Adelaide Local Government Area which incorporates Adelaide CBD and North Adelaide is culturally, ethnically, socio-economically and demographically diverse. According to the ABS census data (2011), although the 20-29 years age bracket makes up over a third of its 19,639 residents, other age groups have significant representations and in addition to English, various languages are spoken at home as first languages. As such the ethno-cultural and demographic diversity has created a unique social ambience.
The location of two world class universities in the Adelaide LGA plays a major role in the social composition of the area. About 8,672 people (nearly half of all residents) attend some sort of an educational institution; of which 4,850 are university and other tertiary institution students (ABS 2011). However, it is unclear how many of the students are locals as there is focus on promoting Adelaide to the world as “The Education City” to attract international students. In SA Government (2010) 30-Year Plan for Greater Adelaide, the city centre has been billed the financial, cultural, educational and entertainment hub of the state. As such it is no wonder the number of international students in Adelaide has increased over the years. By 2011, international students totalled 28,100 having increased from 3.8% to 5.5% between 2001 and 2012 (SA Government 2013). These figures may not be relevant in the context of Adelaide LGA nonetheless; they could shed light on the sheer concentration of students in the area.
Therefore, the socio-demographic diversity of Adelaide LGA has several variances such as more dominant age groups and high student concentrations. As such it requires an accommodating approach to develop and establish a coherent, functional social infrastructure. However, while the combination of a predominantly young population and high concentration of students, some of whom are international students is essential in the vibrancy and social fabric of the place, it is possible that for some there is no sense of attachment.
Heterogeneity is probably one of the LGA’s best catalysts in creating the social ecology it aspires to build. According to Lin and Mele (ed.2005), interactions between people of diverse backgrounds within an urban area tend to break down cultural barriers and caste lines. As a result it has the potential to induce development of a more harmonious and cohesive society that is capable of harnessing its social capital. However, its demographic composition poses a challenge in provisioning of the social infrastructure such as recreational, cultural and entertainment facilities for the various age groups owing to its geography. As outlined in the Adelaide Council Development Plan (2011), potential growth within the Adelaide LGA is limited to infill, brownfields and horizontal. Hence there is a like hood of gentrification resulting in displacement of people of low socio-economic status.
Adelaide city council...