Brisbane cycle path signage: Slow!
Smart cities are usually optimised like a business for speed and efficiency. Placemaking can slow down cities to improve health and wellbeing and promote more democratic engagement of citizens.
Both Donald Trump and his political opponents are on board the global infrastructure bandwagon.
Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA
The trillions of dollars spent on infrastructure demands democratic transparency and accountability. This applies to both the investment and to the effects on cities, societies and the environment.
What new and innovative infrastructure is likely to emerge from the suburbs?
Suburban areas feel infrastructure stress most acutely. Having to deal with severe inadequacies, suburbs offer fertile ground for infrastructure experimentation and innovation.
The Snowy Mountain Scheme is an iconic example of postwar nation-building infrastructure. By the decade after its completion, the sell-offs were in full swing.
Long-term privatisation contracts, most of them closed to scrutiny, lock urban infrastructure into 20th-century formats unsuited for a climate-threatened planet.
Politicised projects that steamroll proper process are giving transport planning a bad name.
Politicised transport projects that flout proper process lead to hostility between residents and governments, and give planners a bad name.
Aspiring ‘smart cities’ like Barcelona have worked to build their profile – it recently hosted the Smart City Expo World Congress – but Australia may benefit from not having rushed in.
Australia has lagged behind some other countries in its investment in smart cities, but in retrospect that may not have been such a bad thing.
The 2016 storm that blacked out South Australia had everyone talking about a critical infrastructure failure.
Critical infrastructure is our means of survival as an urban species. So, we must identify what is critical, for whom and how it might fail us.