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Articles on Urban infrastructure

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A tidal drain at South Yarra, Melbourne, in 2008. The installation of litter-trapping equipment now prevents access. Photo: Victoria Kolankiewicz

What lies beneath: tunnels for trafficking, or just a subterranean service? Time to rescue these spaces from the conspiracists

What was once the stuff of urban legends now spreads virally through social media claims the tunnels beneath our cities are used for child trafficking. The truth is both more mundane and important.
The Australian and Victorian governments have both promised funding for a Melbourne Airport rail link, but a private consortium’s unsolicited proposal is also on the table. Stefan Postles/AAP

Market-led infrastructure may sound good but not if it short-changes the public

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.
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.
As one of the fastest-growing cities in the developed world, Melbourne’s suburban sprawl has many costs. Nils Versemann/Shutterstock

Rapid growth is widening Melbourne’s social and economic divide

State and local governments can’t do much about the rapid population growth in Melbourne, but they can take steps to reduce the costs of growing disparities between the outer suburbs and inner city.
When political leaders swap suits for hi-viz vests the costs of the promises they make are high, and often not well justified. Lukas Coch/AAP

Transport promises for election 2019: the good, the bad and the downright ugly

The major parties are promising tens of billions of dollars in transport spending, but only a handful of projects are on Infrastructure Australia’s national priority list with approved business cases.
Commuters at Epping train station board replacement buses during work on the line for the Sydney Metro, the biggest of all the promised projects. Mick Tsikas/AAP

How the NSW election promises on transport add up

The major parties are promising projects costing tens of billions of dollars, with a surprisingly large overlap between them. Yet only two have been endorsed by infrastructure authorities.

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