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.

 

21 Sept 2017

Should bike helmets be mandatory? Bicycle Network reviews its support of Australian law

Australia's biggest bike-riding organisation is open to changing its near 30-year support for mandatory helmet laws, and it's looking to the people to help guide its decision.

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Sydney’s Cloud Arch critics and our mean-spirited approach to public art

Junya Ishigami’s towering Cloud Arch, the most ambitious project in scale and cost, was almost unanimously applauded.

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Federal Treasurer’s Affordable Housing initiatives a positive move

The Federal Treasurer, Scott Morrison’s, draft legislation to assist with housing affordability for Australians is a positive move, says the Urban Taskforce.

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In Barcelona, technology is a means to an end for a smart city

How can technology lead to more participation in democratic processes? Who should own and control city data? Can cities embrace a model that socializes data and encourages new forms of cooperation and democratic innovation?

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The future of mobility: tech and the city of tomorrow

Today, 54 percent of the world’s population lives in urban areas, and this is expected to rise to 75 percent by 2050. A recent United Nations report projects that urbanisation, combined with population growth, is likely to add another 2.5 billion to urban populations by 2050, with close to 90 percent of the increase concentrated in Asia and Africa.

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Bike share schemes may seem a waste of space but the economics makes sense

Have you ever walked past (or tripped over) a shared bike and wondered how it's possible for the business to survive with a ride costing as little as $2 per half hour?

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Australia's urban growth requires plan: University of Canberra's Barbara Norman

Australia should learn from the havoc wreaked on the United States by Hurricane Irma and other weather events to better plan city growth, a University of Canberra expert has told federal Parliament.

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What are the key issues for Melbourne Airport rail?

The solution is seen as a single rail line, but it should be conceived as the package of infrastructure and policies that will best improve the accessibility of Melbourne Airport

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Sustainable cities? Australia’s building and planning rules stand in the way of getting there

Australia’s building and land-use policy settings fall well short of what’s needed to make meaningful progress toward creating sustainable cities.

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More than just drains: recreating living streams through the suburbs

Lot sizes and backyards are shrinking in Australia at the same time as building density is increasing. So we cannot afford to overlook the potential of existing – but neglected – spaces in our suburbs, like drains.

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Can the world’s megacities survive the digital age?

Today, megacities have become synonymous with economic growth. In both developing and developed countries, cities with populations of 10 million or more account for one-third to one-half of their gross domestic product.

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Interest in tiny houses is growing, so who wants them and why?

Tiny houses are now so popular that someone was charged with stealing one last week. A social media campaign tracked its journey from Canberra to Hervey Bay. My research to date has found a marked increase in people who want their own tiny house, particularly among older women.

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4th Sept 2017 

Forget heatwaves, our cold houses are much more likely to kill us

A pervasive myth in Australia is that hot weather is the greatest danger to our health. In reality, it’s more likely cold weather will kill you.

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Can our cities’ thriving creative precincts be saved from ‘renewal’?

Governments are busily rezoning our cities for high-rise apartments. The New South Wales government, for example, plans to rezone a 20-kilometre corridor in Sydney, from Sydenham to Bankstown, for urban density, in concert with a new metro rail line. Residents and community groups have reacted vociferously to the prospects of high-rise buildings in previously low-density suburbs.

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Does Australia Need a Federal Housing Minister?

At a state level, areas which impact upon housing include planning and infrastructure, taxation (such as stamp duty, land tax and the like) and public housing management. Federally, housing is affected by monetary policy, taxation, infrastructure and social services.

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Houston's Flood Is a Design Problem

Floods cause greater property damage and more deaths than tornadoes or hurricanes. And Houston’s flood is truly a disaster of biblical proportions: The sky unloaded 9 trillion gallons of water on the city within two days, and much more might fall before Harvey dissipates, producing as much as 60 inches of rain.

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Alok Patel: Clover Moore's standing in the way of a smarter Sydney

For all the hype around smart cities, the promises never quite seem to reach people’s day-to-day lives. Where is our “internet of things”? Why can’t I book a parking spot at my destination before I leave home? When is this technology finally going to make my life better?

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China's smart city plan to boost surveillance

Smart cities will collect and centralise data on everything from transport and waste management, to pollution and crime. The government says it will improve urban planning and boost the economy, but critics say it’s about tightening control.

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Buenos Aires Rises as Latin America’s Leading Smart City

Designated as Latin America’s smartest city, Buenos Aires’ digital innovation, sustainability, open government and technology advancements are putting it at the forefront of the trend in the region.

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IPART confirms infrastructure levies could rise by $50,000 a lot

The report issued by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) on Blacktown City Council’s request to increase local infrastructure levies indicates that when the $30,000 cap on these levies is removed housing could increase by $50,000 a lot, says the Urban Taskforce.

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CEDA Report on Housing Australia highlights importance of Planning and Infrastructure

The recent report by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) highlights the importance of improving planning systems and in providing infrastructure, says the Urban Taskforce.

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Sydney housing completions begin to fall

The latest Sydney housing monitor data from the NSW Government indicates a fall in housing completions of 9 Percent

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Is selling public housing land to developers a good policy?

The Victorian Government's policy of inviting proposals from the private sector to redevelop outdated public housing estates is proving controversial

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23rd August 2017 

Why investor-driven urban density is inevitably linked to disadvantage

Lack of regulation in the apartment construction boom is creating suburban concentrations of lower-income households on a scale hitherto experienced only in the legacy inner-city high-rise public housing estates.

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It’s not just the buildings, high-density neighbourhoods make life worse for the poor

Last year marked the first time that construction began on more higher-density housing in Australia than detached dwellings. While many may claim this as a success for “compact city” policies, the negative consequences of this transition disproportionately affect lower-income and disadvantaged households.

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Housing shortage in Victoria with supply unable to keep up with population growth

Victoria is underprepared for its booming population and needs to embrace higher density living if it is to keep up with demand for new homes, the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) has said.

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Is Melbourne's liveability gong mostly bullshit?

The media and politicians continue to give it credibility but they know the EIU's 'world's most liveable city' gong has little bearing on the life of residents of Melbourne

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State design policy must balance quality with affordability

The announcement by the NSW Government of a new integrated design policy must balance well-meaning aspirations towards high quality with the impact on affordability, says the Urban Taskforce.

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Central Goldfields Shire to be sacked after 'explosive' report reveals serious governance failures

A Local Government Inspectorate report into the Central Goldfields Shire released last week found serious governance failures that had cost ratepayers an estimated $730,000.

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How ‘temporary urbanism’ can transform struggling industrial towns

What will become of manufacturing towns in a post-industrial world? From the Ruhr region of Germany to the American “Rust Belt”, once-prosperous factory cities are today faced with dwindling industry, shrinking populations and fundamental questions about their role in the modern global economy.

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Turnbull Government Explains the First Home Super Saver Scheme

The Federal Government has released draft legislation relating to the First Home Super Saver Scheme, which also includes superannuation tax exemptions to encourage home downsizing.

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Melbourne CBD rises through the density rankings to become the most densely populated SA2 region in Australia

Newly released Census data highlights the rapid densification of Melbourne’s CBD where the number of residents per square kilometre has more than doubled over the past decade.

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Housing affordability: 6000 homes removed from rental market as landlords turn to Airbnb

New data from the University of Sydney's Urban Housing Lab suggests the home-sharing website may be worsening housing affordability particularly in Sydney's inner city and coastal suburbs as well as the NSW North Coast.

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10th August 2017 

How walkable urban places are becoming a market force

Connected, healthy, smart and affordable: these are the four factors that emerged as the most important to making our cities liveable, according to a survey of more than 2500 residents we released this week.

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No harm done? ‘Sexual entertainment districts’ make the city a more threatening place for women

Increasingly liberal attitudes to sex have allowed for greater public celebration of sexual diversity, but the desires of heterosexual men still dominate urban environments.

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Backyard blitz having an adverse impact on our health, planning expert warns

Amid regular talk of the need for higher-density housing and less urban sprawl, there are concerns that the loss of backyards is bad for our health.

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Cities of the future: What if elevators could move horizontally (and even diagonally)?

New technology could make it practical to build skyscrapers far taller than even today's highest – and change how people live, work and play in tall buildings.

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This is how regional rail can help ease our big cities’ commuter crush

In Sydney and Melbourne, the squeeze is on. Population is booming; house prices are still rising; roads and trains are congested. Australian governments generally have ignored the benefits of relating metropolitan and regional planning.

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Independent panels will streamline council planning

The announcement by the NSW Government that independent planning panels will determine all development applications with a value of between more than $5 million but less than $30 million in value in Sydney and Wollongong will streamline planning in metropolitan Sydney says the Urban Taskforce.

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Wilton Plan for 15,000 New homes Good News

The announcement by the NSW Government that the draft plan for Wilton new town and Wilton South East are now on exhibition is good news for Sydney’s housing supply says the Urban Taskforce.

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A regional rail fantasy map

Here's master mapmaker Adam Mattinson's vision of what a high quality regional rail network could look like in Victoria. Sheer fantasy, you say?

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Are the politicians trying to con us on this one?

If the "20-minute" city is defined by how many everyday services can be accessed by bicycle then we've already got it and the claims of Federal and State leaders look like a con

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Leading Digital Transformation Is Like Urban Planning

Most companies want their businesses to keep pace with digital startups, but end up bogged down by the need to fix the daily challenges that their decades-old IT systems create. How do you redesign and rebuild major infrastructure while keeping the day-to-day work going?

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Community in the City: Conservatives Talk Urban Planning

Conservatives and government planning mix about as well as oil and water. Although most on the right would admit that governments, particularly at the local level, have a role to play in building roads, sidewalks, sewers, and other public works projects, they are wary about attempting to use policy to attempt to shape how people live.

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3rd August 2017

Planners know depressingly little about a city’s impacts on our mental health

A large body of research shows that living in cities can harm our health. We know poor urban design can lead to people being less physically active, which is a factor in weight problems, obesity and cancers. But did you know urban life might lead to poor mental health?

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Affordable housing shortfall leaves 1.3m households in need and rising – study

A new report by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) reveals, for the first time, the extent of housing need in Australia. An estimated 1.3 million households are in a state of housing need, whether unable to access market housing or in a position of rental stress. This figure is predicted to rise to 1.7 million by 2025.

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Vanishing Australian backyards leave us vulnerable to the stresses of city life

The traditional Australian suburban backyard is being lost to higher-density housing and massive project homes on small lots.

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How drones, driverless cars and new technology will change cities like Adelaide and how we live our lives

WHEN Hollywood film director Ridley Scott put out Blade Runner in 1982, he based the dramatic opening shot of the sci-fi classic on his native northeast England and the blue-collar Middlesbrough with its vast chemical plants and steelworks lighting up the night sky.

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Have we passed peak car (parking)?

Australian city dwellers have passed peak travel (kilometres per capita) but it seems they haven't passed peak car ownership or peak parking

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Is public transport the only solution to congestion?

Public transport is a big part of the answer to congestion but it can't do it alone. But congestion isn't the only big issue; so is providing access to places as population grows

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Is popular support for city growth disappearing?

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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Battle for Box Hill: Residents warns of slums as high-rise surge in hot market

Box Hill's skyline will dwarf that of Hobart or Canberra within three years, with 11 towers approved or under construction and dozens more to come.

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Millenials prefer revitalized historic areas not malls

Are millennials the key to preservation? A new survey finds that millennials prefer to live, work and play in neighborhoods with historic buildings.

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Why Sydney's new light rail trams won't carry passengers on inner west line

Different standards for Sydney's inner west light rail line and a new $2.1 billion line from the central city to the south east mean trams carrying passengers won't be able to switch between the two.

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Class divide defies social mixing and keeps public housing stigma aliv

Public housing reform is again agitating the inner suburbs, just as it did four decades ago when citizen action and courageous academic research brought the tower-block model crashing down.

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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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