Articles on Urban planning

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Greenfield land developments have trumped urban growth boundaries in many Australian cities. Joe Castro/AAP

Back to the drawing board for Australian urban planning

State government attempts to redirect development from urban fringes to established urban areas have failed. New deregulated planning systems, not strategic metropolitan plans, are driving development…
The doubling and tripling of rents is not “hip”, it’s a problem. tayser82

High rents aren’t hip: the contradictions of the ‘creative city’

Recent reports have confirmed what many already know: the cost of housing in Australian cities is among the highest in the world. The growth rate in Australian property prices over the last 15 years is…
If overnight temperatures are due to fall below your inside temperature, open the house as much as possible from late afternoon. Image from shutterstock.com

How to keep your house cool in a heatwave

Should you open or close your house to keep cool in a heatwave? Many people believe it makes sense to throw open doors and windows to the breeze; others try to shut out the heat. Listen to talk radio during…
US architect Frank Lloyd Wright, who designed Fallingwater, believed that appropriate architecture would save the US from corruption. Via Tsuji

Building a better world: can architecture shape behaviour?

In 1966, a British planner called Maurice Broady came up with a new term for the architectural lexicon: architectural determinism. This was to describe the practice of groundlessly asserting that design…
The Field Day music festival, held annually in The Domain in Sydney, is among a growing number of private or ticketed events held in public parks. jo3hug

Private events help fund public parks, but there’s a cost too

Privatisation of the public realm is increasingly seen by governments as a relatively painless user-pays way of addressing their budget problems and parks have not escaped the trend. Public spaces such…
Car Free Day - every Sunday in Jakarta. Gunawan Kartapranata

How cities of the future could see cars parked for good

Is a car-free city possible? In many European cities walking and cycling already account for more than half of all journeys. In Britain, the Sustainable Travel Demonstration Towns project between 2004-08…
A cyclist “die-in” protest outside the offices of Transport for London to protest. Dominic Lipinski/PA

Never mind investment – we can improve cycle safety now

Much has been said in recent weeks about the death toll of cyclists in London. Yet the only immediate response media coverage seems to have produced is police on street corners handing out tickets to cyclists…
The best objectives of Plan Melbourne lack any real mechanisms or scope for implementation. AAP/David Crosling

Back-to-front decision-making bedevils Melbourne’s city planning

Metropolitan planning is an enormous undertaking, and no Australian government has yet appeared up to the task. That includes the strategy for Melbourne that the Victorian government has been preparing…
The proposed HS2 line near Altofts, south of Leeds: big changes, but who decides? HS2

HS2: how do we resolve megaproject planning?

The UK’s largest infrastructure projects of coming decades have been wrapped in controversy: the HS2 high-speed rail line linking London to the north is mired in political wrangling and disputed facts…

Predicting the growth of a city

Is there a universal law that can accurately predict the seemingly random growth of a city? Patterns in urban migration are…
A ‘ghost bike’ at notorious Bow flyover in East London. Dominic Lipinski/PA

There are solutions to these needless cyclist deaths

It has been a grim month for cycling in London. Just days ago newspapers wrote of five deaths in nine days, and barely is the ink dry before yet another death this morning makes six in under two weeks…
Sometimes the best plans aren’t enough. Ben Birchall/PA

Overhaul the planning system to boost building of better homes

As a planning academic you might think that I get heavily involved in the planning system – commenting on draft development plans, or objecting to proposed developments – but actually I tend to steer clear…
We should worry less about emissions and more about getting people out of harm’s way. AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts

Climate change and bushfires - you’re missing the point!

Climate change has yet again been blamed for another natural disaster, this time the recent bushfires in NSW. But much more important is the role of poor land-use planning decisions that are increasing…
Planning law could do much more to prevent us living in bushfire-prone areas. Brian Yap

Living with fire: deciding where to build

With an early, devastating start to the bushfire season in New South Wales and Queensland, recent disasters in Victoria and Tasmania, and projections that current trends will continue under climate change…
Things could be looking up for urban planning if Greg Hunt has his way. Michelle Robinson

The new government has a plan for Australia’s cities

The new Coalition Government has been elected with a mandate to reduce the national debt and make Australia “open for business”. Does this mean fixing Australia’s cities will be left to market forces…
Beautiful – but most greenbelt is on private land. Barry Batchelor/PA

Greenbelt myth is the driving force behind housing crisis

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…

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