Recap: all the issues discussed by The Urbanist in August

Barcelona market.jpg

My kind of market

Including repurposing golf courses, cycle superhighways, rough sleeping, social isolation, Uber tax, tiny apartments, Olympic medals, super commutes, motorcycles, and more

Should urban golf courses be used for something else?

Strong population growth in established areas prompts the question of whether or not golf courses are still the best way to use very large tracts of urban land

Shouldn’t all cities have a “cycle superhighway” plan?

It might look like all political gain and no financial pain, but the WA Government’s Cycling Network Plan is a valuable and important exercise that governments elsewhere should emulate as soon as possible

How big a problem are “super commutes”?

Rely on the sensationalising media for news and you might conclude most suburban workers suffer daily “super commutes” of an hour and a half or more. Not so

Why do some countries win most of the Olympic medals?

Certain countries consistently take the lion’s share of medals at the Olympics but it’s got little to do with national character and a lot to do with national wealth and political commitment

What’s better: a small apartment or nothing?

“If a cramped apartment is the best someone can find within their budget and other constraints, how would they be better off if that apartment didn’t exist?”

The end of ice cream economics

The Federal election suggests that if Labor cannot yet be trusted with the economy then the Liberals cannot be trusted with the wider society, says guest writer Garry Glazebrook

Is the EIU’s World’s Most Liveable City gong rubbish?

Melbourne is supposedly about to lose top spot in the world’s most liveable city rankings. So what? It’s a meaningless tick useful only for politicking by all sides

Rail: under or over?

Removing level crossings by elevating rail over road has advantages but in cases like this one it’s less compelling; and not helped by questionable public consultation

Will these standards really make apartment residents better off?

The Victorian government has no idea if its draft standards for apartments will make future residents better off or worse off. That’s poor policy-making

Why didn’t we win more medals in Rio?

The “host city effect” from the Sydney games has gone. The Australian team won as many medals at the Rio Olympics as it could plausibly expect to

Is urban transport too expensive?

The Australian Automobile Association reckons transport – especially driving – costs too much: it says households spend a “staggering” 13.3% of their weekly budget on transport

Is a $2 tax on Uber and taxi trips over the top?

Victoria will put taxis and Uber on a common footing with light regulation. It will impose a $2 per trip tax on both modes to fund compensation for taxi license owners

Are these standards worth $62,500 per apartment?

An independent analysis puts the extra cost of new amenity standards proposed by the Victorian government at $62,500 per apartment

What to do about rough sleeping?

The factors leading to living on the streets are different from other forms of homelessness and suggest conventional approaches to housing support might not always work

Do high-rise apartment towers promote social isolation?

Of all the many criticisms of high-rise living in Australia’s capitals, the charge that it reduces “chance encounters” and is socially isolating is the weakest

Is the risk of dying on a motorbike increasing?

The number of motorcyclists who’ve died on Victorian roads is up significantly in the first half of this year compared to last year. It’s too early to say though if it’s a permanent increase


Is cycling on roads getting safer?

The risk of riders dying on Australian roads is declining but there’s still a lot to be done to make cycling safer; better infrastructure is at the top of the list

Is cycling on roads getting safer?


Do we still need good neighbours?

It seems clear we have less to do with our neighbours than in the past but it doesn’t appear to be a big problem for most of us; there are some though who would benefit a lot from good neighbours

Do we still need good neighbours?


Do bicycle helmets work?

The cycling helmet law is contentious, but it’s time to call bullshit on those who reckon bicycle helmets are useless or, worse, actually increase the risk of injury

Do bicycle helmets work?


Is it time to get serious about road pricing?

Recent positive comments by urban Infrastructure Minister Paul Fletcher indicate it’s time for governments to actively pursue implementing road pricing in Australia

Is it time to get serious about road pricing?


Does having the funds make a poor project OK?

The extra $10 billion the Victorian government is getting from the sale of the port of Melbourne doesn’t suddenly turn a poor project like a station at South Yarra into something worth doing

Does having the funds make a poor project OK?


Shouldn’t we have an Australian Museum of Popular Music?

The demolition of Melbourne’s Palace Theatre suggests it’s time to create a museum that showcases the history and breadth of the Australian popular music industry

Shouldn’t we have an Australian Museum of Popular Music?