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.

 

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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2 March 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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23 February 2017 

 

Unaffordability is a Problem but Sprawl is a Terrible Solution

Many households spend more than they can afford on housing and transportation, but the latest International Housing Affordability Survey is wrong to recommend sprawl as the best solution. Real solutions must reduce both housing and transport costs.

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Should Online Shopping Change How We Use Space?

Should ground-floor use go from retail to housing? In San Francisco, the closing of once-popular San Francisco restaurants and the decline of longtime Union Square pillar Macy’s raise a question: Have the fundamentals of urban retail changed?

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Codes Study: Trends in zoning reform

Many places are using form-based codes to encourage livability, in jurisdictions covering over 45 million people worldwide.

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San Francisco Takes a Step Back From Raised Bike Lanes

The city had planned on installing a two-inch raised, mountable lane on a section of Polk Street, where, on average, cars hit one cyclist and one pedestrian every month. But now it’s scrapped that plan in favor of a more traditional lane, which will be protected with soft-hit posts.

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Roe 8 fails the tests of responsible 21st-century infrastructure planning

The Roe 8 project illustrates all that is wrong with how we are planning and managing infrastructure in our cities. The Beeliar Group suggests the lack of transparency and accountability for the project points to a government that has lost its sense of responsibility. It’s probably also a result of federal government intervention that upset proper processes of planning.

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Will population growth ruin a city's liveability?

Population growth brings risks and will change the character of a city like Melbourne if it continues, but it's more likely to make it a better place for most residents

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Can we have a mature discussion about the future of urban transport?

With 90% of motorised travel in capital cities currently undertaken by private transport it’s time for a grown-up assessment of where to go with urban transport policy

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Infrastructure planning key to successful development

It might not seem like the most exciting topic, but infrastructure planning and provision is a critical aspect to ensuring that urban development in our state is undertaken in the most effcient, effective and affordable way.

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High immigration, urban containment and affordable housing are incompatible goals

Carolyn Whitzman, a Professor of Urban Planning at the University of Melbourne, has penned a spurious piece attacking the Victorian Government for both failing to achieve affordable housing and failing to reduce urban sprawl.

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Are We Building A Sustainable Future For Western Australia?

The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) have issued a plea that urges people to consider the long-term plan for Western Australia’s sustainable future before heading to the polls on March 11.

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The Cities of the Future Are Smart, Green, Connected Innovation Hubs

Another major force that will transform the urban landscape is the emergence of the Internet of Things. City-wide systems would use wireless signals to gather data from objects like trash cans, lights and even entire buildings. In a project entirely crowdsourced by citizens, Amsterdam is set to implement “The Things Network”, joining Taipei and Brasilia to become one of many emerging smart cities.

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16 February 2017 

 

More Ultimo than White Bay: Innovation districts need public transport

In the inner city battle of where to have Sydney's first so-called innovation district, Ultimo is a clear leader over White Bay because it already has the university and transport infrastructure needed to underpin any such collaborative precinct, Brookings Institution urban planner Julie Wagner says.

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Is Planning Letting Us Down?

With the Australian Bureau of Statistics estimating that the number of people who call Australia home will grow from 22.7 million in 2012 to between 36.8 million and 48.53 million by 2061, we face a vast challenge in terms of providing sufficient levels of housing to cater for our growing population and to address housing affordability issues.

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Houses no longer the ‘Great Australian Dream’ as home buyers change strategy

he property market has become so expensive that nine out of 10 Australians are despairing about their prospects of achieving the ‘Great Australian Dream’, new data shows.

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Should public transport be "returned to the people"?

There are calls to bring management of Melbourne's train and tram systems back under government control. Might be a good idea, but first let's consider the evidence

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End of the road? Why it might be time to ditch your car

Bill Ford, executive chair of the Ford Motor Company, says we’re heading for “global gridlock”. And he’s not alone in saying we cannot simply keep adding more cars to our roads.

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Data, cities and a new civic pride

An umbrella bought during a downpour costs more than under blue sky. The truth is that for too long city halls have failed to forecast and so incurred greater planning costs, a reactive culture summed up by words from within Jimmy Carter’s budget office: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Disease before sewer, gridlock before investment, collapse before rebuild: visible fix over unseen prevent.

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Green claims of ‘massive overdevelopment’ misunderstand where people want to live

The data analysis on Sydney council housing targets produced by the Greens spokesperson for Urban Growth and Renewal, Jamie Parker, confuses locations where people want to live with ‘overdevelopment’, says the Urban Taskforce.

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Is it time for a 40 kmh speed limit in urban areas?

It won't be easy politically, but living with cars in Australia's cities means "taming" them, starting with setting a default 40 kmh speed limit

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What's government done to make public transport better?

A look at what successive governments have done over the last twenty or so years to improve the attractiveness of train travel in Melbourne

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An AI can use Google Street View to help you decide where to move

Machine learning is at its best when there’s way too much information for any human to comb through manually, like making high-volume stock trades or surfacing the best posts from hundreds of friends on Facebook. Now one Estonia-based startup, Teleport, is using this idea, coupled with images from Google Street View, to automatically look around cities and see if people will like them based on their lifestyle preferences.

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7 February 2017 

 

Make housing affordable and cut road congestion all at once? Here’s a way

Two of the most pressing problems for Australian cities are housing affordability and traffic congestion. But there is an approach to both problems that could lead to significant improvements at low cost and relatively quickly. It involves developing transit-oriented centres in conjunction with inclusionary zoning.

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Talking Point: We need a healthier perspective on urban planning schemes

In Tasmania, our most common chronic diseases account for about 90 per cent of all deaths. As a research and advocacy leader on the health benefits of good nutrition and physical activity, the Heart Foundation points to the urban environment as a major determinant in encouraging and enabling physical activity and access to healthy food.

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WA's South West feeling effects of population pressure

It is the ultimate location for country living by the coast, but WA’s South West is starting to feel the effects of population pressure as a result of its popularity.

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WA election: Labor's pet rail project Metronet to cost $2.5 billion

WA Labor has released the costing for stage one of its ‘congestion-busting’ pet rail project Metronet which it says is expected to cost around $2.5 billion.

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Sensible reform to finance affordable housing deserves cross-party support

Treasurer Scott Morrison’s visit to cold old London last week in the middle of the Australia summer was time well spent. Morrison made time in his hectic schedule for a lengthy meeting with the UK’s Housing Finance Corporation.

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’Transport decisions are about values’: Australia shows the limitations of cost-benefit analysis

Growing the economy – not city planning – has become the Australian government’s main rationale for building urban transport infrastructure.

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NSW Government should consider ‘shared service model’ if Sydney council mergers are to be rethought

The NSW Government should consider a shared service model as an alternative to amalgamations of councils in the Sydney Metropolitan Area if there is to be a rethink of the mergers, says the Urban Taskforce.

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NSW Housing Minister must act as approvals dropping fast

The latest ABS housing approval data for NSW indicates a big drop over 5 months giving the new Housing Minister a big challenge, says the Urban Taskforce.

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Does this building tell us much about social history?

Preserving the built fabric of old buildings conveys little about their social and cultural history; it should be mandatory that protection comes with interpretation.

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New York Public Housing Steps Up on Climate Change

New York City Housing Authority announced Thursday that it will reduce greenhouse emissions from its buildings by at least 30 percent over the next 10 years, DNAinfo reports.

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Cameras Can Speed Cities to Improving Pedestrian Safety

A fundamental ethical and practical problem which faces traffic engineers is, in order to improve safety, you need a certain number of collisions.

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Dementia-friendly places benefit us all – so we should start planning for them

Dementia is an issue that touches everyone. But while we wait for the cure, life goes on for many people living with the disease. And there is a more immediate and more achievable outcome we can do something about: improving the environment to help people live well and independently longer.

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2 February 2017 

 

Australia should be learning from the likes of Singapore and Shanghai, not Sweden

Too often, when envisioning Sydney's future, politicians and planning experts wax lyrical about the cobblestone squares of Rome or the boulevards of Paris or the mid-rise six-storey street walls of Barcelona. But moving up the liveability index that measures 221 cities is Singapore at No.26 – located above Adelaide and Canberra. We need to learn more from those cities that are in the same time zone as Sydney, cities such as Singapore and Shanghai, which is also moving up the charts fast.

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A housing affordability crisis in regional Australia? Yes, and here’s why

The newly released annual Demographia report on housing affordability has found – once again – that Australia has some of the least affordable housing markets in the world. Sydney was ranked as the second-least-affordable housing market behind Hong Kong.

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Minister Roberts must drive housing supply

Premier Berejiklian’s new ministry must drive housing supply and ensure NSW retains its position as Australia’s leading state, says the Urban Taskforce.

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New Caroline Springs train station may reach capacity on second day, mayor says

The strain on infrastructure in Melbourne's booming outer west is in the spotlight once again, amid concerns its newest train station may reach capacity within 24 hours of opening.

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Can we have a mature discussion about the future of urban transport?

With 90% of motorised travel in capital cities currently undertaken by private transport it’s time for a grown-up assessment of where to go with urban transport policy.

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Extra $10m pledged for Gold Coast roads and upgrades to traffic lights

The Gold Coast City Council plans to spend an extra $10 million battling road congestion in the coming financial year.

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Want to solve the housing crisis, Theresa May? Time for a trip to Milton Keynes

The 50-year-old new town was created by the state. If the government is serious about housing supply, it should revive urban corporations.

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Lessons from slums show why our cities need to go on a resource diet

Cities are the epicentres of human activity. But their intense production and consumption requires huge quantities of natural resources. With our planetary life support system in the red, we need to put cities on a serious resource diet.

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How can you escape from a maze – and what does that teach us about city planning?

From the perspective of architecture and urban design, we want to avoid accidentally creating mazes. Mazes are fun, but are not necessarily something we want in our everyday lives – or in our way when we just want to get to work.

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We think sustainable urban planning is new – but the ancient Romans were recycling buildings millennia ago

In any debate on new construction in our urban centres you are likely to hear phrases like sustainable urban planning, adaptive reuse and recycling heritage – so much so that anyone would be forgiven for thinking that these were modern concerns. However, these principles have a long history in the ancient world.

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How Immersive Virtual Reality Can Be a Boon to City Planners

With a new offering, city planners will be able to shift their point of view as they move through the virtual space, and a series of toggle options will add a range of virtual data overlays to the main visual.

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Top 6 Most Technologically Developed Cities

Quite a few cities around the world are paying close attention as to what is happening in the technology sector. High-tech cities are becoming more common, even though there will always be certain regions where these efforts are more obvious.For some people living in these cities, that future is already here.

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25 January 2017 

 

Uni offers 2017: Sydney growth pushes students to UNSW city planning degree

WestConnex, light rail, the Bays precinct, Green Square, Badgerys Creek, a population that is expected to push past 5.5 million over the next decade, and a city that is rapidly building infrastructure to keep up with it. Sydney, by most measures, is going through a planning boom, and students are taking notice.

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Why Sydney's urban sprawl is making us sick: Committee of Sydney report reveals

Diagnosing Sydney's entrenched health inequities was not something the Committee of Sydney had intended to do. They were getting ready to release an economic paper. 'We had no intention of compiling a health report,' said Committee of Sydney's director of policy Eamon Waterford. 'But it became clear that the way we build our city is not only dividing us, it's making us ill,' he said.

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Locals furious as state approves unlimited heights in South Perth

Furious residents have abused what they call a 'desperate' attempt to 'neuter' legal issues with high-rise on South Perth Peninsula, after the state refused a council attempt to limit building heights.

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Next Premier must continue to drive Sydney’s growth

The Urban Taskforce acknowledges the incredible position that Mike Baird has achieved for the state of NSW. The next Premier for NSW must be someone who continues the drive for growth with infrastructure that has been the hallmark of Mike Baird’s term, says the Urban Taskforce.

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Updates to the EP&A Act gather momentum

Earlier this year the Minister for Planning released a summary of proposals and a public consultation draft of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment Bill 2017 in order to update the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. The proposed amendments seek to promote confidence in the New South Wales planning system and ensure the future growth across State is carefully planned.

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When gentrification lacks empathy: a case study

The effects of Melbourne’s property price boom are painfully obvious, with a vast differences between the older and newer properties. This is because of a lack of empathy between the newer buildings and their older neighbours.

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2016 crowned hottest year on record: Australia needs to get heat smart

Australia is already on average 8 degrees Celsius hotter than the average global land temperature, so further warming means our heat risk is far greater than for other industrialised countries. Air-conditioning and acclimatisation are not the answer.

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Premier Gladys Berejiklian can continue the strong economic growth of NSW

The election of Gladys Berejiklian as NSW Premier and of Dominic Perrottet as Deputy Leader of the NSW Liberal Party will give confidence to the property industry, says the Urban Taskforce.

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How the Tree Outside Your Window Helps You Save Money

Trees, those leafy Earth Day symbols of environmentalism, already clean up the air and guard against soil erosion. Turns out, they also help cities cut down on both money and emissions by simply providing shade and blocking strong winds around buildings.

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Tinder for cities: how tech is making urban planning more inclusive

Having a say in what your city or neighbourhood should be like is often complicated, time-consuming and full of confusing jargon. A new wave of digital tools are trying to make the process transparent and interactive.

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How Seattle’s Well-Intentioned Planning Experiment Went Wrong

When the city of Seattle began drafting a proposal to increase density and improve housing affordability across the city, known as the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda, or HALA, city officials knew the plan would be controversial.

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Is the world ready for driverless transport?

A debate is raging about how comfortable people may feel entrusting themselves to an automated decision maker. It seems to represent a new, psychological frontier of a kind we have never before encountered.

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16 January 2016 

 

'Disingenuous': NSW and Sydney proposed planning changes provoke mixed reaction

Proposed changes to the state's planning laws have received a mixed reception among developers, planners and representatives from local government. Planning Minister Rob Stokes on Monday released a string of suggested amendments to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, changes that have pleased some, but disappointed others.

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Housing the dead: what happens when a city runs out of space?

Issues of mortality and access to burial space are not typically dinner party conversations or at the top of government agendas. And, until recently, its priority as a future challenge in planning has been virtually non-existent.

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Uber to release anonymous rider data from 2B trips worldwide to help with urban planning

Uber has launched a new website where it promises to release anonymous data from more than 2 billion trips worldwide to help urban planners better understand traffic patterns.

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Venues fighting back against the pop-up bars that never seem to leave

They were once the places to be seen in Perth — pop-up venues that promised to be around for a short time only. But now the peak body representing the hospitality industry in WA is fighting back as the pop-ups become more permanent.

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First release of Geoscape’s continent-wide building dataset

Specialist geospatial data providers, PSMA Australia, has just announced the initial release of Geoscape, a continent-wide initiative to capture the built environment as an accurate spatial dataset. The first of the comprehensive building datasets are now available for Adelaide, rural South Australia, Canberra and the Australian Capital Territory.

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Bushfire-ravaged towns should not be rebuilt, planning expert warns

Just over a year ago a fierce blaze tore through the Victorian coastal hamlets of Wye River and Separation Creek, destroying 116 houses and leaving a visible scar on the landscape. Residents have begun rebuilding their homes, but planning expert Michael Buxton thinks they should be stopped.

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Apartment approvals dropping in NSW

The latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that approvals for apartments have dropped by twenty percent since June, says the Urban Taskforce.

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Planning reforms first step but bigger reforms needed to boost housing supply

The planning reforms announced by NSW Planning Minister Rob Stokes are a step in the right direction but much more reform is needed to boost Sydney’s housing supply, says the Urban Taskforce.

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‘Tram-Bus’ Part of Plan to Clear Paris Air

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, who pushed last year to convert one of the major roads along the Seine into pedestrian space, is doubling down on her campaign to clear the French capital’s streets and air for the better health of its residents.

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We can cut emissions in half by 2040 – but only if we build smarter cities

By building climate-smart urban infrastructure and buildings, we could cut future emissions in half from 2040 onwards.

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What Planning Jargon Do You Want to See Disappear?

Like any subculture, urbanists and city planners and transportation nerds have their own jargon. And though sometimes industry-specific terms are necessary and helpful, they often obscure meaning and keep the subculture insular.

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Can cities create innovation hubs that work for the entire economy?

Silicon Valley may still be the center of today’s tech world, but if you want to see the future of American innovation, take a trip to Durham, North Carolina. In a restored factory complex near downtown, entrepreneurs are building companies inside warehouses where generations of workers once manufactured and packaged cigarettes.

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29 December 2016 

 

Neighbours’ fears about affordable housing are worse than any impacts

Housing affordability is a hot topic in Australia. Governments are increasingly recognising that more needs to be done to provide a greater range of affordable housing options, especially in the major cities. It is well documented, however, that proposals for affordable housing development often encounter opposition from host community members.

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Should Melbourne airport rail be put on the front-burner?

Melbourne Airport is ‘begging’ for a rail line to the airport asap; Infrastructure Victoria says not just yet. More effort needs to be put into being ready to go when necessary

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Will shifting government agencies to the regions drive decentralisation?

Politicians like the idea of moving government functions to regional centres in the name of decentralisation; but the wider net social benefits are mostly political.

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Everything starts with a seed

The nursery sector makes up $1.13billion of the horticulture industry, a recent report by Horticulture Innovation Australia Ltd has found. With green spaces often overlooked in urban planning processes, the industry continues to support a national campaign to increase urban green space by 20 per cent by 2020.

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When planning falls short: the challenges of informal settlements

Informal settlements house around one-quarter of the world’s urban population. This means roughly 1 billion urban dwellers live in settlements that have emerged outside of the state’s control. But how did they come to make up such a large part of the world’s cities?

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Our cities need to go on a resource diet

Cities are the epicentres of human activity. They cover less than 2% of the earth’s land surface but generate about 70% of GDP and house more than half the human population. This intense production and consumption requires huge quantities of natural resources. But with our planetary life support system in the red, we need to put cities on a serious resource diet.

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Berlin to Launch Major Light-Rail Expansion

The new left-wing alliance of parties that will govern the German capital of Berlin has announced a number of programs it will undertake as part of the ‘BerlinStrategie 2030’ coalition agreement. Chief among them is a major expansion of the city’s light-rail network.

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Trump Tower, the skyscraper and the future of urban development

George Washington had Mount Vernon. Thomas Jefferson had Monticello. Now President-elect Donald Trump has his eponymous Manhattan skyscraper, Trump Tower. Will it stand just for the questionable taste of the one percent, or could it stimulate more creative, sustainable approaches to urban development?

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