Is “the suburbs” a useful idea anymore?

Tall residential towers are widely seen as inappropriate in the suburbs. But maybe the idea of “the suburbs” is itself no longer appropriate

Is “the suburbs” a useful idea anymore?


Are buses “visible” enough?

There’s a dense system of useful bus routes in most cities that’s often invisible to prospective users. Bus routes needs to be improved and made more legible

Are buses “visible” enough?


Recap: all the issues discussed by The Urbanist in May

Including electric vehicles, McDonalds, elevated parks, quarter-acre blocks, fantasy tram map, ultra density, cycling, academic research, architecture awards, schools, window tinting, Turnbull’s ideas for cities…

Australia latitude

Australia at the same latitude as Africa and Europe

Turnbull’s Smart Cities Plan: is that all there is?

The Prime Minister’s vaunted Smart Cities Plan is light on actions but it offers some interesting insights into the Government’s thinking on cities policy

Do dark tinted car windows look cool to cyclists?

The bicycle is already a serious mode of urban travel but riders are vulnerable in traffic – the fashion for very dark tinting of car windows threatens the potential of cycling

What to do about schools and “rich switch”?

Some parents are avoiding “undesirable” local primary schools and sending their children to out-of-zone schools. That has a raft of ill effects but there are no easy solutions

Is decentralisation the answer to cities that are “too big”?

Regional development and decentralisation are rhetorical favourites of Australian politicians but they’re really promoting regional sprawl over suburban sprawl

What’s the cost of cycling vs driving?

The social costs of cycling are much lower than those of driving but according to a recent Danish study it’s not because of reduced pollution or emissions

Is it time our cities got Cycle Superhighways?

The new Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is promising to follow in the tracks of Boris Johnson and build more Cycle Superhighways. It’s time we did too

What do awards tell us about the quality of architecture?

Architecture awards could provide valuable insight into what it takes to create excellence but it seems they’re mostly about keeping up professional appearances

Is academia researching the urban issues that matter?

A starter list of practical and pressing issues facing cities that don’t seem to get nearly enough attention from Australian university researchers

Why was cycling for transport slow to get moving?

Cycling as a means of transport was largely ignored by policy-makers in Australian cities until relatively recently but the work of early activists like the late Alan Parker was crucial

Is “denser than Singapore” too dense for Sydney?

The City of Sydney reckons the NSW Government wants to redevelop Waterloo at a density “greater than anything in Singapore”. Turns out Council’s fear of density is ill-founded

Fantasy tram map 2048, Melbourne

Here’s a parallel universe “fantasy” vision of what Melbourne’s tram network could look like in 30 years time given more money and more acceptance from motorists

Is the suburban quarter-acre block a myth?

The idea that Australians sprawl across the suburban landscape on massive “quarter acre” lots is common but it’s a myth and was never true in the modern era

Does having a Minister for Suburbs mean it’s a whole new world?

First we had a Federal Minister for Cities, now we have a state Minister for Suburban Development; but the early indications are that both initiatives are more about politics than policy

When is too many High Lines too much?

Utopia’s Rhonda would love the idea of turning Melbourne’s Chandler Hwy bridge into a “High Line”, but its key role for cyclists and pedestrians should be paramount

Will a McDonald’s store be the end of Glebe?

Some residents of inner city Sydney oppose a new McDonald’s store they say will destroy their suburb’s “village feel”. But is it much the same impulse as opposing a mosque?

Is Turnbull’s ’30-minute city’ a serious election issue?

The 30-minute city is the big urban policy idea both the Government and the Opposition are bringing to the election. But how realistic is it? Can they actually deliver on this one?

Are electric vehicles a game changer?

The outlook for plug-in electric vehicles powered by clean energy looks promising but they aren’t likely to ameliorate major urban issues like traffic congestion and sprawl


Should commuters pay to park at the station?

Commuter parking at outer suburban railway stations is usually free, leading to peak period shortages. The first step should be to charge for it

Should commuters pay to park at the station?


What can history tell us about land values and HSR?

The association between rail infrastructure like High Speed Rail and increases in land value is nothing new; it was there when much of Victoria’s rail network was built

What can history tell us about land values and HSR?


Will business really pay for High Speed Rail (HSR)?

A new company reckons it can build Sydney-Melbourne HSR without calling on government coffers. It says the proposal is commercially viable; it’s not a Trojan horse

Will business really pay for High Speed Rail (HSR)?


What revitalised central Melbourne?

Planners made an important contribution to the oft-noted and widely admired vitality of central Melbourne but success really does have many mothers

What revitalised central Melbourne?


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