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The scene of the fatal crash at Essendon Airport, where authorities allowed extensive development between the runways and surrounding housing. Joe Castro/AAP

Airport privatisations have put profit before public safety and good planning

Airport operators enjoy the privileged position in Australian planning law of being able to decide their own futures. Their exemption from state planning rules threatens orderly planning and safety.
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.
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.
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.