The Federal Opposition says it will introduce a City Partnerships program if it wins the next federal election.

Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Infrastructure Anthony Albanese says urban sprawl, growing congestion on roads and public transport, declining housing affordability and an unequal distribution of employment opportunities, particularly in outer suburbs and growth areas, have an impact on people's quality of life.

The Federal Government has a responsibility to work with the state and local governments to address these problems, Mr Albanese said.

He pledged that Labor’s City Partnerships program would work in close partnership with the local government sector.

ALGA President David O'Loughlin said it was important for local government to be part of a collaborative approach to address the challenges facing the country's cities, including our regional cities.

 “Local governments play a central role in shaping our urban communities and must be engaged directly in developing strategies and approaches across the three levels of government to address the problems and realise the opportunities in our cities,” he said.

 “I particularly welcome Mr Albanese's commitment to work with existing local government structures and the private sector, and to focus on bottom up strategies which engage and promote community ownership.

 “We appreciate the commitment to a transparent process that is defined and open for participation by all councils.

 “ALGA has long highlighted the importance of both metropolitan and regional cities to the national economy and advocated for Commonwealth engagement in urban policy. National leadership is essential in this area as is the inclusion of opportunities for regional cities to be part of this program.”