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

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