It’s impossible to put a price on the value of Federation Square as a gathering place for the citizens of Melbourne.
It took Melbourne a very long time to create a civic square that served the citizens rather than commerce. Now an Apple store is to be built there, unless parliament supports a disallowance motion.
Water treatment plants can’t afford not to think about electricity too.
Cities all over the world are facing growing challenges to provide clean, reliable water. And many of the fixes, such as desalination plants, have a huge carbon footprint.
With water storages running low, residents of Cape Town get drinking water in the early morning from a mountain spring collection point.
The situation in Perth in particular has some parallels to that of Cape Town, but Australian cities responded to the last big drought by investing in much bigger water supply and storage capacity.
Prime inner-city land, such as the Flemington estate, is being sold to developers to build new housing, but the public lacks basic details about these deals.
Artist's impression, Victorian government
The Victorian government isn't alone in seeking private partners to renew public housing. What is notable is its lack of transparency by comparison with such arrangements elsewhere.
All that land set aside for parking is also an opportunity to ask what the real value of parking space is.
Looking back through all Melbourne's strategic plans from 1929 onwards, it becomes clear that the 20th-century legacy of car-centric planning and its focus on parking is still deeply entrenched.
A vehicle, understood to be a white Suzuki SUV, ploughed into pedestrians in central Melbourne.
The Flinders Street incident, in which a car was driven into pedestrians on a busy Melbourne street, underscores the need for new ways to design cities to protect pedestrians from vehicle attacks.
RMIT University transformed the look and function of its city campus as part of its New Academic Street project.
European ideas of the campus as a place apart shaped Australia's "sandstone" universities. Now universities are adopting urban regeneration strategies, bringing the city to the campus and vice versa.
Cities like Melbourne are a store for such huge amounts of resources that they could be used as urban mines.
Donaldytong (own work)/Wikimedia
With an ever-increasing cost to extract dwindling raw materials, it's time to look at cities as urban mines. We're developing the tools to do that.
The Ballarat Road project in Maidstone and Footscray, Melbourne, will transform vacant land into housing for people at risk of homelessness.
An innovative collaboration between government, a non-profit group and philanthropists has found a way to provide urgently needed housing on land that would otherwise be left vacant for years.
For suburbs like fast-growing Tarneit in the Wyndham area, ‘hard’ infrastructure gets priority, leaving ‘soft’ social infrastructure to catch up later.
Traditionally, new communities first get hard infrastructure – schools, hospitals, transport – and 'soft' social infrastructure comes later. Liveability and public health suffer as a result.
Vital Signs takes stock of all the key elements of a city’s successes and challenges, and the Melbourne Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation uses this data to guide its grant-making.
Lord Mayor's Charitable Foundation
A decade after Toronto produced the first Vitals Signs report, community foundations in Melbourne and other cities are using these reports' up-to-date data to inform their decisions.
The Greening the Pipeline 100-metre pilot park at Williams Landing is the first step in transforming 27 kilometres of the heritage-listed main outfall sewer into a linear park and bike track.
Greening the Pipeline, courtesy of Melbourne Water
Tree plantings are making a visible difference to Melbourne’s west. It's the result of a collaborative model of greening, one that Australian cities need to apply more widely.
The government appears willing to roll over the contract with the operator of a third of Melbourne’s buses despite poor performance.
Bus Association Victoria, used with permission
No matter whether competitive tendering or negotiation is used, operators that do not meet clear and transparent service benchmarks should be shown the door.
Cyclists on Melbourne’s Obikes next to Federation square
There is more to bike-share schemes than first meets the eye. As they grow in global popularity, the economic models behind them become increasingly diversified.
What a gas: one of Moreland’s new hydrogen-powered garbage trucks.
A local council goes for hydrogen. A state government goes for lithium and mirrors. They are taking punts on technology. What are the risks?
While state investment decreases on average with distance from the CBD, Melbourne’s neediest suburbs aren’t forgotten.
ymgerman from www.shutterstock.com
The neediest suburbs get a much poorer deal in Sydney than in Melbourne. A new study provides a suburb-by-suburb breakdown of state investment, including what facilities and services have been funded.
Melbourne, city of cranes.
Image from www.shutterstock.com
Melbourne has seen tens of thousands of new apartments constructed over recent years, and apartment brands are flourishing. We can see striking typographic similarities with another economic frenzy: the 1870s cattle boom.
Forty years on, there is still resistance to mixing with the ‘sort of people’ who were segregated in social housing tower blocks.
Even where communities are mixed, many inner-city families go to extraordinary financial and geographic lengths to ensure their children do not go to school with children from 'the flats'.
Tokyo, seen here from the Skytree tower, is home to more people than any other city on Earth but has managed to remain highly liveable.
Tokyo has experienced extraordinary population growth but is among the world's most liveable cities. Just how has it managed the pressures of growth?
Discontinuities, a triple bill staged at La Mama in 2002.
From Cate Blanchett to David Williamson, some of Australia's most well known theatre artists have performed at La Mama, which celebrates its 50th birthday this year.