Australia wants to pursue a dystopian agenda by creating a ’30-minute city’

The “Land Down Under” plans to trap some Australians in a state-run facility in which they lose their fundamental rights and autonomy. 

The Australian government set in motion a proposal to build what it calls a “30-minute city” by 2026 near Sydney. It claims this is to address inconvenient driving concerns, stating that travel by car in cities causes more problems for society than it solves. The name derives from the plan to have everything a resident may need available within a maximum of 30 minutes of travel anywhere in the city. 

“Cities continue to create and maintain traffic systems that favor people in cars over people on foot,” said David Levinson, professor of transport in the School of Civil Engineering at the University of Sydney. “There are many ways to improve this situation, short of eliminating private car traffic from busy urban districts — although that should also be considered.”

Bradfield City, as it is being called, will be “green, advanced, and connected to world-class transport” and “cyber smart and digitally led.” It will, in theory, be a paradisal city that holds and does everything for its inhabitants, from leisure to lunch. In other words, a utopia. All provided by the loving state. 

And yet, this seems oddly familiar to another highly ambitious national proposal that made headlines a few years ago. Ah, yes, The Line, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s plan to pack millions of citizens into a long mechanical stretch of building-length wall intended to provide everything its inhabitants need “within a 5-minute walk.” The crown prince wants the wall-city to have “zero cars, zero streets, and zero carbon emissions.” 

However, both of these futuristic city plans clearly seek to do away with more than just the private ownership of cars. The planners’ goals are far more nefarious. These entirely state-run facilities are designed to entice and lure unsuspecting citizens into their boundaries, plant their roots there, and then give them no choice but to be subjected to restrictions on their most basic rights at any moment.

In the words of Alex Antic, an Australian senator, “It’s very easy in some cities to simply make it very hard for anyone to leave when the time comes.”


Thomas Jefferson warned about the threats of cities, problems that are universal and fundamental. He believed cities are inherently “pestilential to the morals, the health, and the liberties of man.” If citizens do not have “control over their public affairs” as they do outside of cities, then they will suffer at the hands of the government and each other.

This is certainly the case with cities at large, but certainly so with Australia’s dystopian 30-minute city. While economic growth may happen and quality of life may exist there in the beginning, the long-term outcome of such a state-controlled city structure can only lead to the loss of human freedoms and authoritarian oppression. 

Parker Miller is a 2024 Washington Examiner winter fellow.

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