What’s the future for Essendon Airport?

It didn’t take long for the blame game to emerge following yesterday’s tragedy at Essendon, but it’s better to find out what really happened and why before making policy

What’s the future for Essendon Airport?


Is it time for a 40 kmh speed limit in urban areas?

It won’t be easy politically, but living with cars in Australia’s cities means “taming” them, starting with setting a default 40 kmh speed limit

Is it time for a 40 kmh speed limit in urban areas?


What’s been done to make public transport better?

A look at what successive government’s have done over the last twenty or so years to improve the attractiveness of train travel in Melbourne

What’s been done to make public transport better?


Should Daniel Andrews return public transport to the people?

There are calls to bring management of Melbourne’s train and tram systems back under government control. Might be a good idea, but first let’s see the evidence

Should Daniel Andrews return public transport to the people?


Does this building tell us much about social history?

Preserving the built fabric of old buildings conveys little about their social and cultural history; it should be mandatory that protection comes with interpretation

Does this building tell us much about social history?


Can we have a mature discussion about the future of urban transport?

With 90% of motorised travel in capital cities currently undertaken by private transport it’s time for a grown-up assessement of where to go with urban transport policy

Can we have a mature discussion about the future of urban transport?


Recap: all the issues discussed by The Urbanist last month

Decentralisation, high-rise in the inner city, sprawl and farming, Federation Square, suburban McMansions, ABC-TV’s Streets of your Town, cycling safety, heritage, and more

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

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

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 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

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

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

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; there are more exciting ways to enhance Fed Square

Are we really 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

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 such a big deal

Is 16-storeys OK in the inner city?

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

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