Articles on city planning

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Demonstrations against freeway construction in Melbourne included a street barricade erected in protest at the F19 extension of the Eastern Freeway. Barricade! – the resident fight against the F19

We’re still fighting city freeways after half a century

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.
When politicians use selected modelling results to justify their decisions on contentious projects like Melbourne’s North East Link, the credibility of transport models suffers by association. Vic Govt/AAP

The problem with transport models is political abuse, not their use in planning

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.
The Melbourne Transportation Plan included every freeway and major arterial road built in the city since 1969. Shuang Li/Shutterstock

50 years on from the Melbourne Transportation Plan, what can we learn from its legacy?

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.
Telstra’s new digital advertising payphones can be found at Melbourne’s Bourke Street Mall. In this photo, the older centre booth sits between two of Telstra’s larger high-tech booths. City of Melbourne

Telstra’s new high-tech payphones are meeting resistance from councils, but why?

The new payphones have Wi-Fi, mobile charging and transport information. But city councils are concerned they're digital billboards for Telstra, which could cost billions in lost productivity.
Car parking occupies a large proportion of urban areas, and cities cannot keep sacrificing so much space to meet demand. Neil Sipe

What can our cities do about sprawl, congestion and pollution? Tip: scrap car parking

The global trend is to free up valuable city space by reducing parking and promoting other forms of transport that don't clog roads and pollute the air. Australian cities are still putting cars first.
Dalian is an emerging city and tourist destination in China, but its urban spaces could be improved in many ways. Paul J Martin/Shutterstock

China can learn from Australian urban design, but it’s not all one-way traffic

Australia has well established urban design guidelines, whereas many Chinese cities don't have any – and it shows. But Australia can also learn from China.
Cairns Lagoon: as a good response to the tropical climate, it’s a very active place but with little business activity. Silvia Tavares

City temperatures and city economics, a hidden relationship between sun and wind and profits

Good urban design and walkability boost local economic activity by increasing public activity, but cities need to pay more attention to the effects of microclimates on streets and public spaces.
Sydney CBD is highly accessible and remains clearly the dominant centre in the metropolitan region. Holli/Shutterstock

How close is Sydney to the vision of creating three 30-minute cities?

When a city gets to a certain size, it starts to make sense to have multiple centres of activity, and three are planned for Sydney. So what needs to be done to bring the city closer to this goal?
Car parking is such a pervasive feature of our cities that we have become blind to how much space it takes up. Shuang Li/Shutterstock

Of all the problems our cities need to fix, lack of car parking isn’t one of them

Australian cities have a glut of parking, even as politicians move to protect parking spaces or promise even more. There are better ways to keep congestion manageable and our cities liveable.
Walking accounts for about 90% of all travel in Melbourne city centre, yet pedestrians are allocated only 24% of street space. Adam Calaitzis/Shutterstock

Move away from a car-dominated city looks radical but it’s a sensible plan for a liveable future

A newly released ten-year plan for Melbourne aims for fewer cars, safer streets and more shared spaces. A significant amount of parking and road space would be reallocated to walking and cycling.

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