Deal or No Deal? Bringing Small Cities into the National Cities Agenda

Australia has a thriving and diverse network of 31 smaller cities that make a significant and growing contribution to national prosperityThe Deal or No Deal? report makes the case for small cities in a national cities agenda.

Read the Deal or No Deal? report

Australia’s Small City Economies


Australia’s Great Small Cities network

Great Small Cities data tool

Great Small Cities Data Tool

Great Small Cities Data Tool

Explore and compare Australia’s small cities through an interactive data visualisation tool.

Explore the Great Small Cities Data Tool

Five keys to small city success

Five key factors contribute to building a successful small city –  connectivity, human capital, specialisations, amenities and institutions can assist small cities build success and growth. For small cities, it is about identifying these factors and turning challenges into opportunities to deliver on their potential.

The Keys to Small City Success

A City Deals policy

A City Deals policy can enable small cities to continue their strong economic performance. City Deals are a negotiated agreement between governments and a city that give the city responsibility for decisions that support businesses, create economic growth and determine how public money is spent in their area.

Read the Deal or No Deal? report

The Benefits of Growing Small Cities

The economic potential for small cities, if they can deliver, is huge. In 2026 Australia’s small cities are projected to grow to 5.6 million people. This growth can fuel economic output with baseline projections showing that in 2031 small cities are expected to contribute an additional 9.8 per cent to national output growth.

Is it worth it? Benefits of Proactively Developing our Small Cities

This is the first report in the RAI Research Agenda on Great Small Cities. It positions small cities as the powerhouse of national economic growth, showing a clear need for policy intervention to deliver on their future potential. Future work will engage directly with how to design and implement City Deals for the good of all cities and the nation. If you would like to be involved in the discussion, contact us.


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