News

Urban Planning Related News

We bring you a hand picked selection of news and opinion articles relating to urban planning. While there is likely to be an Australian bias, many of the articles are from other parts of the world and deal with 'big picture' topics and issues that we can all identify with. We hope you enjoy it.

 

20 July 2017

Farming the suburbs – why can’t we grow food wherever we want?

Food provides the foundations for human flourishing and the fabric of sustainability. It lies at the heart of conflict and diversity, yet presents opportunities for cultural acceptance and respect.

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Blaming migrants won’t solve Western Sydney’s growing pains

Western Sydney is one of the fastest-growing regions in Australia. It’s also one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse, as a key arrival point for refugees and new migrants when they first settle in Australia.

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Driverless cars set to shift how we think

Driverless cars in Adelaide. Are we really ready for this? “Absolutely,” says Rita Excell, executive director of the Australia and New Zealand Driverless Vehicle Initiative.

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“Smart” Cities And Buildings: The Emergence Of The Cyber Safe Building

The increase in IoT-enabled devices and interconnectivity between various building management systems (BMS) prompts larger questions about cybersecurity and data privacy concerns. These challenges are hardly new, but they are magnified in an IoT-connected world.

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Growth Infrastructure Compacts need careful management

The Greater Sydney Commission’s proposed Growth Infrastructure Compacts will need careful management to ensure that development and infrastructure are both achieved, says the Urban Taskforce.

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This Is Your Brain on Architecture

Sarah Williams Goldhagen was the architecture critic for The New Republic for many years, a role she combined with teaching at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and elsewhere. She is an expert on the work of Louis Kahn, one of the 20th century’s greatest architects, known for the weighty, mystical Modernism of buildings like the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California, and the Bangladeshi parliament in Dhaka.

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How did a single computer failure take out the whole of the Melbourne rail network?

If you don’t live in Australia, then your only experience of Metro Trains Melbourne is probably the ghoulishly jolly Dumb Ways To Die animated clip that went viral in 2012. But, as the clip loosely implies, the group operates one of the southern hemisphere’s largest metro rail networks.

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10 Chinese Megacities to See Before You Die

Polluted and crowded. Also distinct and completely fascinating.

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Five lessons from Tokyo, a city of 38m people, for Australia, a nation of 24m

The release of 2016 Census data provides a good opportunity to reflect on the future growth of Australian cities. And what better example of the future to use than Tokyo?

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How is Melbourne’s population density changing? (2006-2016)

With the first major release of 2016 census data, it’s possible to take a detailed look at the latest population density numbers in Melbourne. This post will explore how and where Melbourne’s density is increasing by comparing data from the 2006, 2011, and 2016 censuses.

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13 July 2017 

With better data access, urban planners could help ease our weight problems

A recent episode of ABC TV’s Ask the Doctor pointed to poor urban planning as a major culprit in worsening obesity rates and associated lifestyle diseases such as diabetes. The show highlighted suburbs without footpaths, fresh-food outlets or exercise opportunities.

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Getting smarter about making cities smart

Every city is evolving at its own particular pace, though all are aligned to a common principle of modernizing their infrastructure services – public transportation, utilities, health care – by leveraging technology and law enforcement in “smart” ways to improve quality of life while assuring operational efficiency.

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Is faux heritage the future?

Melbourne City Council requires the facade of this old pub to be retained when redeveloped even though the building has no demonstrated heritage value.

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Should Australia have a population of 15 million?

THE optimal population size for Australia is just 15 million people. That’s the opinion of environmental experts Peter Martin and James Ward from the University of South Australia, and Paul Sutton from the University of Denver.

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Are outer growth suburbs dystopian?

The media loves to portray fringe growth suburbs as hell on earth and suggest they should be done away with. But they're neither optional nor dystopian.

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Is Melbourne Metro being built way too fast?

The Sunday Age reckons the Andrews Government has cynically chosen to use a truck-intensive tunnelling method so it can get the Melbourne Metro rail project finished faster.

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Tracking the heartbeat of modern cities

It has been 35 years since globally influential urban planner Professor Michael Batty last visited Brisbane. So what does he make of the changing face of Queensland’s capital?

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Is popular support for city growth evaporating?

No matter what experts think, slowing population growth – and hence immigration – seems to be a very powerful political idea winning support across the demographic board.

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Should corridors be protected for HSR?

Infrastructure Australia reckons protecting corridors for East Coast High Speed Rail would save billions, but the case hasn't been made that the project makes sense.

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Aussies choose Urban Living- 2016 Census

The results of the 2016 Australian Census clearly demonstrate the swing to urban living across the country, says the Urban Taskforce.

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26 June 2017 

Bust the regional city myths and look beyond the 'big 5' for a $378b return

Investing in regional cities’ economic performance makes good sense. Contrary to popular opinion, new research out today shows regional cities generate national economic growth and jobs at the same rate as big metropolitan cities. They are worthy of economic investment in their own right – not just on social and equity grounds.

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Co-housing works well for older people, once they get past the image problem

Housing Australia’s ageing population in homes that are affordable, accessible and sustainable presents a major challenge, particularly in a time of rising housing costs. Older people want homes where they can feel comfortable and independent, and which allow them to remain connected to their family and friends. However, many fail to anticipate the health and financial challenges that can diminish their housing choices as they age. With an emphasis on social interaction, environmental sustainability and accessible design, co-housing can provide an attractive housing option for seniors.

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What are the prospects for dockless bike share in Australia?

Dockless bike share faces a much bigger challenge in Australia than in countries like China, especially given new entrant oBike has to make it work commercially

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Are towers inherently wrong for public housing?

St Louis' famously demolished Pruitt-Igoe public housing project has a lesson for the debate over high-rise stemming from the Grenfell Tower fire; it's not really about the architecture

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Could the average trip to work nearly double by 2030?

The average one-way commute could increase by 28 minutes by 2030 according to Melbourne's Herald Sun. Sounds horrendous but it's scary tabloid journalism

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Lyft Isn’t Reinventing City Buses. It’s Undermining Them.

If it carries passengers like a city bus, and it has fixed routes and fares like a city bus, it might as well be a city bus.

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The population debate we have to have in Victoria

Melbourne's rapid population growth means urban and regional planning has become one of the most vexed public policy challenges, requiring long-term, bipartisan decisions in a political system that encourages expediency, immediacy and conflict.

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Can security bollards be done better?

It's regrettable it seems necessary to install heavy bollards in Australian cities to protect against vehicle attacks. But it could be a way to improve public spaces

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Sydney apartments are costing $150,000 more than Melbourne apartments

A detailed survey by the Urban Taskforce has found that Sydney design standards are adding $150,000 to the cost of the average apartment.

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Fish Market concepts create new waterfront destination

The announcement by the NSW Government that Danish architects have been appointed to design a new expanded Fish Market will create a new waterfront destination, says the Urban Taskforce.

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Here’s how virtual reality is going to make city planning easier

While virtual reality (VR) is still mostly being developed for the video games industry its already popping up in construction, aerospace, healthcare, education and even urban planning.

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From Research to Results: The Next Wave of Tools for Planning Resilient Cities

Open data is not enough to facilitate solutions that can make cities more responsive to resident problems and more prepared for inevitable setbacks like environmental or economic crises.

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The land Melbourne forgot - dozens of sites identified for urban renewal

Dozens of sites across Melbourne worth up to $600 million have been identified as potentially suitable to be redeveloped for much-needed housing and other high-value uses.

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13 June 2017 

Report on Housing Affordability Calls for Faster Planning to Support New Residents

“Glenn Stevens in his report says that councils were too focussed on the interests of existing owners rather that potential new residents that need new housing.” Says Urban Taskforce CEO Chris Johnson “The Urban Taskforce met with former Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia, Glenn Stevens, and raised our concerns that the NSW planning process seemed to delegate decisions to local levels where communities did not want change while these decisions should be made at a regional level.”

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New Draft Policy Moves To Weave Indigenous Culture Into Queensland Planning

Indigenous tradition, culture and heritage will become an integral part of planning in Queensland under a draft policy released by the Queensland Division of the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA). Dr Sharon Harwood, an author of the policy and PIA Far North Queensland convenor, said the policy will be the first of its kind in Australia.

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Australian federal government commits $A 20bn to rail projects

The long-term investment programme represents the largest ever commitment to rail by an Australian federal government. It is also a major turnaround for the ruling Liberal Party, which in the past has been reluctant to provide federal funding for urban rail projects.

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Sydney Harbour carbon emissions measured for first time, setting baseline for urban growth

Carbon dioxide emissions from Sydney Harbour have been measured for the first time. While a relatively small 1000 tonnes a year – the equivalent of 200 cars on the road a year – the new study shows that managing our harbour's carbon footprint will become more important as Sydney's population grows towards 10 million in 2100.

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National Chief Scientist Unveils World Class Electricity Blueprint

Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel AO has unveiled a blueprint to optimise the National Electricity Market as a world-class electricity system that can serve the needs of today and rise to the challenges of tomorrow.

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Mark Eden On The Future Of Mixed Use Development And The Value Of Designing Spaces That Are Highly Engaging And Rich In Amenity

It’s inevitable that with Australia’s growing urban density, there’ll be an increasing necessity for mixed use developments both in our cities and suburban areas. This need for mixed use brings with it an equally great need for exciting design that’ll set developments apart. Leading architects and designers like Mark Eden are constantly responding to complex sites and briefs, and forging a new way of thinking around how users interact with developments.

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Should Doncaster Bus Rapid Transit be a priority?

A private proposal to build and operate a Bus Rapid Transit system in Doncaster looks promising but taxpayers will ultimately pay for it; so it's vital to make sure it's a high priority

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Twitter offers trusty town planning tips

A University of Queensland graduate has harnessed Twitter to develop software that could help town planners design new urban areas.

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1 June 2017 

Canberra's future should be planned by professionals for the common good, not individuals' desires

The ACT Planning Institute of Australia supports Tony Powell's attempts to reignite discussion about self-government and future directions for the planning of Canberra.

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WA environment minister shuns plastic bags

The West Australian environment minister is encouraging local councils to ban plastic bags after two local governments moved to ban them.

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How Autonomous Cars and Buses Will Change Urban Planning (Industry Perspective)

The driverless vehicle shows promise as one of the biggest technological breakthroughs since the assembly line. The safety benefits alone have prompted the U.S. Department of Transportation to propose a rule requiring new light vehicles to be manufactured with autonomous technology.

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Universities Of Tomorrow Are Becoming High Performing Urban Villages, 7 Reasons Why

Today’s modern university campus continues to evolve in response to a high degree of disruption. Technological, pedagogical and societal changes and challenges are altering the way we use and appreciate our university campuses.

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Affordable housing policies must work with industry

The NSW Labor Party’s approach to affordable housing must work with the development industry rather than add a new tax, says the Urban Taskforce.

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Greenfield housing code should extend to urban infill

The announcement by NSW Planning Minister, Anthony Roberts, of a new Greenfield Housing Code to speed up approvals is a good initiative that needs to be extended to mid-rise urban infill projects, says the Urban Taskforce.

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Sydney housing completion record driven by apartments

The record housing completions of 37,608 for metropolitan Sydney is mainly driven by the big swing to apartment living, says the Urban Taskforce.

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Urban planner Rachel de Lambert is shaping the city she lives in

Rachel de Lambert of Boffa Miskell has co-ordinated a number of urban revitalisation and design projects in Auckland, and around the country.

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Please Put Some Engineering into Town Planning

You drive past another property for sale, claiming the site is perfect for a multi-unit townhouse development, STCA.

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Canberra risks losing its character altogether: former planning head Tony Powell

Self-government has been a slow death knell for Canberra, which now risks losing its garden city character altogether, a former commissioner of the National Capital Development Commission says.

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22 May 2017 

 

Google plans to 'fix' Toronto by building smart city

Google has its sights set on piloting its vision for the smart city of the future in Canada's largest urban centre. But its reasons for picking Toronto are not necessarily the ones we might first assume.

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India, UK agree to urban transport synergy

India and the UK have agreed to to sign an agreement on bilateral cooperation in urban transport policy planning, technology transfer and institutional organisation of transport.

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Sydney Olympic Park Master Plan needs flexibility

The Sydney Olympic Park draft Master Plan will need more flexibility to respond to the proposed Metro West rail station says, the Urban Taskforce.

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A fantasy cycling map for inner Melbourne

Here's master mapmaker Adam Mattinson's vision of what a high quality cycling network could look like in an Australian city. At present, unfortunately, it's sheer fantasy.

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Is an airport train to the CBD the whole story?

The Victorian and Federal governments have different strategies for Melbourne Airport rail but there's a lot more to the transport task at Tullamarine than a train to the CBD

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Where's the toilet?

The location of a humble toilet block in a park might seem a minor issue, but it's big news in inner suburban Melbourne and highlights some larger issues

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The outlook for infrastructure is improving

Guest writer Dr Garry Glazebrook reckons the federal budget shows the Coalition is at last heading in the right direction on infrastructure funding

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Urban island heat effect: Rising temperatures in Aussie cities could create death traps

Australian cities are 5C hotter compared to surrounding areas because of a phenomenon known as the ‘Urban Island Heat’ effect that could eventually turn them into death traps.

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Never forget what makes Melbourne great, says Nicholas Reece

There are some pretty oddball doomsday theories going around Melbourne now. “The lights will go out because a coal-fired power station closed”; “recession is nigh with the end of car manufacturing”; “ethnic crime gangs are taking over our streets” — and the list goes on.

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Australians don’t loiter in public space – the legacy of colonial control by design

British attempts to assert dominance on a far-away colony were achieved through the execution of planning policies in the initial townships. These old imperial concepts of planning still have direct impacts on how Australians interact with public space in the inner city.

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8 May 2017

 

Taking the smart route to inclusive, sustainable and connected cities

Organized efficiently, cities can be engines of economic growth. But poorly planned urbanization can have serious long-term consequences — leading to water shortages, skyrocketing rates of air pollution, gridlocked traffic and outbreaks of disease.

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How NASA and the UN are using location intelligence to build smart cities in developing countries

For smart cities to succeed, they require real-time, location-based strategies, solutions and responses to effectively deliver the services that make cities work. These include everything from health and education to sanitation collection.

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Is regional sprawl better than suburban sprawl?

There's a strong push to divert more metropolitan growth to regional cities, but the case hasn't been made that capital cities are "too big" or that it's the best strategy

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Why do inner suburban residents oppose development?

Existing residents oppose major developments because they feel they'll be worse off. The benefits to them are vague while the costs are clear and painful.

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Healthy steps towards walkable city

Known as the “world guru on walking”, Rodney Tolley was in Albany this week and believes there is unlocked potential for the town to become more walkable. Dr Tolley met with local designers, architects and public space planners to discuss the benefits of walk friendly communities.

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City Deals, the same but different

For a couple of years now, the Australian Government has had a Smart Cities plan. It has website devoted to the subject, and has appointed up-and-comer Angus Taylor as Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation.

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Futurists Answer: What Elements Drive Urban Design?

Internationally renowned planning experts believe that artificial intelligence, driverless cars, the shared economy and climate change are disrupting the future of urban design in New Zealand cities.

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Infrastructure, planning must breach wealth divide

The income divide within Australia is nothing like as stark as that in the US, where Nobel prize-winning economist Angus Deaton identified an alarming rise in suicides of several hundred thousand high-school-educated white men from 1999 to 2013, mainly in areas that voted heavily for Donald Trump in November. Australian political leaders and policymakers must do more, however, to avoid similar upheaval and social dislocation in this country.

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How 'smart city' technology is connecting Europeans

Urban sprawl is the reality for two out of three people living in Europe. This edition of Real Economy comes from the Spanish city of Valencia.

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Housing delivery positions a good beginning for Sydney’s housing crisis

The advertising of seven new positions to drive housing delivery by the Department of Planning and Environment is a good first step to help Sydney’s housing crisis, says the Urban Taskforce.

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Australian cities need to re-think their approach to growing urban sprawl, says planning guru

Urban planner Ryan Gravel has one question for people campaigning against higher density living: where do you want the extra people to live?

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Better cities: Myths surrounding great urban choke

The problem with a whiz-bang new city road, any urban planner will tell you, is “if you build it, they will come”: roads are just magnets for more and more cars.

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It’s time for a plan

Australia’s relentless population growth is leading to ever busier roads, higher density living and tens of billions of dollars in time and productivity lost in four-lane peak-hour carparks to and from the major city centres.

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We must plan the driverless city to avoid being hostage to the technology revolution

Trials of autonomous cars and buses have begun on the streets of Australian cities. Communications companies are moving to deploy the lasers, cameras and centimetre-perfect GPS that will enable a vehicle to navigate the streets of your town or city without a driver.

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City of Miami to Adopt Zonar.City, Worlds First 3D Zoning Code Platform

Gridics LLC, a Miami-based real estate tech startup, today announced a partnership with the City of Miami to use its Zonar.City software application across the city's planning, zoning, and development functions.

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Federal Government has a great opportunity to make Western Sydney Airport the game changer for Sydney

The announcement by the federal government that they will be delivering the proposed Western Sydney Airport opens the opportunity for this to be the game changer for Sydney says the Urban Taskforce.

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NSW Government commitment to Parramatta North will create vibrant precinct

The announcement by the NSW Government that $310 million will be allocated to the urban renewal of the Parramatta North precinct will create a new vibrant neighbourhood, says the Urban Taskforce.

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Are Australia's big cities dense enough?

The extensive suburbs in the middle rings of Australia's east coast capitals explain why the "missing middle" is so much less dense than in comparable Canadian cities

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How big are the public health benefits of riding to work?

Those who cycle to work have better health prospects than those who commute by car or transit but it's unlikely all the public health benefits would scale up if a lot more of us cycled

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Is this (suburban) motorway a good idea?

The Andrews Government's decision to build Melbourne's North East Link lacks transparency and analysis, but the idea of suburban motorways shouldn't be dismissed out of hand

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18 April 2017 

 

Western Sydney: proposed metro/light rail network

Dr Garry Glazebrook describes what a comprehensive plan for a metro rail network supported by feeder light rail services in Western Sydney should look like

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Targeted solutions needed for the problem of unaffordable housing

Not before time, the federal government is moving to address the housing affordability issue with the first tranche of measures to be revealed in the May 9 federal budget.

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The Roots of the New Urban Crisis

In an excerpt from his new book, Richard Florida warns of “the central crisis of our times”—the growing cleavage between superstar cities and those left behind.

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Comparing population growth by area – the real story

SGS Economics and Planning provides an alternative method of comparing growth across Melbourne

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City of blights: Women who know reveal their secrets to fix Perth

Cycle paths, reinvesting in “commercial districts” and keeping the new stadium precinct energised are just three suggestions to reinvigorate Perth, according to visiting American experts who have seen their own cities struggle.

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Affordable housing scheme helping 'essential workers' live in the area they work

NSW Treasurer confirmed he wants to increase the stock of housing available for low-income earners.

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Why our regulators are losing sleep over housing

There's nothing like the threat of impending disaster to focus the mind. Suddenly, everyone is in furious agreement about the state of the Australian housing market or, more particularly, the Sydney and Melbourne markets. It's a bubble.

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What can the New Urban Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals do for cities?

Our cities are increasingly beset by a lack of affordable housing, inequality, lagging infrastructure – the list goes on. To the rescue, we now have the New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). But how can they help?

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Seeing the Better City, Making a Better Place

The author of the new book "Seeing the Better City" (Island Press) explains the importance of practiced skills of observation, and how a "vocabulary of looking" can be a foundation for participation in civic discussion.

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Is Melbourne getting a rough deal from Australia's Sydney-based infrastructure body?

After spending two years looking for Australia's most worthy nation-building projects, Infrastructure Australia recently produced a priority list of 100 — more than a third of which were in New South Wales.

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6 April 2017 

 

How do we restore the public’s faith in transport planning?

Opposition to proposed road projects has become a feature of state and federal elections.

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Comparing Housing Crises: Israel and Australia

In Israel, as in Australia, the words ‘housing crisis’ are often front page and centre in the local press.

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Uber can ‘change face of cities’

The world according to Uber - a contrast to one that looks like a carpark and moves like a traffic jam - has profound implications for urban development and how people move about in Australian cities.

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If it's not OK to walk it, why is it OK to cycle it?

A simple but shocking image show how infrastructure purportedly provided for the benefit of cyclists, expects them to ride in situations they feel are dangerous

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Is a cycling "freeway" the way to go?

The schematic proposal for a veloway the Andrews government says it's going to build as part of the Western Distributor looks good but there's room for improvement

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Is Sydney the new New York?

The Sydney Morning Herald's comparison of small parts of Sydney with leading world metropolises might grab the attention of readers, but it's rubbish

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Have the Premiers finally 'gotten' New Urbanism?

A visiting Canadian expert appears to have done what the locals couldn't: inspired most of the Premiers to improve the health of city dwellers through better urban planning

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Minecraft in urban planning: how digital natives are shaking up governments

When we think of governments and technology, the image that springs to mind is more likely to be clunky computers and red tape than it is nimble innovators.

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Affordable Housing Opportunities in Australia

Around the world, housing authorities and government treasury/ finance/ taxation/income revenue and planning and infrastructure departments are struggling to find the ways and means of making housing more affordable without increasing national and state debt and deficits.

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From Smart Cities 1.0 to 2.0: it’s not (only) about the tech

Australia, one of the world’s most urbanised nations, is looking to up its investment in digital technologies to make our cities work better.

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Draft District Plans must be amended to help solve Sydney’s Housing Crisis

The six district plans for Metropolitan Sydney must be amended to drive housing supply, says the Urban Taskforce.

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30 March 2017 

 

Sidelining planners makes for poorer urban policy, and future generations will pay the price

Modern urban planning first came about to improve industrial cities that had become unsafe, unhealthy and essentially unliveable. However, new policies in Australia and New Zealand view planning as a cause of urban problems, not a solution. Both treat urban planning as a hindrance, which supposedly slows down economic growth and is the main reason for unaffordable housing.

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Thirty minutes to polycentric urban paradise

The temptation, when the talk turns to the present and future challenges of our cities, is to focus on housing affordability and supply, the pressing need for infrastructure, better transport solutions, the need for more schools and how high our skyscrapers should be.

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Time for a plan to bring infrastructure into the 21st century

Call it the urban version of the ­unstoppable force meets the immovable object. Australia’s relentless population growth is leading to ever busier roads, higher density living and tens of billions of dollars in time and productivity lost in four-lane peak-hour carparks to and from the major city centres.

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To engage citizens in planning technology must be matched with a participatory culture

Harnessing local knowledge and the experience of people who live in the area undergoing development can be critical in implementing development plans. True engagement can get communities on board with the development, engendering a sense of involvement and ownership.

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Dubai shaping smart, safe transport for future

Giving a visionary and realistic assessment of future transportation, a top official from the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority said all the innovative modes of transport will take upto 10 to 15 years and safety is the top priority.

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5 lessons for cities on the cusp of a smart revolution

When it comes to creating an urban space infused with technology, there are many cities in both developed and developing country contexts that are seeing success.

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City vs sprawl: is this a useful comparison?

This comparison by ABC News of living in the city centre versus living in the fringe suburbs is big but unconvincing; it doesn't compare apples with apples.

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Can design make cities safe for women?

A new project shows the urban geography of harrassment and assault suffered by women at the hands of men. The scope for design to mitigate offensive male behaviour is limited.

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How dangerous is cycling?

Statistically, cycling is much safer than prospective riders imagine, but it's what they imagine that matters; it still seems too dangerous to generate widespread uptake.

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Westminster attack raises spectre of new ‘rings of steel’ to boost security in urban centres

The car and knife assault on Westminster is the latest in a long line of attacks targeting Western cities. It raises new questions about how to respond proportionately to demands to increase security in urban centres.

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23 March 2017 

 

Ken Maher's full speech to Parliament House on Housing Affordability

The Australian Institute of Architects hosted an event at Parliament House in Canberra on 22 March which addressed the housing affordability crisis in the country. It was attended by assistant minister to the treasurer, Michael Sukkar and National President, Ken Maher delivered a speech on behalf of the Institute.

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Politics ensures Reserve Bank's housing pushback already failing

The bad news about the regulators' new attempts to hose down housing investment enthusiasm is that they are, at best, second rate. The Law of Unintended Consequences is always at work, ensuring damage elsewhere in the economy, while the most effective tools for the present circumstances remain locked in Treasury's cupboard.

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How Electric Cars Can Help Save The Grid

A key question amid the consternation over the current state of Australia’s east coast energy market has been how much renewable energy capacity to build, and how fast. But help could be at hand from a surprising source: electric vehicles.

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Tram planning as part of a bigger public transport picture

The next year will be pivotal in determining the future of Adelaide’s public transport system as the State Government continues its drive to significantly increase patronage.

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How digital tech and big data is transforming buildings

Digital technology and big data promise a range of benefits to building developers, owners and tenants, including increased rental yields, improved employee retention and lower operational costs. The property sector, however, is behind others in realising technology’s enormous potential, a new report from Arup has found.

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What Does 3D Data Have to do with Smart Cities?

The digit group provides smart city solutions. That might seem simple on the surface, but in truth it requires proficiency in a dizzying array of methodologies and tools, including project management, BIM, urban planning, technology development, the internet of things, and, of course, 3D technologies.

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Planners beware: ride sharing could destroy public transport, Carlo Ratti says

Ride sharing has the potential to destroy public transport unless policy makers find a way to tax it efficiently and fund the transport services that will inevitably cost more, architect and urban designer Carlo Ratti says.

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Planning the Data-Driven City

A city’s data is one of its most valuable assets. Urban data is the bedrock of the performance management programs that allow cities to ensure continuous improvement. Reliable data can facilitate interagency collaboration, improve partnerships with the private sector, and expand public engagement. Innovative uses of data allow cities to enforce regulation and improve social services. And, increasingly, open data is serving as the foundation for good government activism, allowing journalists and civic hackers to highlight government inefficiencies or even spot corruption.

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We need a National Electricity Plan

We need to respond to Australia’s electricity crisis with a comprehensive National Electricity Plan argues guest writer Dr Garry Glazebrook.

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Is sprawl still the number one bogeyman?

Sprawl was the headline city planning issue for more than half a century, but it's salience has faded over recent decades. Urban policy-makers need to reassess their priorities

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16 March 2017 

 

A proposal for a Melbourne Ring Metro

Melbourne needs an orbital or "ring" light metro linking major suburban centres to take radial trips off the road system, argues guest writer Dr Garry Glazebrook

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Is Plan Melbourne really, actually...a plan?

It's taken since 2014 to prepare, but despite the name, the "refresh" of Plan Melbourne doesn't deliver on its most basic pretension; it's not really a plan!

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The problems with Transurban's proposed motorway

Guest writer Russell Smith sets out the arguments against Transurban's proposed Western Distributor motorway in Melbourne's inner west

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Nature and technology drive smart city development

Metering & Smart Energy International spoke with Anil Ahuja, author of Integration of Nature and Technology for Smart Cities, about the book and his view on smart cities.

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Opinion: The smartest cities are resilient ones

Smart cities are capturing the imaginations of many, seducing planners, politicians and investors with their promise of increased digital connectivity, frictionless services and greener economies. To smart city enthusiasts, the successful metropolis of the future is a fully wired one, with automated systems driven by big data and cloud computing.

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Study: City leaders must plan for driverless future or 'face major risks'

The cars with the odd spinning tops draw fewer full-stop stares from Pittsburghers anymore. But imagine entire fleets of driverless vehicles winding through Downtown or plugging along the Parkway East, zipping commuters, shoppers, students and everyone else to their destinations. City leaders everywhere should plan for such a day, according to a study released Monday.

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Why we should look at city planning from a child’s perspective

As our cities densify, diversify and become challenged by affordability and space, they must adapt to meet changing uses and purposes to accommodate business people, singles, men, women, families and more.

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Can urban congestion really be solved with high speed rail?

It’s back – now better than ever! This time, high-speed rail could solve Australia’s housing affordability problems! Australian capital cities are facing challenges of diminishing housing affordability, increasing urban congestion, a perceived infrastructure shortfall and growing inequality, yet regional cities are declining.

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The foreign investor myth that keeps fooling Australia

The Australian property market is a complex beast. Prospective homeowners are so desperate to get a foothold in the housing game they're putting off having children as they front up to dozens of open houses and auctions each weekend trying to find their forever homes.

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Andrews Government to force developers to offer minimum garden space under Plan Melbourne

Backyards will be protected under a new urban plan for Melbourne that calls for more population growth to be absorbed by established suburbs.

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9 March 2017

 

Country towns will start to empty out with the rise of Australia’s super-cities

Sydney could stretch to the Central Coast, Melbourne could hit Geelong and Brisbane could merge with the Gold Coast as super-cities start to take over Australia.

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What’s Holding Back Green Infrastructure in Australia?

Green roofs and vertical gardens are a growing area of investment for property developers and urban planners across Australia.

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Waze and other traffic dodging apps prompt cities to game the algorithms

While traffic savvy GPS apps like Waze and Google Maps have provided users a way to get around traffic, it has caused massive headaches for city planners.

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Will these stamp duty changes seriously improve housing affordability?

The Victorian government says "it's tackling housing affordability head on", but its new housing initiatives are mostly about keeping up appearances

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Market Pulse: Smart cities, reducing car use and jobs in FM

Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning professor Robyn Dowling told The Fifth Estate she is collaborating with a colleague from the University of Wollongong to explore how local governments are using smart technology or are trying to implement it in their communities.

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Australia needs a massive infrastructure fund

It's time to facilitate $200 billion investment in key infrastructure projects like inland freight rail and a national electricity grid, argues guest writer Dr Garry Glazebrook

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Record housing completions is good news but the trend is downwards

The announcement by the Minister for Housing and Planning, Anthony Roberts, that housing completions have reached a record high is good news for housing supply but the approvals trend is downwards, says the Urban Taskforce.

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New Melbourne housing blocks will not improve affordability in Victoria, planning experts say

The Victorian Government's release of 100,000 new housing lots in Melbourne will do nothing for the city's housing affordability problems, urban planning and industry experts say.

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Connectivity isn't the same as social connection

Increased connection via walking and cycling paths sounds great but it can erode social connection, argues guest writer Dr Brenda Mackie; it's not a guarantee of ‘liveability’.

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