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Dutch Disease: Urban Manifestations and Strategic Treatment

11 Pages Posted: 28 Mar 2012 Last revised: 10 May 2012

Simon Huston

Royal Agricultural University

Date Written: March 27, 2012


Dutch disease refers to the negative consequences of a resource boom, including the fragmentation of property markets. In Australia, some mining-exposed regional cities are under demographic and housing pressure. Gladstone in Queensland is a city struggling to digest mineral-induced growth. Dutch disease also hurts competitiveness in fringe urban locations where most retail, service and manufacturing workers live. So the twin urban facets of Dutch disease are, on the one hand, growth without territorial foresight or ‘predator development’ in boom towns and, on the other, fringe urban neglect. Smart regional and fringe regeneration can treat both symptoms but requires foresight, portfolio governance and systems resilience. Insight to inform it emerges from the eclectic study of past cities or successful regeneration schemes. Limited evidence from local authorities suggests inadequate resources for smart strategic planning to treat urban symptoms of Dutch disease in Australia.

Keywords: Resource boom, Dutch disease, regional housing, foresight, resilience, sustainability

JEL Classification: O18

Suggested Citation

Huston, Simon, Dutch Disease: Urban Manifestations and Strategic Treatment (March 27, 2012). Available at SSRN: or

Simon Hugh Huston (Contact Author)

Royal Agricultural University ( email )

Stroud Road
Cirencester, Gloucestershire GL7 6JS
United Kingdom

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