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 June 2018

What can we learn from oBike's demise?

It promised a lot, but this month oBike walked away from Melbourne after just one year. The key problem was the same one faced by all forms of cycling in Australian cities

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Is Melbourne the new New York?

The Age's comparison of the density of Melbourne's CBD with the density of New York City might massage the prejudices of its readers, but it's rubbish. "Surpasses" New York City? Seems a strange word (it usually implies "better than"?) as it's clearly meant to convey something that concerns voters. But is it a real worry? Or is it a case once again of The Age framing the news in a way likely to press its readers' buttons i.e. playing to their preconceptions and prejudices?

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To design safer parks for women, city planners must listen to their stories

The rape and murder of aspiring comedian Eurydice Dixon in an inner-city Melbourne park - while deeply shocking - is part of an avalanche of gendered violence perpetrated against women in cities every day.

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Rail access improves liveability, but all regional centres are not equal

Our research on the liveability of regional cities in Victoria has identified an important element: liveability in these areas requires fast, reliable and frequent rail connections to capital cities.

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Aim for cities of all sizes to give everyone a fair go

We live in an urban world. By 2030, 66% of the world's population will live in cities, concentrated in only 3% of the planet's land area. But city sizes vary greatly, so what can city size tell us about their residents' quality of life?

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We can design better intersections that are safer for all users

A major issue for road safety is collisions at intersections between vehicles and vulnerable road users such as cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians. In such collisions, often the driver is momentarily unaware of either the vulnerable road user or of their planned path through the intersection. While many factors can cause this lack of "situation awareness", the design of the intersection is critical. With numbers of vulnerable road users increasing, how intersections are designed requires urgent attention.

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Higher density and diversity: apartments are Australia at its most multicultural

Increasing numbers of city dwellers live in apartments. This is particularly the case for migrants. And that makes apartment buildings important hubs of multiculturalism in our cities. However, our recent research shows that researchers and policymakers have largely overlooked the implications of this combination of increasing cultural diversity and increasing housing density.

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Overcrowded housing looms as a challenge for our cities

Overcrowding is an inevitable and often overlooked result of the affordable housing shortage in our cities. When a dwelling requires four or more extra bedrooms to reasonably accommodate occupants, the standard commonly used in Australia defines that as severe overcrowding. In 2011, 41,390 Australians lived in severely overcrowded dwellings, an increase of one-third from 2006. This increase occurred mostly in cities where house prices had risen sharply.

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London and Hong Kong have enough public housing, so why doesn't Sydney?

Australia's housing market has become a competitive sport, says Nicole Gurran, professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Sydney. Gurran gave an impassioned talk at TEDxSydney on Friday June 15 in which she shed light on the lack of social housing in Sydney compared to global cities like Hong Kong or (even) London.

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Developer criticised for plan to dredge Queensland wetland and build 3,600 homes

Australia's largest private property developer has launched a third attempt to dredge and reclaim the Ramsar-listed wetland south of Brisbane to build an artificial harbour and 3,600 homes.

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4 June 2018

Western Sydney Aerotropolis won't build itself - a lot is riding on what governments do

The stars aligned over Warwick Farm, New South Wales, this week. Sharing the stage at the Aerotropolis Investor Forum, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Liverpool City Mayor Wendy Waller were resolutely on the same script. For many Australians, including the prime minister himself, the fact that all levels of government are backing the Western Sydney airport project was remarkable. Yet bipartisan support is essential for such a project to succeed.

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Growing cities face challenges of keeping the masses moving up, down and across

Cities worldwide face the problems and possibilities of "volume": the stacking and moving of people and things within booming central business districts. We see this especially around mass public transport hubs. As cities grow, they also become more vertical. They are expanding underground through rail corridors and above ground into the tall buildings that shape city skylines. Cities are deep as well as wide.

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Tomorrow's Cities: How Barcelona shushed noise-makers with sensors

In the heart of the bustling city of Barcelona is a square that at first sight seems like an oasis of calm. The Plaza del Sol, as the name suggests, is a suntrap and the perfect place to while away a few hours.

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Makeover for Parramatta Road corridor to finally get underway

Clogged with traffic, noisy, poorly planned and struggling to cope with WestConnex and other construction. Few would dispute NSW treasurer Dominic Perrottet's comment last year that Parramatta Road had to be "one of Australia's ugliest road corridors". The occasion was the State Government announcing work would commence this financial year on the first of 32 projects to revitalise a 22-kilometre-long swathe of the city between the main western railway line and Parramatta River.

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Google plan for data-driven 'smart city' sparks privacy, democracy concerns

In the Canadian city of Toronto, city officials are negotiating a project that will give a section of the city's waterfront to the US tech giant Google. Under the arrangement, Google affiliate Sidewalk Labs will build and run a high-tech "radical mixed-use" site called Quayside.

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Amazon's HQ2 competition is pushing 'loser' cities to become the next Silicon Valley -- but some experts say it's a dangerous plan

In January, Amazon named 20 finalists for its $US5 billion second headquarters, HQ2, which promises 50,000 jobs over the next two decades. The announcement meant over 200 North American cities that had applied for the project did not make the shortlist. As The Wall Street Journal reported, Amazon made calls to these rejected cities in early January. Some of these cities are now making changes based on the tech giant's feedback.

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Preparing Australian cities for the fourth industrial revolution

This is a slightly edited version of a speech by Martin Parkinson, secretary, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, to the Property Council of Australia last week.

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Development Industry leading in Greening Cities

A number of Sydney developers are leading the move towards urban greening. "The Urban Taskforce recently had a forum on `Urban Greening' and this has led to a publication with examples of greenery being incorporated into buildings," says Urban Taskforce CEO Chris Johnson "The Central Park project by Frasers Property and Sekisui House is an excellent example of green landscape being incorporated into the façade of a 33 storey apartment building in a manner that responds to the seasons. As well as the integration of landscape and building the site includes a significant amount of public parkland and water features."

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Non-residential building approvals drop by 31% in NSW

The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures for April 2018 show a big drop in non -residential approvals for NSW.

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Does Festival Hall warrant heritage protection?

Heritage Victoria's recommendation to list Melbourne's Festival Hall on the state Heritage Register highlights the shortcomings of the current approach to heritage. Australians regret the loss of many beautiful historic nineteenth century buildings like Melbourne's Federal Coffee Palace. We're also used to controversies about protecting buildings constructed in the post-war period with claims to high architectural value e.g. Sydney's Sirius House.

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Is Melbourne Airport's SkyBus up to the job?

A rail line from Melbourne airport to the CBD will very likely be necessary one day, but an upgraded SkyBus can do the job in the short-to-medium term at vastly lower cost. A rail line between Melbourne Airport and the CBD is front and centre in the news thanks to the Prime Minister's offer to contribute up to $5 Billion on a matching basis toward the cost of construction.

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24 May 2018

Xiong'an, Xi Jinping's new city-making machine turned on

Behind mega urban projects often stand strong political wills. Xiong'an is called China's number-one urban project, and it is orchestrated by President Xi Jinping. China is midway through the largest urbanisation process in human history. New cities have mushroomed in recent decades. The most prominent are Shenzhen and Pudong Shanghai, both of which are now major global financial and business centres.

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Kyoto has many things to celebrate, but losing its trams isn't one of them

Few, if any, of the nearly 57 million tourists who visit Kyoto this year are aware the city once boasted the most extensive tram network in Japan. Kyoto is a beautiful city and the cultural heart of the nation. It is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Meiji Restoration this year. It's also the 40th anniversary of a less celebrated episode in the city's history - the closure of the tram system, or "Shiden" as it was known.

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Melbourne Airport is going to be as busy as Heathrow, so why the argument about one train line?

Public discussion of rail links to airports has been narrowly focused on the idea of a single line and where to run it. In Melbourne, the politics of this debate has so far prevented a railway from being built, because it is not possible for one line to meet all of the landside access needs of the airport. The issue of rail access for a new western Sydney airport has also not been resolved.

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Lessons in resilience: what city planners can learn from Hobart's floods

Hobart is a city known for its risk of catastrophic fire, such as the devastating wildfires of 1897-98 and 1967. As the second-driest city in Australia, until last week it was easy to forget that Hobart is also vulnerable to serious flooding. Like many cities, Hobart's closeness to nature can be a double-edged sword - the hilly terrain affords spectacular views of the mountain and the river, but makes the city especially prone to wildfire and flash-flooding.

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Long-running battle ends in a win for residents, koalas and local council planning rules

Gold Coast City Council has won a four-year legal battle with Boral Resources, with the courts upholding the council's refusal to approve a proposed quarry because of its impacts on the amenity of local residents - including the area's koalas. In some rare good news for local government in Queensland, which has been under a cloud lately, the Court of Appeal's decision confirms that councils are entitled to rely on their own planning schemes when deciding on local development applications. Even though Boral had secured approvals from the Commonwealth and Queensland governments, the Queensland Court of Appeal has upheld the council's decision to refuse Boral's application to develop a quarry.

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Test family loving city life in high density challenge

Urban planner Amanda Shipton decided to test the common belief that apartment life was not suitable for kids by spending a month in a city flat with her family - and now the Shiptons are mulling a permanent shift. They are not alone in discovering the benefits of inner-city flats. Five months into WA's first social experiment on apartment living, all the sceptics who have spent a month in the Oracle tower in the CBD have enjoyed it.

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Reimagining urban planning for breakthrough in smart city development

When we discuss smart cities, there is one component that is at the core of it: Urban Planning. In fact, urban planning can be termed as the structural scaffolding of a smart city; its support system as well as the optimized layout plan of the city. A smart city cannot be conceived without elaborate and meticulous urban planning. Hence stems the need of reworking the fundamentals of urban planning in synchronization with the infrastructural and technological needs of a viable smart city framework.

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Smart Pedestrian Project will use data to help inform urban planning

Urban planning decisions will be informed by data collected from smartphones and traffic-counting technology to help reduce traffic gridlock in the Liverpool CBD. The Smart Pedestrian Project, launched last week at the University of Wollongong's Liverpool campus, will involve the collection of data in a non-intrusive way to track patterns of real-time movement in the city centre.

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Savona Becomes Europe's First LEED Gold-Certified City

Today, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and Green Business Certification (GBCI) named Savona, Italy, as Europe's first LEED Gold-certified city. Located in the coastal region of Liguria in northwest Italy, Savona has in recent years taken clear steps toward citywide sustainability initiatives by transforming into a low-impact urban center. City officials have set high air-quality standards to reduce air pollution in the city and recent statistics, according to a GBCI press release, show that crime rates have drastically decreased, making Savona a "safe and livable city."

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Delivering Sustainable Urban Logistics

The growth of e-commerce and the expectation of immediate delivery is transforming how we buy everyday goods. We have become accustomed to getting what we want, when and where we want it. Thus, the logistics of moving goods around-namely warehousing, transportation, and delivery-are becoming some of the most critical development challenges for rapidly growing cities around the world.

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Does Festival Hall warrant heritage protection?

Australians regret the loss of many beautiful historic nineteenth century buildings like Melbourne's Federal Coffee Palace. We're also used to controversies about protecting buildings constructed in the post-war period with claims to high architectural value e.g. Sydney's Sirius House. Sometimes, though, buildings that lack aesthetic merit are nevertheless nominated for the highest form of protection solely because of their contribution to the course of social and cultural history.

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20 April 2018

Sensors in public spaces can help create cities that are both smart and sociable

Information from smart technology in public spaces could soon transform the way such areas are used and also managed.

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Australia must build to withstand extreme weather

Why do we keep spending millions on insurance claims after disasters, rather than invest in more sustainable construction that minimises damage to buildings in the first place? Australians need to rethink how to build cities and towns to better withstand extreme weather.

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A closer look at business cases raises questions about `priority' national infrastructure projects

Infrastructure Australia's latest infrastructure priority list has been criticised for being "too Sydney-centric" and for giving Melbourne's East West Link, cancelled in 2014, "high priority" status. The cancelled Roe 8 project in Perth was removed from the list.

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With health assuming its rightful place in planning, here are 3 key lessons from NSW

The way cities are designed and managed has big impacts on our health. While Australia is considered a world leader in research on health and cities, nationally our planning policies remain underdeveloped relative to our knowledge base. To remedy this, healthy planning advocates need to better understand how urban planning systems can be influenced.

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Airport rail link can open up new possibilities for the rest of Melbourne

Melburnians have been talking about a train to Tullamarine Airport since well before it opened. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has made clear his enthusiasm for an airport rail line, with or without state government support.

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Sexism and the city: how urban planning has failed women

We need to have a conversation about sexism and the city. Gender affects all other "vulnerable group" considerations in the cities, where nearly 90% of Australians live.

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Sydney plans ignore problems facing residents to sell city to the world

Sydney's much-lauded new urban policies are keen to reinforce the image of Sydney as a city on the move. But while these policies are touted as game changers, they represent a significant step backwards.

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Peter Calthorpe Is Still Fighting Sprawl-With Software

The architect and urban designer Peter Calthorpe was an advocate of transit-oriented development (TOD) and smart growth long before those concepts were buzzwords.

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Excessive car parking requirements will make boarding houses unviable

The proposed changes to the NSW Affordable Rental Housing SEPP to increase car parking requirements will make boarding houses unviable.

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Efforts To Manage Emerging Infectious Diseases Should Encourage More Inclusive Urban Planning

The rise of these infectious diseases is often described in terms of biological processes, but they cannot be reduced to just this dimension. A range of factors play a role, in particular increasing urbanisation and human mobility.

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6 April 2018

Avoiding the buzz kill: mozzies, wetlands and public health

With more and more urban creeks and wetlands around Australia undergoing restoration and re-naturalisation, entomologist Cameron Webb argues it’s time we built our cities with mosquitoes in mind.

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Our legacy of liveable cities won't last without a visionary response to growth

Australia's major cities are growing more rapidly than ever before, gaining three million residents in a decade. Concerns about the risks to their long-term liveability and health are growing too. Is the consistent placing of Australian cities at the top of most liveable city rankings a reason for complacency?

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Mission nearly impossible: the City of Sydney's efforts to increase the affordable housing supply

A key goal of the City of Sydney, one of Australia's wealthiest local governments, is to deliver "a range of affordable and social housing options that re?ects the diversity of ages, family relationships, socio-economic backgrounds and employment ?elds in the local population".

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The urban agenda: what will New Zealand's new government bring for towns and cities?

Almost 90% of New Zealand's population is urbanised. Getting policy right for towns and cities will be crucial for the new Labour-led coalition government's ambitious policy agenda to transition to a low-emissions economy while addressing major social issues such as unaffordable housing, inequality and poverty.

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How the internet is reshaping World Heritage and our experience of it

Most people's experience of World Heritage is now a digital one. Whether it's on social media, an official website, Wikipedia or a simple Google search, this shift in "visitation" means many people who engage with World Heritage will never physically travel to the actual site.

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Short-term politics the enemy of long-term traffic planning: Urban expert

Short-term politics has nobbled traffic planning in Greater Brisbane in the past decade and must be addressed urgently or the region will choke on cars, according to one of Australia's most experienced urban planners.

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Terrace housing trend: WA minimum block size likely to shrink to 80sqm

The WA Planning Commission wants more terrace housing in Western Australia with a new draft position statement released on Tuesday recommending the minimum green title block be shrunk from 100 square metres to 80 square metres.

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After Uber's fatal self-driving taxi crash, city planners suggest a radical new solution

When a woman was hit and killed by a self-driving Uber taxi in Arizona recently, it was both an awful shock and a horrifying inevitability.

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Critically Assessing the "Smart City"

The phrase "smart city" is on the lips of urban planners and policy makers everywhere in recent months. Cities from London and Barcelona to Hangzhou and Rio de Janeiro are being hailed as "smart," "wired," and "networked" with their expansive grids of sensors, intelligent lighting, adaptive traffic signals, and closed-circuit cameras.

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What Quayside has taught us about smart cities and data governance

Toronto's proposed Quayside community was supposed to be a brag-worthy global showcase for what a smart city, "built from the internet up," would look like.

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The Science Is In: The healthiest neighborhoods are both walkable and green

Most of us, most of the time, don't make much connection between place - the neighborhoods where we live, work, and play - and our health.

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26 March 2018

New Queensland planning law puts transparency and accountability at risk

Recent changes in Queensland planning law continue the shift toward a more commercially oriented, business-friendly planning framework that relegates accountability and public access and influence to a minimum.

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Should cyclists and walkers be separated?

Conflict between cyclists and walkers on shared trails is a growing problem. The default should be separation, as recommended by Infrastructure Victoria.

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When it comes to tall buildings in Canberra, is the debate about height or density?

When Isaac Karachepone moved to Canberra a year ago, moving into an inner-city apartment was a no-brainer. And the fact that the apartment he eventually rented in the New Acton precinct was just a short walk from his place of work was a bonus.

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Big data is going to shape our future cities. Will it treat us all equally?

In 2013 the police chief in Reading, Pennsylvania invested in a predictive policing tool. Based on historical police data, the software was trained to forecast where crimes were likely to occur, explained data scientist Cathy O'Neil in her book Weapons of Math Destruction.

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Metro West line to drive new development

The announcement that the proposed Metro West line will have a station at Westmead should stimulate new development in this precinct.

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Google's 'secret' smart city on Toronto's waterfront sparks row

Google's Sidewalk Labs has big plans for Toronto's waterfront. The problem is, nobody seems to know what they are.

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Better planning, not immigration control needed to manage big cities

Systemic failure in governing big cities and not immigration is the root cause of the urban challenges facing Australia today.

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Cycling and walking are short-changed when it comes to transport funding in Australia

To understand why Australian cities are far from being meccas for walking and cycling, follow the money. Our research has collated data for all the states and territories and our three biggest cities.

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Many people feel lonely in the city, but perhaps `third places' can help with that

Loneliness is a hidden but serious problem in cities worldwide. Urban loneliness is connected to population mobility, declining community participation and a growth in single-occupant households. This threatens the viability of our cities because it damages the social networks they rely on.

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The 100 million city: is 21st century urbanisation out of control?

Projections suggest cities will swell at an astonishing pace - but whether that means our salvation or an eco-disaster is by no means certain

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Apartment blocks vacant because planning laws demand apartments are double the size of tennis courts

Completed apartment blocks are being left vacant and housing supply strangled because the state government refuses to alter an obscure planning law.

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19 March 2018

Driverless cars: will public transport be a winner?

The prospect of autonomous vehicles causes worry but they might provide public and shared modes of transport with a big boost in competitiveness relative to private vehicles

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New cities? It's an idea worth thinking about for Australia

Is there a case for revisiting the idea of new cities for Australia in the light of recent population projections and resurgent debate about the implications of a big Australia?

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Turnbull unveils $30m fund for Asean smart cities

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced an A$30 million (S$30.5 million) investment fund to support "smart cities" in South-east Asian countries, as he hosts Asean leaders for a special summit in Sydney.

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Australian cities are crying out for better planning, but the research funding is missing

Although 90% of our population lives in cities, Australia lacks a national urban policy and our government provides insufficient funding for urban sustainability projects.

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Your Money: The technology trends you should invest in

Last month, Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi predicted Uber Air flying taxis would be commercialised and used widely within 10 years.

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Sidelining citizens when deciding on transport projects is asking for trouble

Citizen engagement is, or should be, central to city planning. When it comes to planning and implementing transport infrastructure the focus tends to be on how to engage the public, when to engage, and what form this should take.

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Geospatial technology as a powerful tool in urban planning

Today Geographical Information System has become a powerful tool to influence and support the decision making of the planners.

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Affordable housing policy failure still being fuelled by flawed analysis

Australia has a housing affordability problem. There's no doubt about that. Unfortunately, one of the reasons the problem has become so entrenched is that the policy conversation appears increasingly confused.

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Three scenarios show we have to think carefully about ethics in designing smart cities

To improve cities, governments are increasingly promoting the use of technology and data-driven decision-making. They decide how technologies and Big Data are being used or deployed in creating smart cities, with the help of academics who collect and interpret data, design new city ideas and newer technologies for cities.

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Homeless numbers will keep rising until governments change course on housing

According to census figures released on Wednesday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the number of homeless people in Australia has risen by 14% to 116,427

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Infrastructure plan raises concerns about ageing population

The State Infrastructure Plan produced by Infrastructure NSW (INSW) while outlining a forward program of projects has raised concerns about the ageing population in NSW.

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2 March 2018

Local councils making cities less liveable, independent infrastructure adviser says

Australia's patchwork of small local councils is threatening urban liveability, according to the independent infrastructure adviser.

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Australia's smartest cities

Melbourne has beaten out Sydney as Australia's smartest city.

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It'll take a smart city to accommodate population growth, says Ridley MD Gerard Francis

Integration of smart technology within urban areas and along major corridors will improve the liveability of Australia's biggest city and give us more real data on how to better plan for projected growth over the coming decades.

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Tech Envisions the Ultimate Start-Up: An Entire City

For all the optimism, innovation and wealth that are produced here, the Bay Area can also feel like a place that doesn't work quite right.

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Record Sydney housing completions good news but approvals slipping

The record completion of 38,759 new homes across metropolitan Sydney is good news for housing supply.

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Is Federation Square as good as it gets?

Federation Square isn't the perfect place the critics of Apple's proposed store portray it as. There are better options than Apple but they'd be costly

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All the signs point to our big cities' need for democratic, metro-scale governance

Infrastructure Australia has called for metropolitan-scale governance of Australia's largest cities.

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Growth pains and gridlock come to Hobart, and building more roads is not the best way out

Hobart is a city with growing pains. As Australia's second-oldest city, it might be likened to an octogenarian suddenly experiencing a teenage "growth spurt".

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Five biases create problems with share bikes - here's what we can do to counter them

Share-bike littering is a problem almost everywhere they're introduced. In countries as diverse as China, Singapore and Ireland the bikes can be seen abandoned in the worst places.

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How a three-decade remaking of the city revived the buzz of `Marvellous Melbourne'

Retail activity in the central city declined as suburban shopping malls burgeoned and planners surrendered the city to cars and parking.

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22 Feb 2018

Greenwashing the property market: why `green star' ratings don't guarantee more sustainable buildings

Our built environment is responsible for half of all global energy use and half of all greenhouse gas emissions.

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The other 99%: retrofitting is the key to putting more Australians into eco-homes

Energy efficiency in Australian homes is an increasingly hot topic.

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For what shall it profit a city if it loses its civic soul? A plea to preserve Melbourne's Fed Square

For 150 years Melburnians dreamed of a square, a great ceremonial space where people could relax, celebrate, protest or simply enjoy the company of their fellow citizens.

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So many public toilets are a last resort - why not a restful refuge?

What is the preoccupation with the bomb-proofing of this kind of vital public infrastructure? Is it expressing a perception of our fellow citizens and their expected behaviour?

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Fishermans Bend planning freeze casts doubts on $4.5b in development

The future of more than $4.5 billion worth of high-rise apartment projects at Fishermans Bend has been cast into doubt after the state government froze the development of towers at the controversial precinct.

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'Terrible precedent': Developer asks court for permission to breach planning rules

The developer says its proposed three-level apartment building with two ground-floor shops will bring "much needed housing choice".

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Three architects to chair NSW planning panels

Three architects, including a former government architect, have been appointed as chairs or alternate chairs for New South Wales' newly mandatory Independent Hearing and Assessment Panels (IHAPs).

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Growth, infrastructure and town planning: Cementing a sustainable future

MELBOURNE AND SYDNEY could be heading for between eight and ten million people each by 2050.

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This is why health has to be at the heart of the New Urban Agenda

Urban experts gathered at the ninth World Urban Forum in Kuala Lumpur over the past week to discuss progress on a global commitment to sustainable urban development.

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A smarter smart city

An ambitious project by Alphabet subsidiary Sidewalk Labs could reshape how we live, work, and play in urban neighborhoods.

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City Noise Might Be Making You Sick

For a century, urban commotion has been treated as a moral failing of individuals. Fixing it will require systemic changes to environmental noise.

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6 Feb 2018

Perth councils squirrel away $1b in infrastructure cash

Perth councils have been accused of sitting on more than $1 billion that should have been spent on parks, libraries and street lights.

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How Malaysia plans to win the Smart City race

Asian smart cities are increasingly on the rise. In the 2017 Smart Cities Index from EasyPark group, a smart parking company that advocates for smart city development, Singapore was listed at number two, as reported by Forbes.

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Alphabet's Sidewalk Labs Launches a Platform for Making the City of Tomorrow

In October of last year, Alphabet, Google's parent company announced it was taking its data-hoovering powers out of purely digital realm and into 3-D space. Sidewalk Labs, its urban innovation venture, officially launched a partnership with the city of Toronto.

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The elephant in the planning scheme: how cities still work around the dominance of parking space

Car parking is expected but often unnoticed, taking up surprisingly large proportions of city space. A parking bay occupies at least 13 square metres - some codes specify up to 30 square metres including accessways.

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Heatwaves are Australia's deadliest natural hazard and many of us are unprepared

Heatwaves are Australia's deadliest natural hazard, but a recent survey has found that many vulnerable people do not have plans to cope with extreme heat.

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How virtual 3D modelling and simulation can help us create better cities

New technologies offer new possibilities for planning and designing cities. 3D urban modelling and simulation can give a real sense of the outcomes of planning decisions.

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Will Apple destroy Fed Square?

There are downsides to Apple's new global flagship store in Federation Square, but there are benefits too. It might even broaden its appeal to a wider cross section of Melburnians.

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The rise of the super-diverse `ethnoburbs'

Since the early 1990s, Australia's skilled migration scheme has brought a new category of migrants into the country. They have higher educational qualifications and economic capabilities than previous migrants.

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Australian cities are far from being meccas for walking and cycling

Australian city planners are seeking ways to make cities better for walking and cycling.

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New airport toll-road mooted for Sydney in leaked Cabinet plans

Leaked "cabinet-in-confidence" documents seen by Fairfax and the ABC show the State Government is considering additional tolls on road-users to help pay for its Sydney Gateway, the final stage of its WestConnex motorway.

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Welcome to the 'dormitory suburbs': Experts question quality of life on Perth's fringe

A population boom is predicted for Perth's fringe suburbs, but what do you lose or gain by moving there?

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25 Jan 2018

Sydney, Melbourne house prices have one-in-five chance of correction: JP Morgan

Sydney and Melbourne have a one-in-five chance of house prices falling at least 15 per cent over the next five years, according to economic modelling by investment bank JP Morgan.

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Where WA's 20,000 new homes are being built and why it's bad news

A map of Perth's new home builds has revealed owners continue to favour detached houses on the urban fringe despite warnings it could lead to a disconnected city and extreme infrastructure costs.

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The Rise of Autonomous Vehicles: Planning for Deployment Not Just Development

This year opens to a landscape of autonomous vehicle expectations that are both exciting and sobering. By now, we are accustomed to seeing automated vehicle technology improve rapidly, and announcements from innovators are losing their novelty.

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Poor urban planning to blame for pricey housing and expanding slums, experts say

Urban planners in many cities around the world are imposing regulations that discourage the creation of affordable housing while slums expand, experts said.

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Australia ranked third least affordable country for housing, according to Demographia

Housing affordability in Australia has reached a 'crisis' point, with people paying up to almost 13 times their annual income to purchase a house, a new survey has found.

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The Evolution of Urban Planning

Urban planning has been around for as long as cities have existed, but the 20th century saw a number of bold ideas that radically changed the make-up of our urban centers.

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Three reasons why share-bikes don't fit Australian culture

Many cities are keen on dockless share-bike schemes such as oBikes or Reddy Go, and for good reason. They promote greater physical movement, help solve transport problems in congested cities, and can be fun.

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Supersized cities: residents band together to push back against speculative development pressures

Across the world's cities, the over-reliance on speculative, developer-led urban renewal models is clear. This imbalance is now challenging the liveability of our cities.

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Housing Supply Slowing in NSW while Victoria Booms

The November 2017 housing approval data by the ABS indicates that housing supply is slowing in NSW while in Victoria it is booming.

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Melbourne Carpark Begins $60m Transformation into Green Public Plaza

Construction is officially underway on redevelopment of an old car park in the Melbourne suburb of Prahran into a vibrant urban parkland.

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15 Jan 2018

Sydney's transport is doomed to fail its users, even when it's actually succeeding

Residents of Sydney experience many transport problems on a daily basis, ranging from congested roads to overcrowded and delayed trains. These problems are persistent and seem to become worse.

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Planner - City of Sydney
Sydney CBD, New South Wales, Australia

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Statutory Planner - Permanent
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Strategic Planner
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Statutory Planner - Contract
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Statutory Planner - Contract
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