Gold Coast 2020


A look to the future and what the Gold Coast will look like in 2020

As investment floods into the area, the Gold Coast will look very different to what it does today by the year 2020. There are seven new towers planned with more than 6,000 units and plans for a tram network to move all of these extra residents around. Add to this a vibrant street scene and you will understand why the Gold Coast of the future is being compared to New York and London.

The local council has plans for around 30 new projects at a combined cost of $8 billion to coincide with the 2018 Commonwealth Games and beyond. That is why location experts are tipping the Gold Coast to be a must-visit destination in the next few years.

The stretch between Mermaid Beach and Southport is the first to experience this investment. There are four major investments being constructed right now to the tune of around $4 billion – half of the total that is being spent. They include-

These four are all due to be finished by 2020 and could be joined by The Mariner if this controversial project is approved.


And this could be just the start of a raft of new construction and infrastructure investment as the area looks to take off. Those in the area that know about development are predicting that many other projects will follow. This will lead to a boom, as overseas investors release the land that they had previously banked and more projects get off the ground.

The head of planning for the local council, Cameron Caldwell has said that he feels the area is becoming more desirable and the years after the Commonwealth Games would be when the city would see the most critical point.

Mr Caldwell explained that the economy was still in recovery from the financial crisis of the last decade but all factors point to the fact that the momentum is growing to see a peak in and around the year 2020.
He followed this up by stating that he felt the Gold Coast is reaching the threshold of becoming one of the mature cities of the world with a more robust economy than ever before.

The interest levels in building mega-towers in the Gold Coast has increased massively recently and this is a marked change from the last ten years. The Commonwealth Games is just the start of building a city and a skyline that will see the Gold Coast step on to the world stage.

The projects being proposed and constructed are for a mix of uses. There will be a high proportion of residential units offered while much of the higher end is designed to appeal to the demands of tourists from Asia.


Last year saw a high number of tourists arrive from China, with the local tourism board stating there were 269,000 visitors from China. This is an increase of 24% from the previous year and accounts for around 28% of total visitors from overseas.

In addition to this there are many people moving to the region from other parts of the country. This has led to a jump in the number of developments of high-density accommodation. The predictions are that the population of the Gold Coast will soar in future years. Indeed the report ‘Future Gold Coast’ by Bernard Salt in 2015 shows a predicted population growth of around 14,000 per year.

This will increase to a rise of around 16,000 in the year 2020/21 which matches previous population spikes in the area from the early 80’s, mid 90’s and mid 2000’s. The influx of new people will bring changes to the demographics of the area too.

The development of more high-density housing with the focus the area will receive from the Games and the new tram line will bring about a change to the way people live in the city. Stephen Yarwood is an expert in urban future and products that more pedestrian traffic will lead to a rise in small-scale local businesses and a more vibrant street scene in the area.


The vision for the future of the Gold Coast feels like the way New York and London are now. A small business and cafe culture has already begun to spring up along the tram line and will continue to develop along these lines. When this happens hand-in-hand with the construction of the skyline then it will create something unique for the Gold Coast to offer the world.

As people travel from their tram stop to their high-rise living accommodation in large numbers then this will bring life to the streets. Access to bars, restaurants and shops will be a big draw for potential residents. The streets become alive in the way that they are in other big cities of the world.


To go alongside the new developments and the growing population, there are worries that the traffic issues that can blight major cities may rear up in the Gold Coast too. People who already live and work in the area have raised their concerns about the resulting effect of traffic and quality of life that these new major development might have.

The feeling is that not all of the proposed developments will eventually all be built. There may be some financial restraints put on foreign investment in the area but a strong influence from China is still expected. This has led to land banking in the past and it might be some time before all developments are given the green light and put into construction. The local infrastructure will need to grow alongside the new residential and commercial developments.


One such infrastructure project is the light rail project which is planned to extend to the airport, Helensvale and then on to Coolangatta in the years beyond 2020. It will help with the smooth running of the 2018 Commonwealth Games and then provide a transit system for the growing population.
As the high-density developments appear long the tram route then it becomes a vital part of daily life. This is where the street life comes into its own as the tram drop people off and they make their way back home.
The massive increase in development and investment that the Gold Coast is experiencing today is just the start of something really big that will put the area on the global map by 2020.