THE transformation of Robina from cow paddock to thriving Gold Coast urban village over the past 30 years is about to become even more dramatic by 2050.
The Robina Business Alliance (RBA) has detailed a bold new future for the city's alternate CBD driven by the development of vacant land surrounding Cbus Super Stadium into a new City Park that will incorporate a range of sports, recreation, events, hotel and conference facilities.
RBA says the proposal, which includes a continued focus on smart business, innovation, technology, health and education, has the capacity to triple the Robina-Varsity Lakes economy to $5.4 billion by 2050. It also will boost Robina's share of the broader Gold Coast economy to 24.6 per cent.
"Robina in 2050 is going to be a phenomenal place," says RBA president Ben Burgess.
"(This will be) driven by the lifestyle that we have, the economic growth we're going to capture through smart business, the creation of a city park and also unrivalled connectivity through new transport connects.
"What we are looking to do is build around the existing significant infrastructure in place, being the sports stadium to create an international sports precinct."
Burgess says the masterplan, which is an aspirational blueprint for the commercial hub, will build on the medical precinct already in place at Robina, as well as Bond University's sports research facility located next to the Cbus Super Stadium.
"The commercial core itself will continue to develop, and then of course the city park itself, the green heart, is a phenomenal opportunity for the Gold Coast itself."
Burgess says the proposal is expected to be funded through private-public partnerships, in line with the Palaszczuk Government's desire to encourage market-led proposals for infrastructure development.
The RBA revealed its proposal at a business breakfast featuring a keynote address by demographer Bernard Salt.
"When you take stock of the Gold Coast today, there are very few regions that can match Robina-Varsity's capacity for growth and expansion, or its ability to provide diversity of housing and workspaces," Salt says.
However, the KPMG partner, who was enlisted by the City of Gold Coast in 2014 to visualise the city's future over the next 30 years, reveals that major challenges remain around transportation in particular.
He says transport is an ongoing issue for the entire city, although he believes the new City Plan is on the right track to drive change.
"This is a city that's going to double in population but not significantly change its urban form," says Salt.
"It's still going to be a long thin sausage and that means that transportation issues will be an issue for the Gold Coast for the next three decades or so. This is something the Gold Coast needs to overcome in order to maintain lifestyle."
Among the key transport proposals by the RBA to drive its future vision for Robina is a light rail link between Broadbeach and the Robina railway station.
"The second phase of this dedicated Robina link would be the establishment of a light rail or other rapid transit connection from Robina right through to the airport," says Burgess.
Salt says this link will provide Robina with the 'scaffolding to build on future population growth and be a major economic centre and a hub for employment creation'.
"Keeping pace with growth is important, but there's a competitive advantage for regions that are also able to keep pace with change," he says.
Salt says the best approach is to 'containerise' the city by creating a series of strong urban hubs in Robina, Southport and Coolangatta.
"If you are going to double the size of this city to 1.2 million people by 2050, in a long thin sausage shape, I want heavy rail, light rail and motorways," he says.
"I want strong vibrant regional centres with jobs. That's what will make this city work and you can't do this without vision."
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