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 […]
The built environment is where Australia is doing relatively well. While overall consumption continues to rise with population growth, energy and water efficiency have both increased in recent years while per capita car use in Australian cities is decreasing.
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 […]
The near-universal use of H2 blue, green or red framing timber in construction is now a time bomb for landfill in 20-40 years’ time. It cannot be composted nor recycled, and thus is sent to landfill.
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 […]
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 […]
You’d think that people in a green rated building would be keen to maximise the energy performance of their building p- switch off lights and so on. Not so, these researchers found, among other curious patterns.
The environment – our natural world – is the most important asset to human survival.
In January, the state government of NSW announced it would spend almost $200 million on parks, cycle ways, plazas and public art to renew and revive Parramatta Road, a 20km arterial corridor that runs through the most densely populated part of Sydney.
Is it time to consider “un-building” and “non-building” in urban design projects, such as the revival of Sydney’s Parramatta Road?
According to Brisbane-based architect Russell Hall, governments weaponise developers with the right to inflict buyers with the developer’s whims as conditions of purchase via covenants. He says this can make homes unaffordable and unsustainable.
New year, new beginnings. In 2021, sustainability expert Alan Pears expects progress in embodied emissions, Scope 3 emissions, circular economies and economic transformation.
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 […]
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 […]
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). […]
Life in a manufactured home estate – a more permanent iteration of a caravan park where residents live in relocatable homes – is sold as an affordable way to retire among people in the same age bracket. But new research shows it may not be all it’s cracked up to be.
Praise for investigative journalists like Marian Wilkinson who have a way of joining the dots without taking detours in diplomacy.
The urban landscape is plagued by a commitment to growth at all costs, write University of Melbourne academics Brendan Gleeson and Samuel Alexander in their latest book. The following extract was published with their permission.
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.
“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 […]
As an environmental scientist, I have long puzzled as to why climate science is so contentious.
Action to make Australia’s housing resilient in the face of climate change has never been more urgent – and the post-pandemic recovery should be the time to do it.
Load management has been a concern for electricity networks since the very beginning. In the late 19th century, before the advent of tiered electricity tariffs, it was common for a quarter of the load on distribution systems to occur for fewer than two hours a day.
We may be nearing “peak city”. This shift undermines all of the place-based strategies that economic development organisations have been promoting for decades. It’s a topic David Levinson will be addressing at the Festival of Urbanism 13-26 November.
It certainly seems that in life’s frantic struggle to compete and be competitive, one’s level of productivity is the definitive measure of one’s worth. But does this really need to be the case?
First we had “slow food”, “slow parenting”, “slow fashion” and “slow gardening”. Now there’s a “slow cities” movement emerging, where people take slower modes of transport to reduce damage on public health and the environment.
One of the more curious things about economic policymaking in Australia is how certain policies manage to endure for so long in the face of overwhelming evidence that they don’t work. The continued belief in the power of lower interest rates to spur growth is a case in point. For at least the last 10 […]
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 […]
The following is a response to the NSW Productivity Commission Green Paper. The Green Paper argued zoning is restrictive and recommended it be loosened. Unfortunately, the commission misses the forest for the trees and fails to recognise the economic and strategic value of zoning. Economic recovery has thrown up complex tasks for government, with minds […]
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 […]