Articles on Cities & Policy

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Barangaroo is a development on Sydney Harbour with strong green credentials, but it’s overwhelmingly the well-off who enjoy the benefits. Brendan Esposito/AAP

Making developments green doesn’t help with inequality

Barangaroo is an example of a development with admirable green credentials, but it is also an exclusive precinct that has played a role in displacing the disadvantaged from this part of Sydney.
Australian cities need to sustain higher levels of construction and to provide higher-density developments to ensure growing populations have access to affordable housing. Brendan Esposito/AAP

To make housing more affordable this is what state governments need to do

Governments should stop offering false hopes and pandering to NIMBY pressures. As well as increased public and private housing supply, growing cities need well-designed higher-density development.
Another election, another infrastructure promise – in the Andrews government’s case, a $50 billion suburban rail loop. Penny Stephens/AAP

Infrastructure splurge ignores smarter ways to keep growing cities moving

In the election bidding wars, parties commit billions to transport projects, often before all the work needed to justify these has been done. More cost-effective alternatives hardly get a look-in.
The TV drama SeaChange had a huge public impact, which made the town where it was filmed, Barwon Heads on Victoria’s Bellarine Peninsula, a highly desirable destination. Diana Plater/AAP

Imagining your own SeaChange – how media inspire our great escapes

We read about and watch other people moving to the coast or country and, in doing so, sometimes we're persuaded to join the seachangers and treechangers ourselves.
An impression of biodiversity sensitive urban design (BSUD) developed by the authors in collaboration with Mauro Baracco, Jonathan Ware and Catherine Horwill of RMIT’s School of Architecture and Design.

Here’s how to design cities where people and nature can both flourish

Australian cities are home to many threatened species but are also where biodiversity is being destroyed by development. But what if planning and design processes built nature into the urban fabric?
The community environment clearly has a large influence on child development, but exactly which factors are most important? Tracey Nearmy/AAP

Working out what makes a good community where young children can thrive

Research has started to identify the key factors in creating communities that promote good early childhood development.
Cairns has an extensive CCTV network, which as well as keeping homeless people under surveillance is sometimes used to help them. Andreina Schoeberlein/Flickr

Turning ‘big brother’ surveillance into a helping hand to the homeless

Surveillance often results in people who are homeless being the target of enforcement measures. But a new study in Cairns shows surveillance can also be used to achieve more positive social outcomes.
Significant investment in public transport is essential to ensure the Central City CBD can handle the predicted growth in commuting trips. Dean Lewins/AAP

Reimagining Sydney: this is what needs to be done to make a Central City CBD work

Central City 2048 proposes one new rail line, three metro lines and almost 300,000 extra jobs for the new CBD, one of three proposed for metropolitan Sydney. Clearly, the investment needed is massive.
Parramatta has been designated as the central CBD of three future city centres in the Greater Sydney region. haireena/Shutterstock

Reimagining Sydney with 3 CBDs: how far off is a Parramatta CBD?

The Greater Sydney metropolis is envisaged as having three CBDs by mid-century, but an assessment of the proposed Central City around Parramatta shows how much work is needed to make that a reality.
Seven years after Tahrir Square became the focal point of the Egyptian Revolution, towering metal gates now control access. Ahmed Abd El-Fatah/Wikimedia

How city squares can be public places of protest or centres of state control

Today’s urban public spaces tend to represent governments and cities rather than people and citizens. Architects and urban designers should contribute to shaping spaces for freedom and interaction.
The Melbourne Apartments Project developed by the Barnett Foundation offered 28 units to households living within 4km of the site and willing to leave their social housing. Barnett Foundation

Affordable home-ownership scheme offers a pathway out of social housing

Shared equity models have a dual benefit of making home ownership affordable for people on modest incomes and freeing up scarce social housing for other households in need.
Brisbane has half the population of Sydney and Melbourne, but all three cities have very similar commute distances and times. superjoseph/Shutterstock

Our fast-growing cities and their people are proving to be remarkably adaptable

Urban growth has had much less impact on commuting distances and times than media reports would suggest. The explanations include jobs being widely dispersed and residents' adaptable decision-making.
If cyclist-friendly cities like Copenhagen can offer abundant and conveniently sited parking space for bikes, why not Australian cities? Grey Geezer/Wikimedia

The problem isn’t dockless share bikes. It’s the lack of bike parking

If cities had backed their active transport goals with investment in adequate cycling infrastructure we might not be having the arguments about dockless bikes 'littering' public space.
Uncapped rent increases and ‘no grounds’ evictions leave older women particularly at risk of substandard housing conditions or even homelessness. Shutterstock

Life as an older renter, and what it tells us about the urgent need for tenancy reform

Proposed changes to NSW rental tenancy law are an improvement, but do not end the excessive rent increases and "no grounds" evictions that put renters – and older women in particular – at risk.
CRRC Zhuzhou Institute developed the rubber-tyred autonomous rail transit (ART) system, or trackless tram, which has already been trialled in Zhuzhou, China. Wikimedia

Why trackless trams are ready to replace light rail

For 40 years the author has argued that trains and trams are better than buses. New 'trackless trams', which take innovations from high speed rail and put them in a bus, have changed his mind.

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