Articles on Planning

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The time savings calculated in road project planning are based on incorrect assumptions about driver behaviour. Mick Tsikas/AAP

Modelling for major road projects is at odds with driver behaviour

Projects like Sydney’s WestConnex and Melbourne’s Western Distributor don't account for real world evidence of driver behaviour in estimating travel time savings.
A prehistoric scene showing ancient penguins, elephant seals and giant marsupials. A rich diversity of both marine and land creatures once lived at Beaumaris, Melbourne, about 7 million years ago. Peter Trusler, Monash University

We need to protect the fossil heritage on our doorstep

Palaeontologists say it's rare to find a rich fossil site in an urban area. That's why they're worried such a site near Melbourne could be threatened by proposed development.
Community protests ensure urban planners pay attention to the politics of their work, while research evidence can more easily be neglected. AAP/Courtney Biggs

‘Not a lot of people read the stuff’: how planning defies good theory

Urban planners tend to be attuned to council and community politics. They are less well informed when it comes to applying the findings of research to improve the quality of their work.
Scarborough, Queensland: no longer allowed to factor in sea-level rise in its planning laws. Seo75/Wikimedia Commons

Complacency rules as Queensland makes risky edict on sea-level rise

Queensland Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney’s decision, revealed this week, to order a Brisbane council to remove future sea-level rise from its planning regulations seems a rather short-sighted thing to do…
Denmark’s capital, Copenhagen, offers an idea of how pleasant and practical the Velotopian dream of a bike-friendly city might be. AAP/Visit Denmark

Utopia: seriously, good urban planning should aspire to it

The Australian television satire Utopia invited the public along for a laugh that architects and planners have been sharing for decades. We laugh at the idea of utopia to disassociate ourselves from the…
Time is in our hands, more than we realise. Flickr, Spanish Flea

Why we should make time for remembering the future

We are curious about time. It holds us in a state of wonder, of anticipation for the future. The ability to categorise the past - history - and think about the future - planning - is a basic element of…
Looks lovely. But what’s it for? Graeme Churchard

How to make the green belt productive – but still green

England’s green belts have had, and continue to have, a major impact on town planning. The idea of a ring of countryside surrounding an urban area to prevent sprawl originated in the 1930s and spread to…
Could politicians and scientists in the future be charged with “climate negligence”? Julie G/Flickr

Will the climate debate end up being fought in court?

Society generally has a clear idea of what constitutes a crime, and those in positions of power are usually held to very high standards. Politicians charged with making decisions on the needs of society…
Automatically labelling people as NIMBYs if they have concerns about local power projects is not a constructive way to proceed. Grahamec/Wikimedia Commons

Calling people NIMBYs won’t stop development arguments

From coal seam gas to wind farms, new resource projects seem to be pitting communities against corporations, and people against their neighbours. We often see, in such cases, community concerns labelled…
Coasts are at risk from rising seas, but that risk could be alleviated by coastal ecosystems such as mangroves. Sheep"R"Us/Flickr

How wetlands can help us adapt to rising seas

Instead of costly levees and seawalls, coastal ecosystems could offer an alternative way to protect Australia’s coastal communities from rising seas, saving money and storing carbon along the way. Sea…
Eroded beaches in Surfers Paradise on Queensland’s Gold Coast, May 2013. John Reid, Environment Studio, ANU School of Art

Scrapping sea level protection puts Australian homes at risk

As the science on the coastal impacts of climate change gets stronger, the protections for Australia’s coastal communities are getting weaker. If that continues, everyone will pay. Along the eastern seaboard…
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…
The proposed HS2 line near Altofts, south of Leeds: big changes, but who decides? HS2

HS2: how do we resolve megaproject planning?

The UK’s largest infrastructure projects of coming decades have been wrapped in controversy: the HS2 high-speed rail line linking London to the north is mired in political wrangling and disputed facts…

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