Articles on Cities

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Smart cities work on developing a shared vision of their preferred future. Andrea Danti/from www.shutterstock.com

Here’s what smart cities do to stay ahead

Smart cities do more than develop products to increase productivity and prosperity. Mayors, CEOs and leaders engage entire communities in shaping the future of cities.
If a second airport creates another centre of activity in western Sydney, then it won’t just be air travellers who benefit. Stilgherrian/flickr

Our big cities are engines of inequality, so how do we fix that?

Our big cities increase incomes faster than population growth, but most residents miss out on the extra income growth. Creating multiple centres of activity may help make bigger better for everyone.
This Melbourne traffic jam shows the system’s vulnerability to congestion. A data-based integrated transport approach may help it cope better with inevitable disruptions. Julian Smith/AAP

City streets become a living lab that could transform your daily travel

A project set up north of Melbourne's CBD aims to create a living laboratory for developing a highly integrated, smart, multimodal transport system.
Political calculations drove the Abbott and Baird governments’ decisions on investing taxpayers’ money in the WestConnex project. Nikki Short/AAP

WestConnex audit offers another $17b lesson in how not to fund infrastructure

Reckless government investment decisions are sadly the norm when it comes to transport infrastructure. Three key checks on the decision-making process can help ensure taxpayers get value for money.
With the steelworks under a cloud, Whyalla continues to fluctuate between hope and despair. Gary Sauer-Thompson/flickr

Diminishing city: hope, despair and Whyalla

Decades of expansion for Whyalla were followed by decades of contraction. Whyalla has seen optimism and idealism but also, if not despair, then its close neighbours, alienation and apathy.
New South Wales is the state that has suffered the biggest fall in available public housing stock since 2009. This has led to protests. Teresa Parker/AAP

Australia needs to reboot affordable housing funding, not scrap it

Although the federal-state agreement does it inadequately and lacks transparency, an enduring program of federal funding for operational expenses is essential to sustain the social housing system.
A public backlash against council amalgamations appears to have forced the NSW government to shift its position. Dan Himbrechts/AAP

Bush democracy wins out but council mergers continue in Sydney

The proposed amalgamation of 40 NSW councils has generated heated opposition. While public resistance has now won out in several regional communities, it's a different story in the city.
Any attempt to improve security for tenants should not deprive them, or their landlords, of the flexibility that many also want. David Crosling/AAP

Rental insecurity: why fixed long-term leases aren’t the answer

Any attempt to improve security for tenants should not deprive them, or their landlords, of the flexibility that many also want. The key problem is landlords' ability to give notice without a reason.
The homeless people evicted from Flinders Street in Melbourne’s CBD are only the tip of the iceberg of the housing crisis in Victoria. Joe Castro/AAP

States drag feet on affordable housing, with Victoria the worst

Weak state policies, which lack clear targets and mechanisms for providing more and better affordable housing, are part of the problem. Victoria still doesn't have an affordable housing strategy.
On current trends, renters will eventually outnumber home buyers, representing a fundamental shift in how the economy and wealth generation work. Mick Tsikas/AAP

Moving on from home ownership for ‘Generation Rent’

Generation Rent may force a complete rethinking of home ownership as a basis of our housing systems. Rather than representing security, these housing markets make us vulnerable.
The opera house is raised on a terraced platform, away from the shore like an island amphitheatre. Terence Wong from www.shutterstock.com

Why the Sydney Opera House is a little overcooked

Construction should have stopped once the roofs were erected. Any citizen could then have walked up to the terraced amphitheatre, sat down and gazed back at the country from this shrine to the nation.
To understand how households cope, we may need to look beneath broad patterns of affordability to the interplay of housing costs with other problems. IDuke/Wikimedia Commons

Housing affordability problems might not be all bad

Housing affordability is often not the only problem households face. More often the compounding effects of multiple problems leave people unable to cope, which is why one solution won't work for all.

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