Adelaide in 2024 partly to follow their careers, but also because they had found it too hard to get into the property market in Melbourne. Some of their friends had moved before them and so they had visited Adelaide quite often. They were very attracted to the Adelaide’s growing arts/technology reputation as well as the relaxed, urban lifestyle.

Lucy is a graphic artist and 3D animator and David is a computer scientist specialising in AI. They run their own consulting business in the Tonsley Innovation Precinct supporting training and education industries globally. Partnering with a range of tertiary institutions from around the world, their team of 25 builds and exports virtual reality and AI-based training systems and educational tools.

Historically, South Australia has had a powerful reputation in exporting high quality, tertiary education to Asia, but in recent years it has emerged as a global leader in the job retraining process, particularly as technology impacts more and more jobs globally. David and Lucy have many overseas clients.

The couple live in an apartment complex within the totally revitalized Marion Central regional hub. The sale of the Westfield empire by the Lowy family 10 years ago, together with the massive disruption of online retailing at the time, triggered a total reprogramming of the role of regional centres. Rather than comprising of most shops and department stores, today these centres are fully integrated, mixed-use living environments.

Bricks and mortar retailing still have a strong role in much better vertical integration and partnering between online sales and distribution processes and the ‘look, feel and try’ experience in-store. And technology facilitated bespoke products and in-store product design processes have carved out a new niche for ‘hi-experience – hi-service’ shopping. But the real change has been the evolution of regional centres as major employment living and entertainment environments.

“We love living in Marion Central!”, Lucy exclaims. “There is no way we could have afforded an apartment like ours in Melbourne and it’s so close to work. We just book a self-drive and we are there in 5 minutes”, she explains. “Most of what we need day to day is here in Marion. There are great bars and cafes, the swimming and fitness centre and entertainment choices, and if we want to go to the beach or the city we hop on a train or a ‘smart loop’ self-drive. There is one every couple of minutes”.

All this change has seen the population of the Marion triangle environs grow by 50%, together with a significant improvement in the economic base of the southern suburbs.

Disclaimer: This article includes fictional characters. Any similarity between the characters and anyone, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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