Articles on local government

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Cars leaving Beaumont, Texas during a mandatory evacuation before the arrival of Hurricane Gustav, August 30, 2008. Patsy Lynch/FEMA

Why Texans heard conflicting messages about evacuating ahead of Hurricane Harvey

Why did some Texas coastal cities order mandatory evacuations ahead of Hurricane Harvey while others, including Houston, did not? There is no formula for these decisions; either choice can backfire.
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.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signs legislation lowering the default speed limit from 30 to 25 miles per hour, Oct. 27, 2014. NYC Department of Transportation/Flickr

Urban nation: What’s at stake for cities in the 2016 elections

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have painted starkly different views of U.S. cities during the campaign. Will the next president deliver the funding and political support mayors are seeking?
South African President Jacob Zuma reacts during the official announcement of the municipal election results in Pretoria. Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

Message to white South African voters: Keep calm … and shut up!

Various commentators have wrongly over the last 22 years said that black people voted blindly for ANC governments. There's no better example why the academy needs a dramatic post-colonial overhaul.
In addition to a shortage of public toilets, current innovations in their design may not be suitable for an ageing population. AAP/City of Sydney

Caught short: we need to talk about public toilets

Millions of people need to be confident that suitable public toilets will be available when they leave their homes. A shortage of such facilities is a serious problem for an ageing population.
Residents of Zandspruit, a shanty town north-west of Johannesburg, during a violent protest against the removal of illegal electricity connections. EPAKevin Sutherland

What rising protests in South Africa say about attitudes towards local government

The brouhaha over South Africa's upcoming high-stakes municipal elections hides critically important questions about the continued relevance of local government amid growing public disaffection.
While Melbourne City Council is responsible for the CBD, governance of the vast area of metropolitan Melbourne is poorly co-ordinated between 31 councils in all. Alex Proimos/Flickr

Towards a collaborative city: the case for a Melbourne Metropolitan Commission

Governance of metropolitan Melbourne is fragmented among 31 city councils. All levels of government need to work towards creating a metropolitan authority to meet the challenges of a growing city.

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