20 years of TAC campaignsPosted: March 30, 2010 Filed under: Cars & traffic | Tags: 20 years, advertising campaign, road safety, TAC, Traffic Accident Commission, Victoria Leave a comment
The Victorian Traffic Accident Commission’s montage of 20 years of road safety advertisements. This is very harrowing. Read the rest of this entry »
“If London can do it, why can’t Melbourne?”Posted: March 30, 2010 Filed under: Planning | Tags: commuter belt, commuting, Justin Madden, London, Melton, Minister for Planning, Sunbury, Urban Growth Boundary 3 Comments
If London can really grow without expanding its urban perimeter, why did our planning Minister, Justin Madden, seek to extend Melbourne’s urban growth boundary last year?
As I noted on Friday (How big is Melbourne?), journalist Jason Dowling says that “forever outward expansion (of Melbourne) is not a necessity. London has barely touched its urban perimeter for decades but has grown in population with better use of old industrial and commercial land”.
There are three aspects of this quote that I wouldn’t accept at face value. Read the rest of this entry »
More on the Windsor Hotel redevelopmentPosted: March 29, 2010 Filed under: Planning | Tags: Essential Economics, five star hotel, height limit, Justin Madden, Melbourne, planning permit, single loaded, Windsor Hotel 2 Comments
I had a look on the weekend at the report of the independent Advisory Committee established by the Planning Minister, Justin Madden, to advise him on the application for a planning permit for the redevelopment of the Windsor Hotel. I’ve previously commented on this issue, here: Windsor Hotel Redevelopment.
There is some interesting information in this report that so far hasn’t gotten much, if any, airing in the media. It reinforced my earlier view that approval of this development was the right decision. Read the rest of this entry »
The hazards of restricting supplyPosted: March 28, 2010 Filed under: Miscellaneous | Tags: dogs, Dogtown, queing, queue 2 Comments
An object lesson for city policy-makers – this is what happens in Dogtown when supply is restricted. Of course we humans would eliminate the queue by selling the tree to the highest bidder! Read the rest of this entry »
How to ‘green’ the Grand PrixPosted: March 27, 2010 Filed under: Cars & traffic | Tags: Australian Grand Prix, F1, FIA, Formula One, fuel economy, KERS, Melbourne, Prius 1 Comment
How could the QANTAS Australian Grand Prix be made greener?
This is a pretext to post on Formula One because the Australian GP is being held in Melbourne this weekend, but it’s nevertheless an interesting question (almost as interesting as this morning’s news that Lewis Hamilton was caught doing donuts in St Kilda last night!). Read the rest of this entry »
How big is Melbourne?Posted: March 26, 2010 Filed under: Planning | Tags: agglomeration economies, city size, density, Justin Madden, London, Melton, new towns, Planning, Suburban sprawl, The Age, urban boundary 11 Comments
How big is Melbourne really? This issue is ‘front of mind’ this morning because of a recent claim in The Age that Melbourne “is already the eighth largest city in the world in geographical size, stretching about 100 km from east to west”.
This is a common view. In June last year The Age’s editorialist said “Melbourne’s population of 4 million already sprawls across roughly 100 kilometres in all directions, occupying a bigger area than much more populous cities such as London or New York”. Read the rest of this entry »
What role for high-rise towers in Melbourne?Posted: March 25, 2010 Filed under: Housing | Tags: East Perth, high rise, Housing, medium density, Melbourne, Peter Newman, Rob Adams, sprawl, sustainability, tower, VECCI 1 Comment
Do high-rise towers have a role in Melbourne’s future? Peter Newman thinks they do!
This report by VECCI, Up or out? dealing with Melbourne’s population boom, nicely summarises two alternative approaches set out in The Age for planning Melbourne’s future growth. Read the rest of this entry »
Signage ‘distorted’ at Eureka carparkPosted: March 24, 2010 Filed under: Cars & traffic | Tags: Axel Peemoeller, Emery Studio, Eureka Tower, signage Leave a comment
This brilliant signage was designed by Emery Studio (Axel Peemoeller) for the carpark of Melbourne’s own Eureka Tower. The letters are distorted until the viewer is in exactly the right position, whereupon they can be read perfectly. Read the rest of this entry »
Cycling in The NetherlandsPosted: March 24, 2010 Filed under: Cycling | Tags: bicycle, cycle path, Cycling, Netherlands, school, suburbs 2 Comments
Fascinating video of dedicated route followed by children cycling to school in The Netherlands. This gives a perspective on cycling that you wouldn’t get from the standard tourist spots. Note the suburban setting – it ties in with my earlier post arguing that the suburbs have greater potential for cycling than the inner city, not least because it would be easier to fit in this sort of infrastructure. (Hat tip to Tom Vanderbilt) Read the rest of this entry »
Watch what’s happening to Google in ChinaPosted: March 24, 2010 Filed under: Miscellaneous | Tags: censorship, China, culture, Google Leave a comment
This isn’t related to urbanism or Melbourne, but it is surely one of the most important unfolding issues of the decade. This site let’s you keep tabs on how the Chinese Government is responding to Google’s ‘provocation’. Pass it on. Read the rest of this entry »
How to clean a FerrariPosted: March 23, 2010 Filed under: Cars & traffic | Tags: clean, F1, Ferrari, Melbourne Grand Prix, youtube Leave a comment
I’d like to post something on F1 because the Australian Grand Prix is held in Melbourne and starts in a few days. This’ll do just fine for the moment because it’s about Ferrari. Read the rest of this entry »
Why ‘spare infrastructure capacity’ is exaggeratedPosted: March 23, 2010 Filed under: Housing, Infrastructure | Tags: ACF, Coburg, Infrastructure, inner suburbs, Pascoe Vale, spare capacity, sprawl, sustainability 5 Comments
Are claims of spare infrastructure capacity in the inner suburbs real?
The Age reports that there were almost 30,000 more people living in Coburg and Pascoe Vale in 1976 than there are now (The Outer Limits). The paper quotes the former Mayor of the City of Moreland, who says that increasing the population density in many areas “is simply returning suburbs to previous population levels”.
The editorialist in The Age of 20 March stated that “some ‘traditional’ inner Melbourne suburbs – such as Coburg, Pascoe Vale and Fitzroy – have fewer residents than they did 50 years ago. Current ‘in-fill’ housing is thus regrowth” (emphasis added).
The idea of course is that there is spare capacity in infrastructure and amenities that can accommodate ‘restoration’ of the historic population level. This would be a good thing because any underutilisation of infrastructure is economically wasteful. It might also minimise further ‘sprawl’ at the urban fringe. Read the rest of this entry »
Electric cars could have 10-20% of the market in 10 yearsPosted: March 22, 2010 Filed under: Cars & traffic | Tags: Better Place Australia, electric vehicles, Evan Thornley, plug in, RACV Leave a comment
Evan Thornley, the CEO of Better Place Australia, predicted on Inside Business yesterday that plug-in vehicles will have 10-20% of the Australian vehicle market by 2020 and the entire national vehicle fleet will have transitioned from petrol to electricity in 20-25 years. Better Place Australia, which is in the business of providing the support infrastructure for plug-in vehicles,will start in Canberra in late 2011 and will then roll out throughout the country starting late 2012. RACV has taken a $2 million stake in the company.
Google Maps makes an art of trafficPosted: March 21, 2010 Filed under: Miscellaneous | Tags: animation, car chase, Google Maps, Grand Theft Auto, satellite, traffic Leave a comment
Google Maps seems to have spawned a new genre of digital art. This one, Satellite Car Chase, joins Google Maps to Grand Theft Auto!
Ken Yeang, EDITT TowerPosted: March 21, 2010 Filed under: Architecture & buildings | Tags: ecological design, EDITT Tower, Ken Yeang, Singapore, TR Hamzah & Yeang 1 Comment
I think the “Garden State” could do with a few buildings that take some inspiration from the planned EDITT Tower in Singapore by Ken Yeang – of course we’d have to have a debate about whether the vegetation was native or exotic: Read the rest of this entry »
Windsor Hotel redevelopmentPosted: March 20, 2010 Filed under: Architecture & buildings | Tags: Federation Square, Heritage Victoria, Justin Madden, old Melbourne hotels, western shard, Windsor Hotel 2 Comments
I’m hard pressed to see what opponents are concerned about with the proposed Windsor Hotel redevelopment. It conforms with the Planning Scheme, it was recommended by the panel and it’s supported by Heritage Victoria (with conditions).
The panel says the redevelopment is necessary for the continued viability and restoration of the historically and architecturally valuable parts of the hotel. It will add more hotel rooms to the city centre, which is good for business and tourism and therefore for jobs and living standards. Read the rest of this entry »
Housekeeping – sources for my OpEd in The AgePosted: March 19, 2010 Filed under: Planning | Tags: Australian Conservation Foundation, creative, demographia, Public Transport Users Association 9 Comments
A reader of my OpEd in today’s The Age (Problems with fringe-dwellers are peripheral) asked for more information on sources. That sort of technical detail is not welcomed by newspapers. So I’ve set out some of the key sources I’ve used over the fold. I’ve only included those where there is a link on the web (i.e. no gated academic journals). Read the rest of this entry »
Ode to MelbournePosted: March 19, 2010 Filed under: Planning | Tags: Docklands, Lindsay Tanner, Melbourne 1 Comment
Since the Melbourne Urbanist is mostly about, er…Melbourne…I make no apologies for linking to this puff piece, Ode to Melbourne, by Melbourne-booster Lindsay Tanner. I think there’s some wisdom in his succinct explanation for why Docklands lacks vibrance – “these things sometimes seem to be determined by imperceptible and ethereal factors that no-one can plan for”.