Articles on Urban policy

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When public investment in a development like Sydney’s Northern Beaches Hospital boosts land values, who should reap those gains: the community or individual owners? NSW Premier's Office/AAP

Tax on ‘unearned gains’ is the missing piece of the affordable housing puzzle

Who is entitled to the increase in value created by planning approvals, new infrastructure, population growth or urban development? For John Stuart Mill, the answer would have been the community.
Must we become passive observers to the destruction of one of Melbourne’s most culturally diverse and socially rich suburbs?

When a suburb’s turn for gentrification comes …

Must the aggressive, homogeneous global pattern of development take its course in Melbourne's long-standing multicultural suburb of Footscray?
Brisbane cycle path signage: Slow! Michael Coghlan

We should create cities for slowing down

Smart cities are usually optimised like a business for speed and efficiency. Placemaking can slow down cities to improve health and wellbeing and promote more democratic engagement of citizens.
To meet the needs of lower-income households, housing should be both affordable and located near public transport and other services. Graeme Bartlett/Wikimedia

What a difference a month makes, but Victoria can still do more to get housing and planning right

Victoria has been lagging behind other states in developing an affordable housing strategy. Now that one has been released, how well does it meet the needs of households on lower incomes?
Empty field north of downtown Detroit, photographed nine months before the city declared bankruptcy in 2013. AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File

Detroit’s recovery: The glass is half-full at most

Less than four years after Detroit filed for bankruptcy, boosters say a revival is underway in the Motor City. But two scholars say new growth has not spread yet to neighborhoods that need it.
Wes Mountain/The Conversation

Eight podcasts to get between your ears this year

The Conversation asked eight authors from across its sections to tell us about their favourite podcasts – and why you should tune in.
The draft regional plan, ShapingSEQ, released by Queensland Deputy Premier Jackie Trad, has been influenced by ‘stakeholders’ rather than representative community input. Twitter

ShapingSEQ regional plan gives ‘stakeholders’ a bigger say than citizens

The draft plan for Southeast Queensland largely takes a 'provide land for the predicted demand' approach, which assumes regional planning is a type of technical process best left to the experts.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signs legislation lowering the default speed limit from 30 to 25 miles per hour, Oct. 27, 2014. NYC Department of Transportation/Flickr

Urban nation: What’s at stake for cities in the 2016 elections

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have painted starkly different views of U.S. cities during the campaign. Will the next president deliver the funding and political support mayors are seeking?
Connecting cities should serve all citizens, not just a few. Illustration via shutterstock.com

How to ensure smart cities benefit everyone

Design will make the difference between smart city projects offering great promise or actually reinforcing or even widening the existing gaps in unequal ways their cities serve residents.
Brazil’s favelas are famous, but so are its ambitious efforts to bring roads, water, electricity, and land rights to its informal urban settlements. eflon/flickr

Is this the end of slum upgrading in Brazil?

For decades, Brazil has worked to improve conditions in its poorest neighbourhoods: building roads, drainage, lighting, and safer housing. Will budget cuts end its ambitious slum-upgrading efforts?
The Tent Embassy in Canberra has for decades been symbolic of the tensions in Australian cities about recognition, reconciliation and land justice. Dylan Wood/AAP

How can we meaningfully recognise cities as Indigenous places?

Imagine if we did urban development in a way that honours Indigenous histories, knowledge and relationships with those places.
At Tolhuistuin, the government provides the land, old building stock and a maintenance budget for a fixed period while the creatives develop the precinct themselves. Maurice Mikkers/flickr

Create to regenerate: cities tap into talent for urban renewal

When municipal or state governments join forces with smaller creative communities to shape urban regeneration the results can be far-reaching.
Melbourne is being transformed by high-rise apartments, with some even being purpose-built for the Airbnb market. Jorge Láscar/flickr

How Airbnb is reshaping our cities

If the sharing economy is here to stay, planners and designers must respond with imagination to spread the positive effects of the tourism economy for the benefit of residents as well as tourists.

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