Will shifting government agencies to the regions drive decentralisation?

Politicians like the idea of moving government functions to regional centres in the name of decentralisation; but the wider net social benefits are mostly political

Will shifting government agencies to the regions drive decentralisation?

Is 16-storeys OK in the inner city?

More people want to live closer to the cosmopolitan city centre but this conflict over a development in Fitzroy North shows existing residents zealously protect what they’ve got

Is 16-storeys OK in the inner city?

Is sprawl a serious threat to food security?

We’re often told suburban sprawl replaces agricultural land and is a serious threat to future food security, but the evidence suggests it’s not a such a big deal

Is sprawl a serious threat to food security?

Recap: all the issues discussed by The Urbanist in October

The Urbanist discusses Infrastructure costs, terrace houses in the ‘burbs, demolition of the Corkman Pub, cyclists and pedestrians, airport rail, cycling and helmets, infrastructure planning, and more

Is this “secret” report on airport rail newsworthy?

Another Sunday, another manufactured controversy by Fairfax, this time around a “secret” report on Melbourne airport rail from “a high-powered group of advisers”

Is the bicycle helmet law such a big deal?

The mandatory helmet law isn’t a first-order issue for cycling; the evidence that repeal would boost cycling significantly isn’t convincing. The main game is infrastructure

Can the politics be taken out of infrastructure planning?

Infrastructure Victoria’s draft 30-year strategy was only public for a few hours before politicians started putting the presumptuous upstart back in its box

Is Fairfax off-track (again) on Melbourne airport rail?

It’s only been a week, but The Sunday Age was back again yesterday with another fabulously titillating invention about a rail line to Melbourne Airport

Is Infrastructure Victoria’s 30-year strategy any good?

The draft report published last week by Infrastructure Victoria is arguably the most important contribution to cities policy Victorians have seen for decades

Should cyclists and walkers be separated?

Instead of cyclists and walkers sharing paths, Infrastructure Victoria reckons they should be separated. That’d be money well spent to avoid making enemies cycling doesn’t need

Does infrastructure cost a lot more on the fringe?

The answer is no one really knows, but policies with huge implications for the way cities work continue to be advanced on the assumption that costs are a lot higher on the fringe

Can the spirit of this lost pub be recaptured?

Melburnians lost more than bricks and mortar on the weekend when the Corkman hotel was demolished without a permit; they also lost yet another pub

Where to next with the Corkman hotel?

It’s now time for a sensible discussion of what might be done with the Corkman hotel. Let the law deal with the culprit and focus on the best use of the site for the city

Could terrace houses make Cherrybrook like Surry Hills?

Recreating the character and community of the inner city in the middle and outer suburbs would require much more than building a similar physical environment

Do politicians care about the cost of infrastructure promises?

Politicians are prone to understating the cost of transport projects resulting in too many poor projects getting up ahead of what should be higher priorities

Are we a rural country like Senator Abetz says?

Senator Abetz claim on Q&A that Australia is a “rural/regional country” isn’t true. But we need more sophisticated measures to describe what’s regional vs urban

Are we a rural country like Senator Abetz says?

Should Apple get a bite of Federation Square?

Apple reportedly wants to establish an Apple store with a signature glass cube in Melbourne’s Federation Square. Boring, but it highlights there are more exciting ways to enhance Fed Square

Should Apple get a bite of Federation Square?

Why are new suburban houses so bloody big?

It’s a commonplace observation that new detached houses in Australia’s outer suburbs are much bigger than in the past. The interesting question is why

Why are new suburban houses so bloody big?

Does ABC-TV’s Streets of Your Town get it wrong?

Part one of ABC TV’s Streets of Your Town is an enjoyable look at 60s and 70s modernist domestic architecture but it’s not as relevant to today as it claims

Does ABC-TV’s Streets of Your Town get it wrong?

Is decentralisation regional sprawl by another name?

Decentralisation is a perennial political favourite because intuitively it seems sensible; but current proposals look a lot more like regional sprawl than regional development

Is decentralisation regional sprawl by another name?

Recap: all the issues discussed by The Urbanist in September

Shoebox apartments, trailer parks, regional dormitories, cycling, gender balance, India, dull Sydney, level crossings, heritage, infrastructure, road pricing, neighbours, and more

Are city centre apartment towers really slums?

It’s a common charge but Melbourne’s city centre apartment towers aren’t remotely like real slums and nor are they likely to be in the foreseeable future

Should trailer parks be trashed?

With declining affordability we need to take a flexible approach to alternative housing options. We can learn from trailer parks; they’re an important and sought-after housing option in the US

Are regional dormitories the way to grow our cities?

It seems inevitable regional centres will take a much bigger share of metropolitan population growth, but the case hasn’t been made that creating regional dormitories is the best policy

Should bicycle lanes be abolished?

On-road bicycle lanes are a necessary evil in Australian cities but they should be regarded as interim. There are much better ways of encouraging greater bicycle use

How to get gender balance in politics

“There is a straightforward way to achieve gender balance in any parliament: halve the number of electorates and have each elect a man and a woman”

So what if India has more mobile phones than toilets?

It’s true India has more mobile phones than toilets but the meme demeans the population and contributes little to improving sanitation

Why is the centre of Sydney so dull?

Sydney’s CBD is lifeless compared to Melbourne’s. Is it the result of the lock-out law? Are Melbourne’s laneways just too good? Or is it more likely there are structural reasons?

Should removal of this level crossing get priority?

Two deaths this week at a Melbourne level crossing prompted calls to prioritise its removal. But it’s a much more complex decision; there are other important issues to consider

Shouldn’t every state have a one-metre cycling law?

The one-metre overtaking law sends the message that cycling matters, is here to stay, is going to get bigger, and motorists must adapt their behaviour and attitudes

Should 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

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 turn a poor project like a station at South Yarra into something worth doing

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

Do bicycle helmets work?

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

Do we still need good neighbours?

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

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 better health a key rationale for urban policy?

A significantly more compact urban form in a city like Melbourne would improve public health, but it doesn’t seem a very compelling justification for strategic land use policy

Is better health a key rationale for urban policy?

Why do more cyclists on the road mean fewer riders die?

More cyclists on the roads is associated with fewer fatal crashes. The safety in numbers effect might be part of the explanation but there are others that are arguably more important

Why do more cyclists on the road mean fewer riders die?

Is The Age’s reporting of the Corkman Pub fiasco prize-worthy?

The Age has done an outstanding job of reporting on the demolition of the Corkman Irish Pub. Excellence in day-to-day reporting warrants greater industry recognition

Is The Age’s reporting of the Corkman Pub fiasco prize-worthy?