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 […]
No individual person, country or organisation can solve the myriad of challenges facing societies. Collaboration is critical – and businesses can, and should, be at the forefront, using their business to positively impact their stakeholders and the environment. There is a global community of companies that believe in the power of business to help solve […]
Tone Wheeler of Environa Studio says there are three options to find land for affordable housing: government, churches and philanthropists. The government seems little interested and same with philanthropists, he says. In a new position paper on affordable housing commissioned by Churches Housing, Wheeler makes the case for social housing on church land. Social housing […]
“You cannot be serious!” As an irate John McEnroe protested in that now-famous 1981 line call at Wimbledon in a heated exchange with umpire Edward James. And with just as much passion and utter bewilderment, it about sums up the PM’s call to implement a Grand Gas Plan that will save us from two sets […]
While the New South Wales government’s revamped housing diversity policy is being touted as the answer to the state’s shortfalls in affordable housing, I believe the unintended consequences may have the opposite effect. The proposed changes (Housing Diversity SEPP) are far more likely to suffocate future supply. This is due to the removal of provisions […]
Sustainability expert Alan Pears sets out key recovery priorities for a post-Covid economy. Also: the need (or lack thereof) for seasonal storage, and the problem of our ageing data resources. There is a widening gulf between the Australian government’s economic recovery plan and an ever increasing number of studies. Internationally, the International Energy Agency, United […]
Beyond concern for preserving such rich heritage, the proposed demolition of the MLC Building in North Sydney poses deep environmental concerns. History is the story of who we are. A wise society will take lessons from that history – both good and bad – and critically engage with the present to proactively shape a better future. We […]
Some of us learned in chemistry class that hydrogen molecules can spin. But our teachers never told us how much spin we’d see, and how much energy it would take not to fall for it.
Millennials are the most stressed-out demographic group on the planet — they are also the group most sensitive to sustainability issues
A shocking number of Australians experience energy poverty and its only expected to get worse post-Covid as people spend more time at home.
It’s time that the National Construction Code and, in NSW, BASIX, be updated to drive the trajectory to net zero energy homes. An opportunity has arisen to make major improvements in the energy efficiency and renewable energy generation of new buildings, following recent consultations and current analysis for the next update of the National Construction […]
Many things are currently as clear as mud. Is it safe to be old now and leave one’s house or not? Should my child’s teacher be compelled to return to school to do their job? Is this Covid thing the worst thing since a rat got off a boat in London and spread the Black […]
There’s a draft NSW State Environmental Planning Policy (draft SEPP) for housing diversity out for discussion and it’s sparked the interest of the property developer lobby group Urban Taskforce. The Fifth Estate welcomes thoughts and contributions from other readers on this topic. “Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, […]
Have you ever wondered what the world would be like if electricity was free? Tesla is the well-known trademark of entrepreneur extraordinaire Elon Musk and his electric cars, but what about Tesla, the man? More than 100 years ago, Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) invented alternating current (AC), the polyphase alternating current system, which laid the foundation […]
We need two things: create and implement a unified, transparent label at the national and European levels to identify green financial products, and second, legislate their availability to house1holds.
If you knew you were burning down the house around you, and you could stop it, wouldn’t you?
With mysterious outbreaks of coronavirus infections in hotels and aged care homes perhaps it’s the case that the virus is more airborne that we imagined.
The answer is, not very, if it’s anything like the old one The COVID-19 pandemic is like an X-ray into all the broken parts of our economy. We know what they are and have a grand opportunity to fix them, but it will take some visionary leadership, some exceptional courage, and an ample measure of […]