What if social housing enacted a culture of care and compassion?

Long-awaited and long-needed, the announcement by the Andrews government in late 2020 that Victoria will build over 12,000 units of social housing worth an estimated $5.3 billion, cannot come soon enough. In the face of social, economic and environmental issues, this news is a welcome boost that will hopefully provide some solace in what will […]

Is this house losing power? Someone somewhere is going to ask “why have we got two Powerhouses?”

Here’s a cynical take on recent announcements concerning the Parramatta Powerhouse. It’s getting sillier… Just as advertising has become the product – rather than the thing promoted – we recently learned that the newly approved Powerhouse is set to become Australia’s very own Smithsonian, as though this potential equates to its delivery. This is magical […]

Williams on Covid’s great “levelling out” between subs and burbs

Can the impact and premium of the agglomerated knowledge economy of a CBD really be replicated in the disaggregated city? Follow the money. While we can all imagine better ways to understand what’s going on in our towns and cities, you won’t go far wrong if you know what’s going on in the economy and […]

Public housing: where are the architects now?

Opinion: This Saturday February 13, residents of the Explorer Street estate in Eveleigh, supported by Friends of Erskineville and Hands Off Glebe, will take to the streets in defence of their homes, which are slated for redevelopment. Architects who are serious about using their voice and skills for social good should consider making time to […]

Leadership: Why “unfit to govern” is such a thing now

It has been a year scarred by deeply visceral events – record bushfires and a global pandemic, confronting conceptual assaults, the peddling of grand fantasies, dangerous untruths, and toxic politics. How can we all emerge better and stronger from these encounters?  The government-sponsored pitch for Mattias Corman to become the next head of the OECD […]

Victoria’s home energy upgrades come at the right time

Governments should be investing in home energy upgrades, now. Improving home energy efficiency is a good investment at the best of times: it cuts power bills, makes homes healthier, and reduces emissions. But the Coronavirus pandemic and the job losses it has caused mean that now is a particularly important moment for governments to back […]

Why we need a betterment levy in NSW: better late than never

The NSW Productivity Commission in November released its final report on the Review of Infrastructure Contributions in NSW (PC Review). It controversially ruled out capturing a share of windfall gains made from rezonings or the granting of additional development, even though this is widely used in voluntary planning agreements (VPAs) and state infrastructure contributions (SIC). […]

Exposing a brotherhood of BS

Praise for investigative journalists like Marian Wilkinson who have a way of joining the dots without taking detours in diplomacy.

Wrecking Balls are a-swinging: rethinking the demolition mindset

And thus, the illustrious Dominic Perrottet came swinging in on a wrecking ball, invoking perhaps Miley Cyrus and her infamous 2013 music video, out to erase a hit list of buildings which he has declared blemishes blighting the beauty of Sydney – from the MLC Centre to the Cahill Expressway, from Sydney Aquarium to every Brutalist Building, ever.

Time for a new broom, new pricing and law-abiding tribunal at Sydney Water

“The lawyer I respect most, a blind man on a galloping horse, can read every IPART report and conclude none of the tribunal members have read these sections or, if they have, have chosen to ignore them”. Pricing of NSW government water, transport and energy monopolies has failed. “Once we allow ourselves to be disobedient […]

AI is looming – do we travel through time or end in an algorithm?

Could an algorithm write any number of bestsellers or compose a symphony to match Bach or Beethoven or stretch our imaginations and allow us to travel through time like Marty McFly? Ultimately. Probably. Yes! Biomedical engineer and inventor, Jordan Nguyen, says that technology is evolving faster than at any time before, but possibly at the […]

Five ways to achieve a post-pandemic governance epiphany

Metaphorically, the pandemic has cast a very oblique light across our apparently flat policy terrain. Many seemingly solid and settled policy positions are now revealed as wafer-thin ideologies. Deep unbridgeable chasms between implacably opposed world views now separate what used to seem like mild differences of opinion. Some even consider that the pandemic has triggered […]