The Western Distributor project announced by the Andrews government will benefit Melbourne’s suburban residents in the west and north, but inner-city elites are mobilising against it.
It's a project that creates benefits for Melbourne's western suburbs and the state as a whole. But the inner-city elite don't like it and recent experience suggests their opinion holds sway.
In a citizens' jury, difficult issues are passionately but respectfully discussed by a cross-section of people from the community.
NHS Citizen Assembly
A citizens' jury has been working to refresh the Future Melbourne strategy. It's part of a broader shift from government decision-making for communities to decision-making with communities.
By persuading some drivers to travel a different route or at a different time, congestion charges can dramatically improve the flow of traffic.
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.
Greens leader Richard Di Natale has his eyes on a number of Senate and House of Representatives seats.
AAP/Rebecca Le May
With four weeks to go there is still much uncertainty in this election campaign. But, so far, the Greens would be pleased with their performance.
Wasting food, wasting the earth.
Feeding Melbourne generates over 900,000 tonnes of edible food waste every year, enough to feed more than 2 million people.
Key discussion points are captured during one of the forums that helped develop the Resilient Melbourne Strategy.
City of Melbourne
The Resilient Melbourne Strategy, adopted this month, marks a shift towards “whole-of-city” thinking.
Brisbane aspires to be a truly smart and connected city.
Australia's Smart Cities Plan largely conveys a limited role for people: they live, work and consume. This neglects the rich body of work calling for better human engagement in smart cities.
Streetlife density in Florence – urban buzz or overcrowding?
One person's high density may be another's sprawl; the same tall building may be experienced as oppressive or exhilarating; a "good crowd" for one can be "overcrowded" for another.
Victoria’s wildflowers: best enjoyed up close.
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.
In one Melbourne case study, half-a-dozen bikes occupying the same space as a parked car generated, on average, nearly four times as much retail spending.
Pro-bike policies can boost local business. In one Melbourne case study, the average hourly retail spending from six bikes was $97.20 compared to $27 from one car occupying an equivalent space.
While Melbourne City Council is responsible for the CBD, governance of the vast area of metropolitan Melbourne is poorly co-ordinated between 31 councils in all.
Governance of metropolitan Melbourne is fragmented among 31 city councils. All levels of government need to work towards creating a metropolitan authority to meet the challenges of a growing city.
Governments need not only to create affordable housing, but to keep it affordable in the long run.
Some common misapprehensions remain about who needs affordable housing and how those needs might be met.
There is growing concern the proliferation of skyscrapers will be to the detriment of cities.
We need to move away from thinking about the skyscraper as an “icon”. Instead, we should be asking how the tall building – which will always “stand out” – can also “fit in” to cities.
Michael Hutchence bought name recognition to Dogs in Space.
The Making of Dogs in Space
Richard Lowenstein's 1986 film Dogs in Space was a punk circus/social document that alienated many. But on the film's 30th anniversary, it seems the world has caught up with it and a new audience of fans has emerged.
Are we there yet?
A fast rail link between Sydney and Melbourne was first proposed in 1984. So why haven't we done it yet?
The ‘Lose Yourself in Melbourne’ ad was onto something: instead of being directed to the fastest or shortest route, some people might want to take a diverting detour.
'It's Easy to Lose Yourself in Melbourne', Tourism Victoria
If smart cities run on big data and algorithms that channel only 'relevant' information and opinions to us, how do we maintain the diversity of ideas and possibilities that drives truly smart cities?
An orang-utan playing with the interactive digital projector at the Melbourne Zoo.
Microsoft Research Centre for Social Natural User Interfaces at the University of Melbourne
An experiment providing interactive games for orang-utans is showing the potential for digital technology to enrich the lives of zoo animals.
One of Melbourne’s drinking water reservoirs at 30% capacity in 2010. At the time of writing, the dam is 60% full.
Despite its long idle, Melbourne's desalination plant plays a vital role in providing water in a drying climate.
Mapping health outcomes and life expectancy against train stations reveals stark inequalities across cities.
Where you live affects your health and life expectancy. This makes it possible to map health outcomes against train stations, so that you can readily see the inequalities across cities like Melbourne.
Oroville Dam in California, where water levels had fallen 30% by 2014.
Dam image from www.shutterstock.com
California's drought is dragging on into its fifth year. What can the state learn from Australia's 15-year millennium drought?