There are three key principles: prevent risk, evacuate users and minimise damage – in that order.
The highly politicised nature of the NBN has led to a lack of transparency that makes it even harder to fix the mess that has been made of this vital national infrastructure.
The light rail project pushed up property values within 800 metres of the stations by over 30% from 1996 to 2016. Gains on this scale offer a potential source of finance for public transport.
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.
Suburban areas feel infrastructure stress most acutely. Having to deal with severe inadequacies, suburbs offer fertile ground for infrastructure experimentation and innovation.
Long-term privatisation contracts, most of them closed to scrutiny, lock urban infrastructure into 20th-century formats unsuited for a climate-threatened planet.
Politicised transport projects that flout proper process lead to hostility between residents and governments, and give planners a bad name.
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.
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.
Building a second Sydney airport will be a demanding engineering project. But the real challenge will be one of governance needed to choreograph the mix of old and new city that will surround it.
Consider these home truths: value capture is a tax, it would need to apply to the family home and deciding which areas it covers would be politically contentious. A broad-based land tax is simpler.
Perth's Roe 8 project illustrates all that is wrong with how we are planning and managing infrastructure in our cities.
Future population growth is expected to take place almost entirely in cities. We won't fight climate change without them.
In a busy city like London, green space is a valuable commodity.
Like a 5D movie on speed, the city today defies conventional boundaries. This raises new questions about what we imagine to be 'the city' – and how we as a democratic community can shape it.
Populations revolt when lives are improving but not fast enough to meet their rising expectations.
Bigger cities increase wages, output and innovation, but also problems of congestion and pollution. Congestion charges can minimise these problems by dramatically improving traffic flows.
The Coalition, Labor, and the Greens are making substantial commitments to projects that not only lack proper business cases, but are not even on the Infrastructure Australia priority list at all.
Labor says that public sector infrastructure investment has fallen 20% under the Abbott-Turnbull government. Is that right?
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.