As one of the fastest-growing cities in the developed world, Melbourne’s suburban sprawl has many costs.
State and local governments can't do much about the rapid population growth in Melbourne, but they can take steps to reduce the costs of growing disparities between the outer suburbs and inner city.
New housing estates on the city fringes might be soulless, cookie-cutter developments, but communities can invest them with layers of meaning that create a sense of place.
A sense of place matters for people and communities. When a suburb is created from scratch, close attention needs to be paid to the cues from the landscape and meanings people attach to the area.
Residents of the outer suburbs like the green spaces and sense of community, but lament the lack of access to transport and other services.
Much of the growth in our cities is in the outer suburbs, now home to around 5 million people. And that creates problems like traffic that detract from the advantages residents see in living there.
A woman is helped out of the wrecked car of a train that derailed at the station of Pioltello Limito, on the outskirts of Milan, Italy, Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018.
The development of suburban infrastructure depends on political, technical and financial priorities. A train derailment in an Italian suburb has highlighted the need to retrofit infrastructure.
Without medium-density housing being built in the established suburbs – the ‘missing middle’ – the goals of more compact, sustainable and equitable cities won’t be achieved.
Residents of established middle suburbs are slowly coming round to the idea, but governments and the property sector lack the capacity to deliver compact cities that are acceptable to the community.
The mall's inventor, Victor Gruen, envisioned thriving hubs of civic activity, rather than bland, asphalt-enclosed shopping centers. Is his original vision now being realized – or further corrupted?
What new and innovative infrastructure is likely to emerge from the suburbs?
Suburban areas feel infrastructure stress most acutely. Having to deal with severe inadequacies, suburbs offer fertile ground for infrastructure experimentation and innovation.
U.S. Coast Guard personnel rescue stranded residents in Baton Rouge on August 14, 2016.
U.S. Department of Agriculture/Wikipedia
Recent floods in southeast Louisiana were the most severe U.S. natural disaster since 2012's Hurricane Sandy. Suburban sprawl and slow execution of flood control projects worsened the damage.
Banksia woodlands are home to thousands of plant species.
The Banksia woodlands of the Swan Coastal Plain are home to thousands of species, many unique. But they are gradually being swallowed by Perth, one of the world's most sprawling cities.
Sydney’s farms on the urban fringe produce 10% of the city’s fresh vegetables.
Farms on Sydney's fringes supply 20% of the city's food. That could drop by more than half if urban sprawl isn't kept in check.
New season asparagus from farmland on Melbourne’s city fringe.
Melbourne's farms currently supply over 40% of the city's food. But a growing population and urban sprawl mean by 2050 they'll supply half as much.
In cities like Nashville and Vancouver, home teardowns are on the rise.
'Demolition' via www.shutterstock.com
Home teardowns are often unnecessary and costly, in more ways than one.
Santana Row, located in San Jose, California, is one of many Lifestyle Centers cropping up around the country. Parading themselves as a Main Street from a bygone era, these new retail centers hope to recreate what was lost in the rush to cover America with large malls from the 1950s through the 1990s.
Meet the indoor shopping mall's hipper, “New Urbanist” cousin.
The inner suburbs of Melbourne are surprisingly more leafy than the outer suburbs.
When you look out of your window in the morning, how many trees do you see? Your answer might depend on what suburb you live in. As you go further from the city centre, the amount of tree cover in a suburb…
Some rat, possum and mozzie species thrive when living close to people.
Our world is becoming increasingly urbanised. In 1950, just 30% of the world’s population lived in urban areas. This number is now over 50% and rising. By 2050, two-thirds of the world’s population are…
Beautiful – but most greenbelt is on private land.
What a strange place the UK is - when the most important thing Britons spend money on becomes even less affordable, it’s received as good news. Because that is what “confidence returns to the housing market…
There’s a bright future for the inner suburbs. It’s just common sense that inner city living is more sustainable.
There’s plenty of debate over the future of sustainable urban planning. Is it outer suburban sprawl that’s unsustainable, or is it high-density inner city living that’s at fault? Brendan Gleeson recently…
Low-density living in the outer suburbs is not the root of all evil.
In a recent article on The Conversation Robert Nelson argues we are all morally culpable for unsustainable urban sprawl. He goes on to suggest we fix this by taking advantage of opportunities for higher…
Urban expansion is driving people further out, and it’s unsustainable.
For a long a time real estate close to the palace was socially desirable, and anyone with aspirations didn’t want to know about the rest. Today in Melbourne inner-city people are embarrassed to reveal…
People in the outer suburbs - who need a cheaper alternative for their long commutes - are unlikely to buy electric vehicles.
Electric vehicles have been touted as the dream technology to solve our suburban transport challenges and rescue us from oil dependence and environmental threats. Yet technology use occurs in a social…