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By David Wilson 7 July 2011 – What’s the view from your window? Do you like what you see? Do you want to change it? As the percentage of the world’s population living in cities continues to grow, the view for many can be bleak: cars, congestion, buildings, smog, are a common sight. What you see, hear and smell in urban areas has many negative effects – on health, on communities, on the environment – and cars are much to blame for this. A new way forward is not through “big-bang” civil... 
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30 June 2011 – The New York Times says European cities are turning hostile to cars. And the US based Treehugger has run a story  the research by Peter Newman and Peter Kenworthy on “Peak Car Use”, that remains on our No 1 Top Hits for the month. From The New York Times: While American cities are synchronizing green lights to improve traffic flow and offering apps to help drivers find parking, many European cities are doing the opposite: creating environments openly hostile to cars.... 
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22 June 2011 – Cox Rayner A fully integrated mixed use development near the Brisbane CBD has taken the top award for urban design in Australia. The $300 million SW1 South Bank Urban Village developed by South Bank Corporation and Cox Rayner Architects Read More  
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Philip Pollard’s Phd thesis, Campus as Place, details the the transformation of Newcastle University into one of the world’s leading sustainability exemplars. See Chapter One here. Chapter 2: A collaborative approach to delivering the built environment – Design and Art Gallery precinct In October 1991 I travelled to Melbourne for a conference hosted by RMIT University which was focused upon urban spaces. Peter Stevens, who was then still in private architectural practice, also attended.... 
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By Jane Jose  15 June 2011 Five simple engagement lessons In seeking to bottle the mystery ingredients in the fourth dimension of place-making here are a few lessons. Lesson 1: keep it authentic The authenticity of a place keeps it alive because it makes people feel that being there is real and memorable. As places mature, places can change like we do, but they also stay the same – like we do.  Adelaide’s Central Market with Gouger Street as its artery has used the human dimension Read... 
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By Jane Jose 9 June 2011 – We are living in a time of back to the high street. It is more than 20 years since the mainstreet movement began and on 3 May the National Mainstreet conference in Adelaide had the fervour of a prayer meeting. Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood, elected last year as Lord Mayor of Adelaide,  Read More  
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By David Burns 8 June 2011 – The Manly Council’s 2015 master plan is a great initiative but the plan could be improved if the council considered Green Building Council of Australia Green Star ratings and sustainable intensity metric benchmarks. Proposed by McGregor Coxall (landscape architecture and urban design) and architects Choi Ropiha the plan is an important first step in revitalising the CBD, and one that can tempt developers towards the benefits of green star designed buildings. Read... 
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2 June 2011 – Victoria’s Planning Minister Matthew Guy has announced the establishment of a new Urban Renewal Authority, which will absorb the current VicUrban with no loss of jobs, but with the board disbanded. Read More  
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31 May 2011 – Arup has launched a competition to describe the concept of soft infrastructure in urban planning – elements such as branding, community engagement and cohesion, to complement the “hard” elements of roads, rail, tunnels and buildings. The competition is part of the company’s recent series of national seminars, Making Cities Work for People “rather than continue to be a hub of ever-increasing congestion, pollution and density.” The events coincided with the... 
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In search of the jumping joyous urban jumble 20 May 2011 –[Updated 21 May 2011] When Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese launched the official national urban policy – which was rather hard to separate from the “other” national urban policy released with the Federal Budget papers last week – he hinted at his concept of an ideal city. Introducing the policy Albanese told a Property Council of Australia function that in a review of the book by hugely influential... 
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20 May 2011 – The federal government this week released three major urban policies and reports on planning. They are: The Productivity Commission’s Performance Benchmarking of Australian Business Regulation: Planning, Zoning and Development Assessments Read More  
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By Leon Gettler 12 May 2011 – Queensland, the state of floods and cyclones that devastated property, has become Australia’s laboratory for sustainable building, for creating resilient homes, offices and structures in the face of climatic volatility. In a radical scheme, Grantham residents who had confronted a deadly mountain of water in the floods, have been invited to apply for land swaps to higher ground after the small southeast town was declared the first designated reconstruction area... 
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By Tina Perinotto 11 November 2010 - Favourites: Siobhan Toohill is the highly regarded sustainability leader for Stockland. We first interviewed Toohill in May last year for the first in a series of profiles of high achieving women in the sustainability field. So, more than 18 months later what’s the view from the Stockland camp? As one of the country’s biggest developers with a broad portfolio, where Stockland goes the property world could well follow. Chief executive officer Matthew... 
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By Eli Gescheit 15 April 2011 – In the wake of the recent floods in Queensland, I undertook some research on how the planning system addresses flood management situations. Viewing the horrific images showing the damage caused by the severe floods can bring anyone to have concern for those affected. The La Niña effect It is useful to understand what causes these types of floods. There is compelling evidence which suggests the floods were the result of extreme weather conditions attributed to... 
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By Amy Kelly 31 March 2011 – Brisbane City Council on Tuesday night passed a motion allowing residents affected by the January 2011 floods to rebuild their homes beyond the height restrictions of current planning controls. The proposed temporary local planning instrument will override the current restrictions of the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 by allowing homes in Brisbane River flood-affected areas to be raised to an Interim Residential Flood Level (the level at which the January floods reached)... 
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30 March 2011 – One of Australia’s most thought provoking projects designed to stimulate ideas on this country’s urban futures is now on show at the Gold Coast City Gallery in Queensland. NOW and WHEN: Australian Urbanism exhibition was on show at the 2010 Venice Biennale, where the Australian Institute of Architects said it attracted more than 93,000 visitors to the Australian Pavilion. Read More  
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17 March 2011 – A new planning vision is needed for Newcastle as it evolves as an important regional capital according to the Hunter branch and NSW division of the Planning Institute of Australia . The Institute has identified six key priorities: Deliver a university city campus which is integrated with the city centre Adoption of an economic development strategy as part of a regional plan, taking into account the port, university and the Williamtown RAAF base and civil airport Deregulation... 
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By Leon Gettler 9 March 2011 – The Liberals  in Victoria – and potentially soon in NSW – have both threatened a new wave of urban sprawl, but planners say there is an opportunity for a new planning body to push through urban consolidation. Either way, prepare for turbulence. Read More  
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2 March 2011 – The Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council this week called  for a federal minister and department for cities and urban development to meet the nation’s urban challenges. Speaking at the Green Cities 2011 conference in Melbourne on Tuesday ASBEC president Tom Roper said there was an urgent need for “bold leadership and a streamlined, coordinated approach” to urban management policy. “We are facing a future of transport gridlock, rising greenhouse gas... 
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By Michael Mobbs 17 February 2011 – Australia’s councils are perhaps the most ignorant and contemptuous of indigenous culture of any part of our society. Councils manifest their damaged psyche unintentionally in their development approvals every week. They’re unaware of what they say and do. Read More  
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By Leon Gettler 3 February 2011 – Adapting to floods, bushfires, and cyclones will not be cheap. Engineers say infrastructure cannot be made totally invulnerable, only resilient. But that will add to the cost. In the wake of extreme weather events, property may well become more expensive, at least in the short term. Peter Williams, managing director of engineer MWH Australia, put it bluntly. “There are natural limits,’’ he says. “I don’t believe we can take human infrastructure... 
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27 January 2011 –The Government will spend $5.6 billion to rebuild flood-affected regions across Australia, PM Julia Gillard announced today. The funds will be delivered through a one year levy on people earning more than $50 000, abolishing certain climate change programs such as the green car innovation fund, the solar hot water rebate  and capping funding for the renewable energy bonus scheme. Some infrastructure projects will also be deferred to save cash as well as free up skilled workers. The... 
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By Leon Gettler Special report:  21 January 2011 – With more extreme weather events expected, the Queensland flood crisis could represent the “new normal” that will challenge the property market. Experts have told The Fifth Estate that planning and infrastructure will have to change. Just another sign of what we can expect from a world transformed by global warming. Geography and planning specialist Professor Brian Finlayson from the University of Melbourne says that the only way to tackle... 
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By Tina Perinotto 23 January 2011 – Adelaide might have ranked best city in Australia to live and Sydney worst in a wide-ranging survey from the Property Council of Australia but among some controversial findings was encouraging strong support for medium density housing, especially in transport nodes and shopping centres. More than half of respondents supported apartments Read More  
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By Tina Perinotto 10 September 2009 – Favourites: Picture this: an apartment tower constructed entirely in a factory — right down to the base fit-out and even the defects’’ rectification. The walls built of new lightweight materials, pre-insulated. The whole thing shifted like Lego blocks and assembled on site, in Little Collins Street in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD. No tight work regime of 7 am to 3 pm. Work shifts throughout the night, if you like. No more safety issues of tripping... 
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21 January 2011 – The Gold Coast City Council said on Friday that its Hinze Dam was “good planning” and would help protect the city from floods, as it released what it said were among Australia’s most sophisticated flood maps. The statement to reassure its residents came as a council meeting this endorsed $450,000 in financial support for flood reconstruction. A spokeswoman for the council said the Queensland  floods could well inform policy changes on the Gold Coast but... 
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By Tina Perinotto 14 January 2011 – The Planning Institute of Australia said on Friday that the Queensland flood crisis had focused the need for climate change to be considered in planning for the future and proved that modern planning protocols could work to protect communities, even in low lying areas. PIA national president Neil Savery said that major natural disasters had challenged civilisations throughout history and each time “the human endeavour rebounds with better built environments... 
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By Michael Mobbs 23 December 2010 - “The underlying problem is confoundingly simple: agricultural methods that lose soil faster than it is replaced destroy societies” – David Montgomery, Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations I saw white sheets flapping and waving in a strong wind in the hot sun today. They were high on the top of a yellow building. Their sprightly dancing was spellbinding. (If you’ve never slept on sheets newly dried in the wind and sun, you’ll have no idea of... 
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By Tina Perinotto 2 December 2010 – The federal government yesterday released the most important document in national urban planning since the Whitlam years – a discussion paper on options for how to manage growth and sustainability for Australia’s biggest urban centres. The paper met with widespread approval from much of the mainstream development industry but might be set for some serious kickback from the residential land development lobby for its stance against greenfield development,... 
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