Articles sur Cities & Policy

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The Melbourne Transportation Plan included every freeway and major arterial road built in the city since 1969. Shuang Li/Shutterstock

50 years on from the Melbourne Transportation Plan, what can we learn from its legacy?

While called a transportation plan, it was heavily skewed towards roads. We need the type of city-shaping thinking that underpinned the plan, but today's plans must match 21st-century priorities.
Many houses still do not have cyclone-ready roofs, so are liable to lose them if hit by the full force of the storm. Dan Peled/AAP

Homes can be better prepared for cyclones. But first we must convince the owners

Most homes are not as cyclone-ready as they could be. It seems lower insurance premiums aren't enough of an incentive for owners to upgrade their homes, but a new study points to some solutions.
The Australian and Victorian governments have both promised funding for a Melbourne Airport rail link, but a private consortium’s unsolicited proposal is also on the table. Stefan Postles/AAP

Market-led infrastructure may sound good but not if it short-changes the public

Unsolicited market proposals are not transparently assessed. Infrastructure should be built to serve the public interest, not shaped by its private backers, but the checks to ensure this are broken.
Greater Dandenong Civic Centre was completed in 2014 with new council chambers, a library and Harmony Square. Photo: Hayley Henderson

Comeback city? Lessons from revitalising a diverse place like Dandenong

A major investment in renewing the urban centre of Dandenong is starting to pay dividends. But while research has found three keys to success, the benefits haven't reached everyone.
Waters from the Herbert River, which runs toward one of northern Australia’s richest agricultural districts, could be redirected under a Bradfield scheme. Patrick White

‘New Bradfield’: rerouting rivers to recapture a pioneering spirit

The ‘New Bradfield’ scheme seeks to revive a nation-building ethos supposedly stifled by bureaucratic inertia. But there are good reasons the scheme never became a reality.
It isn’t just that city dwellers assume superiority, some Australians living in rural and regional areas also internalise a sense of inferiority. Mangostar/Shutterstock

Geographical narcissism: when city folk just assume they’re better

Big cities are seen as the centre of everything, which creates an attitude that often devalues the work and skills of rural professionals. And sometimes even they subconsciously buy into this.
A thick haze has settled over Sydney, blown in from northwest of the city. Dean Lewins/AAP

What do Sydney and other cities have in common? Dust

The haze now engulfing Sydney isn't an isolated problem. Cities around the world struggle to manage the many sources of tiny airborne particles and the discomfort and illnesses these cause.
Defective apartment buildings aren’t just affecting the evacuated residents – the whole sector is suffering from a crisis of confidence. Paul Miller/AAP

Lack of information on apartment defects leaves whole market on shaky footings

The difficulty of finding out about building defects creates an information deficit that threatens public confidence and stability in the apartment market. NSW has begun work on a solution.
The lure of suburbia clearly remains strong. To deal with sprawl, planners need to increase urban density in a way that resonates with the leafy green qualities of suburbia that residents value. Julian Bolleter

GOD save us: greenspace-oriented development could make higher density attractive

Residents of the 'leafy suburbs' will continue to fear what they might lose to increasing urban density without an explicit planning approach that enhances green space in affected neighbourhoods.
One nine-year-old chose his local supermarket as a place he valued because he could “spend time with mum and help decide what goes in our trolley”. Shutterstock

Public places through kids’ eyes – what do they value?

When primary school children in a disadvantaged part of Sydney were asked to map what they valued in the area, their choices were revealing and sometimes surprising.
Many rarely used bikes end up languishing in the shed. peace baby/Shutterstock

Own a bike you never ride? We need to learn how to fail better at active transport

Where bikes are kept is a strong pointer to the place of cycling in the owner's life. Effective active transport policy starts with understanding what stops people using their bikes instead of cars.
Turning a street tree into timber is much more respectful and useful than mulching it all.

When a tree dies, don’t waste your breath. Rescue the wood to honour its memory

City trees are often short-lived and many others get cut down in their prime. Turning them into mulch both wastes timber and releases stored carbon. A wood rescue program creates a more fitting legacy.
Smart transport solutions make better use of existing infrastructure and reduce the need to build expensive new roads. AdobeStock

Smart tech systems cut congestion for a fraction of what new roads cost

Faced with the eye-watering costs of building infrastructure, it makes sense to turn to much more cost-effective smart technology to get traffic flowing.
The declaration of the 5 million-hectare Katiti Petermann Indigenous Protected Area around Uluru in 2015 helped take the land area of northern Australia in the hands of traditional owners to around 60%. Central Land Council/AAP

Remote Indigenous Australia’s ecological economies give us something to build on

Expanding on sustainable practices in remote parts of Australia can deliver great benefits to both local Indigenous owners and national and global communities.

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