Victoria's volcanic plains offer fertile ground for grasslands teeming with wildflowers. But that same fertility has also made the plains a tempting target for grazers and growers, and developers too.
With a strategic plan adopted, it not only shows where development should be avoided but clears the way for development in other areas. So Perth needs to get it right.
In the media, urban consolidation is often depicted as a threat to Australian suburban life. In reality, it's a result of managed planning processes to ensure growing cities remain liveable.
Early residents in new communities are known as 'pioneers' – they arrive before many services are in place. A five-year study points to the many benefits of putting in good services early on.
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.
The Turnbull government sees the 'City Deal' as a way for 'smart cities' to drive innovation and growth. But what is the value proposition behind this UK concept and how might it work in Australia?
The world's informal settlements are growing at an unprecedented rate, with about one in four urban dwellers living in slums. We need to rethink how we view and deal with these people and places.
Achieving green cities will require more than just canopy cover targets and central city strategies. It will need new approaches to urban planning and development.
Plans for managing Perth's rapid urban growth have been touted as green. But they still look like robbing the iconic Carnaby's black cockatoo of yet more crucial habitat.
Effective development planning must anticipate where growth might occur and its wider impacts. So, if the federal government is serious about cities policy, it needs a proper settlements plan.
Under pressure to be a global city, market-led infrastructure provision is shifting the focus from public to private interests, from government as promoter to government as client, with mixed results.
Curbing negative gearing will help get empty housing onto the market. This could go some way to bringing life back to relatively dense urban centres that are oddly lacking intensity of public life.
The city of light has found a way to draw on the resources of the private sector, while looking after the interests of its citizens.
Tensions are mounting between the professional practices of government planners, processes of public participation and the private sector's increasing role in shaping Australian cities.
Frederick Wiseman's documentary 'In Jackson Heights' explores the joys, struggles, victories and defeats of one of the most diverse communities in the country.
At the Habitat III summit in October, governments will agree an agenda to guide sustainable global urban development over the next 20 years. The rise of the ethical city is a key element of this.
Cities aren't the ever-growing, long-lasting powerhouses we think they are.
It's up to state governments to ensure urban planning rules properly reflect both the desires of residents in the 21st century and the principles of sustainability.
Ignoring residents' concerns about boarding houses and failing to allay their fears helps nobody – least of all those in dire need of affordable housing options.
Home teardowns are often unnecessary and costly, in more ways than one.