Articles on Cities & Policy

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Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle explains the revised Queen Victoria Market redevelopment, flanked by Planning Minister Richard Wynne and Premier Daniel Andrews. Joe Castro/AAP

Social mix in housing? One size doesn’t fit all, as new projects show

Mixing public and private housing in urban renewal projects can be a contentious business. But public good and optimal use of public resources, not developer interests, should guide such decisions.
Why is it easier to imagine a green ecocity than a just city where everyone belongs? the yes man/flickr

Why the ecocity needs to be a just city

What is an economy for? And how do we build a community where everyone belongs? We need to answer questions like these to create good, sustainable cities.
Many people in culturally diverse populations in Western Sydney have lived in Australia for many years, if not several generations. Shutterstock

Blaming migrants won’t solve Western Sydney’s growing pains

Reasoned debates on sustainable migration intake levels are important. But transport and health infrastructure shortfalls in Western Sydney won't be solved by reactive anti-immigration attitudes.
Property is under threat, physically and conceptually, from climate change. .Martin./flickr

Can property survive the great climate transition?

To create property systems that are as dynamic as the landscapes we occupy, we might need to start thinking about ourselves as belonging to and answerable to the land, not the other way around.
Soft Landing recycles the materials of mattresses that otherwise get dumped in landfill. Alan Stanton/flickr

What ethical business can do to help make ecocities a reality

City dwellers are individually starting to do their bit to live sustainably. Now pioneering businesses are aiming to make ecological and social sustainability part of their bottom line.
Increasing access to health data and more readily available analytical tools offer some opportunities to tackle the ever-growing rates of obesity. AAP/Dave Hunt

With better data access, urban planners could help ease our weight problems

Enshrining the need for planning healthy built environments in legislation will help ensure the fundamental role planners have to play in facilitating healthy lifestyles.
Our national wellbeing probably peaked with Australia’s population at roughly 15 million in the 1970s, when this photo was taken in Hunters Hill, Sydney. John Ward/flickr

Why a population of, say, 15 million makes sense for Australia

Australia's GPI, a broad measure of national wellbeing, has stalled since 1974. So what has been the point of huge population and GDP growth since then if we and our environment are no better off?
The uniquely weak regulation of high-rise, high-density development exemplifies the market-driven growth of Australian cities. Julian Smith/AAP

Market-driven compaction is no way to build an ecocity

Achieving the goal of sustainable cities depends on rolling back the market after decades of privatisation and deregulation.
An artist’s impression of the new river crossing to be built as part of the West Gate Tunnel project. Western Distributor Authority

Impending traffic chaos? Beware the problematic West Gate Tunnel forecasts

Melbourne's proposed road project relies on assumptions that inflate estimates of the traffic the new link will carry – but other choices about the future of transport are open to us.
Cities suffer the planning consequences of rapid population growth while the federal government reaps the revenue. Gilad Rom/Flickr

City planning suffers growth pains of Australia’s population boom

Financial benefits are behind the development industry’s push for a continuous rapid population growth. But our poorly planned cities are ill-prepared and already struggling.
At the Ashwood-Chadstone estate, Port Phillip Housing Association has built high-quality homes, with no visible difference between the 72 private and 206 community housing dwellings. PPHA

Community sector offers a solid platform for fair social housing

Concerns about the privatisation of public housing estates should not blind us to the benefits of the transfer of public housing to the not-for-profit community housing sector.

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