How our cities work: the essential lessons of containment

The suburb with the most police in Sydney was Glenmore Park near Penrith, about 55 km west of the CBD.Credit:Sam mooy

As a result, the inner and middle quarters of our larger cities have been gradually deprived of workers who provide many essential services, including nurses, teachers and police.

In parts of Melbourne and Sydney, around 60 percent of workers are in essential jobs, while in some suburbs close to both cities, the share is less than 30 percent.

Data from the latest census showed that the suburb with the most police in Sydney was Glenmore Park near Penrith, about 55 kilometers west of the central business district.

The result ? The dynamics of the Sydney and Melbourne real estate market have been closely linked to the geography of the pandemic.

Holloway’s research also found that essential workers tend to live in suburbs with less developed social infrastructure, fewer opportunities for social connection, fewer open spaces, and fewer transportation alternatives.

The remoteness of employment hubs also reduces employment opportunities for people living in the outskirts, especially women. Holloway says women consistently have higher levels of higher education than men in metropolitan areas, but earn less than men in the same places. But this gap is much larger for women living in growth areas. This suggests that many are moving to low-skilled jobs near their homes, so they can take care of their care and other family responsibilities.

More than half of essential workers were employed in health and education sectors - jobs at high risk for COVID-19 infection.

More than half of essential workers were employed in health and education sectors – jobs at high risk for COVID-19 infection.Credit:Getty Images

“A lot of women are in jobs for which they are overqualified, and in purely economic terms, it’s a loss of productivity,” Holloway says. “We don’t make good use of a lot of talent. “

But there is a deeper layer to the story. The analysis revealed a stark contrast between the types of jobs men and women hold.

Loading

About 60 percent of essential male workers were employed in traditional industrial workplaces, such as factories, transportation, logistics and construction.

Meanwhile, 53% of essential workers were employed in health and education – jobs at high risk for COVID-19 infection.

“The experience of essential workers during the pandemic varied considerably by gender,” says Holloway. “Many women are in jobs that require them to travel for their work and interact with the community and live with COVID throughout the pandemic. “

Women essential workers were also found to be more generally well-versed in the Sydney and Melbourne metropolitan areas than men.

Loading

“It tells us that the city is not experienced the same way by men and women and that in public policies, if we don’t look at things from a gender perspective, we are missing a big part of the story, ”says Holloway.

Long before the pandemic, the gap between the haves and have-nots had gradually widened in our largest cities. A measure of regional income distribution released regularly by the Bureau of Statistics shows that income distribution has become more unequal in Melbourne and Sydney over the past decade.

The uneven effects of the pandemic in our major cities threaten to accelerate this trend.

Without effective policies to address these pressing urban inequalities, the fault lines exposed by the crisis are bound to widen.

About Mark A. Tomlin

Check Also

“India can become a 10 trillion dollar economy”

Hyderabad: Improving infrastructure is essential for India to be competitive in attracting investment, observed Nilesh …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *