Entrepreneurs to Drive CBD Growth

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Entrepreneurs to Drive CBD Growth

Everyday nearly 58,000 Gold Coasters (22% of the Gold Coast workforce) travel outside the city for work. The main destination for workers is Brisbane.  The reason for this, as with other cities located in close proximity to a capital city, are the considerable business, professional network and employment opportunities.  


With more people moving to the Gold Coast (on average 12,500 new residents per year for the past decade), and the resident labour pool growing, the challenge is to reposition the Gold Coast CBD to provide opportunities for residents to work locally.


Many regional towns and cities across Australia are focussed on how to reposition their CBDs in a rapidly changing economic environment. The majority of Local Government Areas across Australia are seeing health as their main employing sector. This rationale is focused on leveraging hospitals and associated health based facilities to reposition and rejuvenate ailing CBD’s.  While this approach may be suitable for some towns, careful consideration needs to be weighted with the risks and time for this solution to deliver benefit. Regional towns and cities require careful consideration of what makes their CBD unique and ultimately an understanding of their competitive advantage.


Localised economic development initiatives enable momentum for CBD repositioning and rejuvenation. This can be achieved through harnessing local business and entrepreneurial talent. Tangible and realistic outcomes for CBD’s can be realised through the collective desires of local business people and an appropriate guiding process.


With almost 19,000 people travelling to Brisbane each day for work and almost two thirds of Gold Coast businesses not employing anyone, co-working spaces are providing a solution to reposition their CBD. This style of workplace provides a suitable option for small and home based businesses to operate and ultimately grow at a relatively low cost.


Offering physical and virtual offices, co-working spaces are an alternative to the conventional workplace. Not just physical office spaces, they allow professionals to come together, collaborate and share ideas and knowledge. The concept is not new to the Gold Coast or Australia; with new spaces popping up around the country.


Co Spaces in the Gold Coast CBD is one such example.  They provide the benefit of no long term contracts; businesses can choose to come in for one day a week or locate there permanently. The flexibility offers the opportunity for businesses and workers that need to maintain a physical presence in Brisbane to work from the Gold Coast when desired. Carefully planned workplace set-up and technology enablement provides the opportunity for business owners and workers to rethink how and where they are going to be most productive.


For a co-working space to function successfully within a CBD or urban location careful consideration and forward planning is required. This is achievable early in the concept development phase through detailed analysis of the urban location, existing business and workforce environment and the fundamentals of how the CBD operates.


Establishing this base of knowledge provides the confidence for how a co-working space can be positioned within a CBD and enables a targeted approach for industry and tenant attraction and retention within the co-working space arrangement.


CBD’s mean different things for different cities and towns. There is no one magic formula or list of inclusions that cities or towns can tick off. Regardless of their size, however, CBD’s act as a central meeting place for the agglomeration of people and commerce, which in turn enables prosperity for the community.

Sources: ABS, economy.id


Better Cities Group was established to challenge and optimise the traditional thinking around urban and economic development within our cities and towns. For further information go to www.bettercitiesgroup.com or email the Better Cities Group’s Economic Development Lead, Tim Welchman at timwelchman@bettercitiesgroup.com