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The 85-year-old Frank Gehry has no intention of stopping, despite the controversy. AAP/Paul Miller

Iconic building alert: waiting for the Frank Gehry effect in Sydney

Last month, Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry delivered a defiant middle finger to a Spanish journalist who asked if his designs were “just about spectacle”. It’s a criticism that has dogged Gehry…
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in the past: Sydney’s rail system is crying out for investment, but Australian approaches to fares and funding are out of date.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 response to SBS documentary series Once Upon a Time in Punchbowl is indicative of the series' backstory and the ongoing debate it has entered. SBS/Author

Once Upon a Time in Punchbowl reveals diversity of views on Lebanese-Australians

The final week of SBS' four-part documentary series Once Upon a Time in Punchbowl brings us to the last decade’s crises for Lebanese Muslim communities in Sydney’s west, and the path to redemption they…
A record-breaking winter heatwave - which makes pretty nice weather for a dip. DAN HIMBRECHTS/AAPIMAGE

Winter heatwaves are nice … as extreme weather events go

If you’ve stepped outside at lunchtime in Sydney over the past few days, you’d be forgiven for thinking that it was more like early summer than the beginning of winter. On each of the past 23 days, the…
By releasing its master plan publicly, the Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust is allowing a debate to happen. Peter Gawthrop

Keating’s wrong about the plans for Sydney’s Botanic Gardens

The current debate led by Paul Keating about the Master Plan for Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens reminds us how patchy and inconsistent our democracy is in regard to the way we make our cities. The Royal…
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 vision for a “Global Sydney” overshadows the need for affordable housing in the city. James Morgan/AAP

Sydney’s ‘global’ vision bad news for local housing affordability

The forecast is grim for housing affordability in Sydney, according to a recent government briefing paper. In the last decade median rent for all properties in the inner ring of Sydney more than doubled…
This picture, from a trove of historic Sydney Harbour photos, shows the ferry South Steyne rounding Bennelong Point. Graeme Andrews 'Working Harbour' Collection, City of Sydney Archives

Harbour life: tracing early Sydney’s watery history

Never mind the bush and the outback – Sydneysiders were a maritime people from the start. For proof, browse through the Working Harbour collection, 10,000 images of Sydney’s maritime history recently donated…
Liberal candidate for Greenway Jaymes Diaz has made international headlines for his gaffe-prone campaign - but he may yet wrest the seat from Labor. Channel 10

Greenway, or the place which Jaymes Diaz is trying to represent

The ultra-marginal seat of Greenway in Sydney’s western suburbs has recently drawn international scrutiny after the embarrassing media performance of the Liberal candidate Jaymes Diaz, who faltered when…
Both parties have refused to commit to a second Sydney airport ahead of this election given its likely proximity to the crucial western Sydney region. AAP/Alan Porritt

A second Sydney airport? Not anytime soon

Western Sydney has been firmly in the spotlight throughout this federal election campaign. From the candidates who can’t remember their party’s plan to “stop the boats” to those who are “feisty and have…
Deputy prime minister Anthony Albanese will likely hold off a push from the Greens to claim his inner city Sydney seat of Grayndler. AAP/Paul Miller

Grayndler out of the mix for the Greens

The ALP is set to retain deputy prime minister Anthony Albanese’s seat of Grayndler following the Liberal Party’s decision to preference Labor over the Greens in the 2013 election. While the Greens made…
Gai Waterhouse and John Singleton in happier times: their acrimonious split and subsequent stewards' inquiry has typified the culture of Sydney. AAP/Paul Miller

A trainer, a bookie and a ‘drunk’: the Waterhouse saga simply screams Sydney

The Gai Waterhouse-John Singleton horse racing imbroglio has the feel of fiction. Its cast of characters could easily spring from the treatment for a new Underbelly series or the pages of a Peter Corris…
Has Julia Gillard’s tour of western Sydney been the vote winner she hoped? The answer is yet to come. Paul Miller/AAP

Julia Gillard’s western Sydney road show: the good, the bad and the ugly

The announcement that Prime Minister Julia Gillard would spend a week in the western suburbs of Sydney was greeted with mild amusement by some, and became the base of jokes about “beige rooms” for others…
The NSW Government recommends not eating fish caught west of Sydney Harbour Bridge. Gord McKenna/Flickr

Sydney Harbour’s toxic legacy shows value of green safety net

The story of dioxin contamination of Sydney Harbour shows us the great value of the green safety net of environmental law. The laws that form this green safety net, particularly federal laws, have recently…
Sydney is currently in the grip of a series of shooting attacks, particularly drive by incidents like this April 20 incident in the western suburbs. AAP/Dean Lewins

If police and government can’t control Sydney gun crime, local communities must

The spiralling rise in shooting crimes in Sydney’s western suburbs requires strong and sustained political, community and police action to make suburbs safe for families. I happen to live in a suburb that…

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