While the bushfire crisis might provoke a sense of urgency to rebuild, we need to stop and properly plan where and how we construct buildings and open spaces.
Public protests eventually forced the scrapping of some proposed freeways in 1973. Today, we have another round of projects and people are protesting again, with good reason. Government should listen.
Transport modelling has been tarnished by its use to justify the predetermined projects politicians favour. But, if used more transparently, it's a valuable tool for planning our future cities.
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.
The new payphones have Wi-Fi, mobile charging and transport information. But city councils are concerned they're digital billboards for Telstra, which could cost billions in lost productivity.
We need to change council planning rules that prevent community members from having a say on proposed development in their local area.
We just need shops, cafes and other services within easy reach to get us walking extra minutes in our busy days.
It doesn't take much to start making it easier for people with a disability to get around a city.
Developing computer models can help us to study the structural causes of urban inequality.
A substantial building programme is needed to rearrange our cities to benefit all types of journeys – not just commutes.
The global trend is to free up valuable city space by reducing parking and promoting other forms of transport that don't clog roads and pollute the air. Australian cities are still putting cars first.
Australia has well established urban design guidelines, whereas many Chinese cities don't have any – and it shows. But Australia can also learn from China.
Cities must manage all the competing uses for limited roadside space to avoid congestion and maximise efficiency. And that begins with reliable data.
Children are the future, so why don't we listen to them more often?
Good urban design and walkability boost local economic activity by increasing public activity, but cities need to pay more attention to the effects of microclimates on streets and public spaces.
Indonesia has plans to move its capital outside of Java, but the government has yet to make the case for this move.
When a city gets to a certain size, it starts to make sense to have multiple centres of activity, and three are planned for Sydney. So what needs to be done to bring the city closer to this goal?
Australian cities have a glut of parking, even as politicians move to protect parking spaces or promise even more. There are better ways to keep congestion manageable and our cities liveable.
A newly released ten-year plan for Melbourne aims for fewer cars, safer streets and more shared spaces. A significant amount of parking and road space would be reallocated to walking and cycling.
Other countries are planning new cities using technological innovation to achieve more sustainable development. Such plans aren't new for Australia, but existing city growth is the focus of attention.