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

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