Articles on Melbourne

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Melbourne is being transformed by high-rise apartments, with some even being purpose-built for the Airbnb market. Jorge Láscar/flickr

How Airbnb is reshaping our cities

If the sharing economy is here to stay, planners and designers must respond with imagination to spread the positive effects of the tourism economy for the benefit of residents as well as tourists.
Hosier Lane, the iconic Melbourne laneway. David Kelly

Graf all you want, but don’t you dare be poor!

Businesses have traded on graffiti and the air of edginess that draws visitors to Melbourne's laneways. But they draw the line at sharing space with the homeless, whose right to the city is denied.
Tracking what you stop to pay attention to and what you ‘don’t see’ can tell us a lot about what might be going on inside your mind.

The Panopticons are coming! And they’ll know when we think the grass is greener

Eye-tracking technology helps us understand how people interact with their environment. This can improve policy and design, but can also be a tool for surveillance and control.
Urban planning was once an Olympic event, although the first gold medal – awarded to Germany’s Alfred Hensel for the Nuremberg stadium – turned out to be an unfortunate choice.

‘No More Hunger’ Games: if only we cared about the real-world Liveability Olympics

Imagine cities competed to eliminate hunger, poverty, unemployment, crime and greenhouse emissions, and to offer housing and transport for all. Don't scoff – urban planning was once an Olympic event.
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. AAP/Melissa Meehan

Inner-city bias: the suburbs need a fair go

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

City calls on jury of its citizens to deliberate on Melbourne’s future

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. AAP/Andrew Brownbill

How to make cities work better – here’s what the government needs to do

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.
Streetlife density in Florence – urban buzz or overcrowding? Kim Dovey

Urban density matters – but what does it mean?

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.
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. flickr/Richard Drdul

Do the sums: bicycle-friendly changes are good business

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. Alex Proimos/Flickr

Towards a collaborative city: the case for a Melbourne Metropolitan Commission

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.
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

Why we should design smart cities for getting lost

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?

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