In a housing crisis, publicly owned land should never be sold to private developers and should instead be used to build the kind of housing the market is unwilling and unable to build.
China’s ban on ‘copycat’ architecture goes to the heart of architectural traditions.
The problems of demolishing high-rise buildings in busy cities point to the need to prepare for unbuilding at the time of building. We’d then be much better placed to recycle building materials.
Overseas, city-shaping mega-projects are generally overseen by local government, but in Australia state governments often step in and exclude council and community representatives from the process.
Public protests eventually forced the scrapping of some proposed freeways in 1973. Today, we have another round of projects and people are protesting again, with good reason. Government should listen.
Transport modelling has been tarnished by its use to justify the predetermined projects politicians favour. But, if used more transparently, it’s a valuable tool for planning our future cities.
While called a transportation plan,
it was heavily skewed towards roads. We need the type of city-shaping thinking that underpinned the plan, but today’s plans must match 21st-century priorities.
Governments and regulators assume compliance with building regulations will restore public confidence. But complying with the National Construction Code won’t fix many common defects.
Most homes are not as cyclone-ready as they could be. It seems lower insurance premiums aren’t enough of an incentive for owners to upgrade their homes, but a new study points to some solutions.
Unsolicited market proposals are not transparently assessed. Infrastructure should be built to serve the public interest, not shaped by its private backers, but the checks to ensure this are broken.
A major investment in renewing the urban centre of Dandenong is starting to pay dividends. But while research has found three keys to success, the benefits haven’t reached everyone.
Self-driving vehicles that constantly roam the streets looking for passengers could overwhelm cities. But, if kept in check, these vehicles could be useful for improving urban transport.
The ‘New Bradfield’ scheme seeks to revive a nation-building ethos supposedly stifled by bureaucratic inertia. But there are good reasons the scheme never became a reality.
Big cities are seen as the centre of everything, which creates an attitude that often devalues the work and skills of rural professionals. And sometimes even they subconsciously buy into this.
The haze now engulfing Sydney isn’t an isolated problem. Cities around the world struggle to manage the many sources of tiny airborne particles and the discomfort and illnesses these cause.
The government-backed body set up to help finance social housing providers is providing longer-term, cheaper loans. What’s still missing in Australia is direct public investment in new housing.
The difficulty of finding out about building defects creates an information deficit that threatens public confidence and stability in the apartment market. NSW has begun work on a solution.
Land-use planning should give more weight to the increasing risks of natural hazards like bushfires as the first step in reducing the impacts.
Residents of the ‘leafy suburbs’ will continue to fear what they might lose to increasing urban density without an explicit planning approach that enhances green space in affected neighbourhoods.
When primary school children in a disadvantaged part of Sydney were asked to map what they valued in the area, their choices were revealing and sometimes surprising.