The Gold Coast light rail project provides an opportunity to study the scale of property value gains arising from new transport infrastructure.
Land value gains following the opening of stage one of the Gold Coast light rail project were worth around 25% of its cost.
Opponents of projects are often scorned as NIMBYs, but active citizenship and local consultation are key elements in creating a city that works well for as many people as possible.
Cities are home to many different people who will not always agree. We need to learn to embrace public debate as an ongoing, constructive process for working through diverse views and values.
A special tax paid for the Gold Coast light rail. But there is another way.
Much of the infrastructure Australia needs will be funded by "value capture" – raising tax revenue by boosting land values. Some have decried it as a tax hike in all but name, but it isn't really.
Residents protest against the felling of century-old trees to make way for light rail along Anzac Parade in Sydney.
If planning decisions properly considered the value of trees in a city, we could have a modern transport system and tree-lined views to enhance the journey.
The Gold Coast has already had a slice of light rail funding – and many cities want to follow suit.
AAP Image/Dave Hunt
The Turnbull government seems to have lifted Abbott's moratorium on rail funding, but giving light rail to every city that wants it will take some clever strategies to woo private investors.
The way forward? Light rail helps urban development far more than roads do - the challenge is how to pay for it.
AAP Image/Dave Hunt
Light rail is good for cities, but it's also expensive, which is why many Australian cities have opted for buses instead. But there is a way to get top-drawer public transport using private dollars.
Plaid Cymru want to expand the Welsh government’s Bwcabus service.
credit: John Bristow
Regulators, rebates and retaining bus services - Plaid's transport policy offers a lot, but little explanation on how to fund it.
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Light rail enthusiasts aboard Edinburgh’s new tram.
Finally the Edinburgh tram has opened – more than three years late and significantly over budget. Disputes with contractors caused long construction delays. The disruptive construction work was unpopular…