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Analysis and Comment (18)

When it gets hot in the city, where’s the best place to go? When it gets hot in the city, where’s the best place to go? Alpha/Flickr

Smart urban design could save lives in future heatwaves

Heatwaves — Australia’s biggest natural killers — are getting more frequent and hotter thanks to climate change. One day cities such as Melbourne may see unprecedented heat, perhaps 48C or higher. But…
Stuck in the past: Sydney’s rail system is crying out for investment, but Australian approaches to fares and funding are out of date. Stuck in the past: Sydney’s rail system is crying out for investment, but Australian approaches to fares and funding are out of date. Chris Hale

Public transport has been let down by our reluctance to pay for it

Public transport has a problem with money. Campaigners often argue that mass transit is a public good in its own right, and hence should be very cheap or even free. Mainstream media and even many self-proclaimed…
The Castelao stadium in Fortaleza was the first of Brazil’s World Cup stadiums to receive green certification. The Castelao stadium in Fortaleza was the first of Brazil’s World Cup stadiums to receive green certification. Pedroichimaru/Wikimedia Commons

The real story behind Brazil’s ‘greenest World Cup’

This year’s World Cup was supposed to be the “greenest ever”, with FIFA taking measures to account for the event’s greenhouse gas emissions, including an estimated 2.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide…
South Australia’s answer to dolewave, Bitch Perfect. South Australia’s answer to dolewave, Bitch Perfect. Bedroom Suck Records

Joe Hockey killed dolewave music, though it barely existed

It must have come as a relief to many Australian musicians that maligned guitar-pop genre tag “dolewave” met an untimely end the other week. I imagine it would have been the only relief Australian musicians…
Thousands of bodies remain buried under Melbourne’s Queen Vic Market carpark. Thousands of bodies remain buried under Melbourne’s Queen Vic Market carpark. Koppenbadger

Should the dead roll over to make room for real estate?

As a general rule, one place you really don’t want to find yourself is in-between a Melburnian and a piece of real estate. But one group of long-term city residents has been getting in the way of developers…
Street life helps us to pretend we’re not just Pavlov’s dogging it to capitalism’s sonorous bell. Street life helps us to pretend we’re not just Pavlov’s dogging it to capitalism’s sonorous bell. a little tune

Street life: how do you revive a dull urban area?

Sixty-six years ago, the esteemed town planner Frank Heath took a bite out of his home town of Melbourne – from a safe distance. The Melbourne Herald was interviewing Heath in London. Quite possibly causing…
The best objectives of Plan Melbourne lack any real mechanisms or scope for implementation. The best objectives of Plan Melbourne lack any real mechanisms or scope for implementation. AAP/David Crosling

Back-to-front decision-making bedevils Melbourne’s city planning

Metropolitan planning is an enormous undertaking, and no Australian government has yet appeared up to the task. That includes the strategy for Melbourne that the Victorian government has been preparing…
Labor shouldn’t see the Greens as the enemy if they want to regain the power and standing they lost at the ballot box. Labor shouldn’t see the Greens as the enemy if they want to regain the power and standing they lost at the ballot box. AAP/Julian Smith

With friends like these: Labor hatred of the Greens is self-defeating

Over the weekend, the Labor Party seemed to embark on a media tantrum around their failure to recapture the seat of Melbourne from the Greens' Adam Bandt. The local Victorian state member for Brunswick…
The intractable asylum seeker issue has dominated Australian politics like no other recently. Where will it play most in the coming election? The intractable asylum seeker issue has dominated Australian politics like no other recently. Where will it play most in the coming election? AAP/Paul Miller

Stop the votes: the seats where the asylum issue resonates most

The vexed issue of asylum seekers arriving by boat on Australian shores has dominated our political psyche for over a decade. Prime minister Kevin Rudd’s announcement shortly after returning to office…
The ‘most liveable city’ accolade should be viewed with scepticism. The ‘most liveable city’ accolade should be viewed with scepticism. Image from shutterstock.com

Melbourne, the world’s most liveable city? Not exactly

For the third year in a row, Melbourne has been named as the world’s most liveable city by the The Economist Intelligence Unit Survey. From the Lord Mayor to Molly Meldrum, it seems that almost everybody…
Bandt AAP Image Julian Smith. Bandt AAP Image Julian Smith.

Reassessing Melbourne three years on

Kevin Rudd’s restoration to the ALP leadership may yet be an electoral game-changer as the polling day of September 7 fast approaches. Recent opinion polling suggests Labor’s primary vote has returned…
The planned Melbourne Metro project faces engineering hurdles, but there may be light at the end of the tunnel. The planned Melbourne Metro project faces engineering hurdles, but there may be light at the end of the tunnel. AAP/Julian Smith

Dig this: how to construct Melbourne’s Metro tunnel safely

According to a report in Fairfax media today, the Labor government is set to announce funding for Melbourne’s A$9 billion metro rail tunnel, in addition to the A$40 million it has already contributed towards…
Melbourne MP Greens Adam Bandt is up for re-election at this year’s federal election. Melbourne MP Greens Adam Bandt is up for re-election at this year’s federal election. Lukas Coch/AAP

The Melbourne microcosm: how one seat may define the Green v Labor fight

The battle for the seat of Melbourne at this year’s federal election will be nothing short of a bruising affair. Melbourne is of enormous symbolic importance to both Labor and the Green Party. For Labor…
La Trobe’s Vice-Chancellor John Dewar defends his cuts to the humanities program. La Trobe’s Vice-Chancellor John Dewar defends his cuts to the humanities program. ABC News

Vice-Chancellor: La Trobe protestors abused freedom of speech

On Sunday, La Trobe University held its most successful Open Day ever, with more than 19,000 visitors. But the day was disrupted by student protests against recently announced changes to our Faculty of…
Is next week’s Melbourne state byelection a test for federal Labor? Is next week’s Melbourne state byelection a test for federal Labor? AAP Image/Joe Castro

Melbourne byelection: has a Labor stronghold gone Green?

The looming byelection in the state seat of Melbourne is set to have a national impact. With Greens candidate Cathy Oke strongly tipped to beat Labor’s Jennifer Kanis on 21 July - the first time the ALP…
Police dragged protestors away from the Occupy Melbourne protests one by one. Police dragged protestors away from the Occupy Melbourne protests one by one. AAP/Julian Smith

#OccupyMelbourne - an eyewitness account of overwhelming police force

I received a text message on Friday morning from a friend at the Occupy Melbourne protest at City Square, saying that the protesters were about to be forcibly evicted. From my time in City Square the previous…
Francis Galton pioneered the concept of eugenics in this lab in London in the late 19th century. Francis Galton pioneered the concept of eugenics in this lab in London in the late 19th century. Flickr/Science Museum London

Eugenics in Australia: The secret of Melbourne’s elite

Eugenics — the science of improving the race —was a powerful influence on the development of Western civilisation in the first half of the twentieth century. And Melbourne’s elite were among its chief…
Melbourne has been voted the world’s most liveable city: but for who? Melbourne has been voted the world’s most liveable city: but for who? flickr/glennnn

Liveability prizes are nice but we have to … er … live here

City leaders and media across the world have been celebrating or commiserating over this week’s announcement of the annual “world’s most liveable city" rankings. Indeed, a resplendent Melbourne Lord Mayor…