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Key messages

Why urban density is important

Urban density reflects the number of people living in an area and influences how the city functions. Focussing increased densities in and around locations that have good access to high-frequency public transport, employment and services will create communities that are well‑planned and use land efficiently.

Urban density is particularly important in Queensland’s southeast. The South East Queensland Regional Plan 2017 (ShapingSEQ) aims to accommodate the region’s urban growth in the urban footprint, with 60% of all additional dwellings being accommodated through consolidation and 40% through expansion.

Why housing diversity is important

Housing diversity provides for our changing lifestyles, demographics and housing preferences, while supporting choice and affordability. Planning for the region can accommodate these changes by enabling new models of living, services and lifestyle, including inter-generational living and the ability to age in place. With a focus on promoting design as a way to improve housing choice in the region, particularly through the attached dwellings (1–3 storeys) form of housing, we can create liveable urban places and spaces for our communities.

Housing diversity is particularly important in Queensland’s southeast. ShapingSEQ promotes housing diversity that will support the creation of great places throughout the region and focus on urban quality that contributes to more socially cohesive and economically successful region.

Efficient transport has economic, social and environmental benefits

A transport system that is highly efficient has economic, environmental and social benefits, including faster freight and travel times, fewer vehicular emissions, and less time spent commuting. Efficiency can reduce congestion and improve travel time reliability which in turn can result in lower emissions, providing air quality and health benefits.

Understanding the use of bicycle transport

Bikeways are used for both commuting and recreational uses. When the community cycles more often, it contributes to making our transport system more sustainable, and helps us to maintain a healthy environment and more active lifestyle. High levels of cycling contribute to the vitality of our cities and towns, helping to encourage a sense of community and connectedness.

Key findings


Housing diversity in Queensland

Detached dwellings dominate Queensland’s housing stock, accounting for 75.8% of existing dwelling stock, however building approvals for high-rise (attached 4+ storeys) dwellings were relatively high in 2016–2017.

Change in density in residential areas

Queenslanders are living at higher dwelling densities over time, including on smaller lots in new urban subdivisions.

Efficiency of the daily commute

The efficiency of the daily road network commute is marginally changing. Road network performance is unchanged when taking population growth, traffic and economic development into account.

Percentage of the network with reliable travel times

The Queensland public transport sector is performing better than the target benchmarks, particularly in South East Queensland. In general, public transport use is stable in Queensland and the addition of new networks increases public transport use.

Use of bikeways in SEQ

The use of major bikeways in South East Queensland increased between 2015 and 2017.


Increase in heavy vehicles

There were almost 6 times the number of light commercial vehicles than heavy vehicles registered in 2017.  The number of light commercial vehicles registered has almost doubled since 2001, whereas the number of heavy vehicles has increased by 62 per cent in the same period.


SEQ Growth Monitoring Program

The South East Queensland (SEQ) Growth Monitoring Program (GMP) will provide comprehensive monitoring and annual reporting of the relationship between land supply and development across local government areas in SEQ and the region.

The GMP will assess progress made towards accommodating SEQ’s dwelling supply benchmarks, to inform future reviews of the regional plan and adjustment of policies and programs as required.

Two of the core measures for reporting as part of the program are the indicators in this report – Housing Type and Housing Density. The Land Supply and Development Monitoring Report and Measures that Matter are key components of the GMP.

The Land Supply and Development Monitoring (LSDM) Report for SEQ will provide detailed data and analysis regarding the nature and location of land supply and development across SEQ. Over time, this will draw upon a single point of truth for such data, informed by updates of existing models developed and managed by Councils and utility providers across SEQ. The LSDM report is a key input to the delivery of the land supply and development monitoring function for the GMP. It is expected that the first report will be released in late 2018.

Measures that Matter are reported on through the GMP, and are a set of measures of the progress in implementing ShapingSEQ. Measures are maintained and reported on regularly and will be available via DSDMIP’s website once an online dashboard has been set up. It is anticipated that measures will be subject to ongoing review and update, depending on available data. Two measures directly relate to the indicators reported on through the SoE report:

Measure 3 – Housing Type

Housing type will be measured to monitor housing diversity in SEQ. This measure will report on the type of dwellings being delivered on an LGA and region-wide basis.

Measure 4 – Housing Density

Housing density will be measured to monitor efficient land use in SEQ. This measure will be reported on using the mean population weighted dwelling density of all mesh blocks in each LGA and SEQ overall. An indicator of successful regional plan implementation would be an increase over time in dwelling density in SEQ.

Queensland Government Statistician’s Office reporting

The Queensland Government Statistician’s Office analyses and reports on median lot size data (housing density).

TransLink Division quarterly reports

The TransLink Tracker is a snapshot of the South East Queensland public transport network’s performance.

Brisbane City Council bikeway counts

Brisbane City Council automated and manual bike and pedestrian, bikeway and cycling monitoring data. Used to capture cycleway patronage and support bikeway planning.

Queensland vehicle registration data

The Queensland Government provides data on the registration and information for all vehicles, trailers, caravans and motorcycles registered in Queensland. The information relates to vehicle make, year, colour, category, body shape and fuel type. Vehicle registration data is divided into a number of separate resources under two categories: light vehicles and other vehicles.

Department of Transport and Main Roads annual report

The Department of Transport and Main Roads Annual Report describes the department’s achievements, performance, outlook and financial position for the reporting year against the Strategic Plan. It is a key accountability document and is the main way the department reports on its performance to Parliament and the community.

Last updated 26 August 2020