Articles on Urban planning

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A White Shark feeds on a whale carcass off a Perth metropolitan beach in 2009. This was happening before Homo Sapiens existed. AAP/Channel10

Sharks in the city: Getting to know the neighbours

The vast majority of Australians live in coastal cities. This means most of us have sharks as neighbours. Living alongside sharks in metropolitan cities in Australia requires urban resilience. Unlike birds…
Bigger houses (on the left) - not smaller lots - are killing the Aussie backyard. Tony Hall

What has happened to the great Aussie backyard?

Welcome to Safe as Houses, a series delving into a topic close to the heart of many Australians – property. This is not a series on where the market might be heading. Instead we aim to explore how we view…
To make roads flow better, we need traffic lights to be more efficient. sinkdd

Going places: why better traffic lights make better sense

If you’ve ever been caught in a traffic jam – and who hasn’t? – you’ll know Australia’s urban road networks are fast approaching full capacity. With the holiday season not far away, traffic jams and road…
Sir Rod Eddington: unless the rail networks are right, Australia’s cities won’t work properly. Supplied

Sir Rod Eddington: ‘The infrastructure challenges are real’

Welcome to In Conversation; an ongoing series in which leading academics interview prominent public figures. In today’s instalment, Dr Peter Newman, Professor of Sustainability at Curtin University, sits…

City shadows reveal its energy flow

By calculating the amount of solar radiation reaching streets and buildings, researchers could help optimise the way energy…
Is Australia going down the East Asian high-rise route? eugenewei

The carbon devil in the detail on urban density

How dense could we be? Very, if you follow much of the commentary in Australian debates about the way we should plan our cities. High-rise residential developments have been springing up in all Australia’s…
South-east Queensland now has a 200km long city. dazza17-DJ

Colliding cities: have our cities slipped their metro moorings?

Despite the emphasis in Australia on the “compact city” foreshadowed in every major strategic metropolitan plan such as the South East Queensland Regional Plan; there is a growing trend towards “colliding…
Sydney has a lot to learn when it comes to cycling culture. Mikael Colville Andersen

Why Sydney’s cycling culture needs an overseas influence

CYCLING IN AUSTRALIA: There are many reasons cycling should be actively encouraged in our cities: increasing fuel prices, obesity levels and environmental concerns, just to name a few. Yet in comparison…
In a changing climate, urban water planning needs to be more flexible. Joe Castro/AAP

Water we waiting for? The unfinished business of water reform

The National Water Commission released its Third Biennial Assessment of the 2004 National Water Initiative (NWI) in September. The NWI is an agreement between all state and territory governments and federal…
How do you improve road safety? Simple: make it riskier. La Citta Vita

Sharing streets: is the answer to get naked?

In August, Liberal MP Peter Phelps delivered a passionate rant in the NSW Upper House in which he called traffic lights a “Bolshevist menace”. He argued that traffic lights are on par with state repression…
Alice Springs’ many faces: the intervention, tourism, grog - and a housing crisis.

How Alice tackles its housing crisis now will shape its future

Each year for the last three years, I’ve taken a group of architecture students to Alice Springs for a 10-day urban design workshop. I first found myself in this city during Desert Mob – the annual sale…
Choked: Lagos crumbles under the weight of its population. AAP/Pius Utomi Ekpei

Urban trauma: Why we need to rethink our cities

We are entering an era of massive population transfer - a rural exodus of unprecedented proportions. In Asia and Africa farmers and peasants are being lured to mega-cities. This brings myriad benefits…
Building away from our cities could ease congestion in urban areas. AAP

Escape from Sydney: planning the way out of congestion

Bashing planning has become a national sport, and in NSW, we’re the best at it. Stuck in traffic? Blame the planners. Housing stress? Planners are too slow and too stingy with land release. In the perception…

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