Let’s not forget the drought – time to start planning for the next one

We need to start seriously considering our long-term water security options before the next drought hits and urban sewers reach capacity. If we rewind to just a few months ago – before Covid, sporadic flooding, and the worst of the horror bushfire season – we were seriously worried about running out of water. With Australia’s […]

Making infrastructure sustainable offers a bigger bang for our buck

Infrastructure’s social licence to operate is in jeopardy thanks to the community’s construction fatigue and sheer opposition, with around $20 billion worth of infrastructure projects delayed, cancelled or mothballed over the past decade. Making these projects certified under a sustainability rating scheme could turn the tide.

To limit coronavirus risks on public transport, here’s what we can learn from efforts overseas

Public transport in our cities is highly vulnerable to disease outbreaks such as the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. However, public transport is the lifeblood of our cities, so it’s desirable to keep services running as long as possible. Australia can learn from what has been done overseas, especially in China, where concrete strategies to reduce […]

Infrastructure is the key to a net zero Australia

Infrastructure will play a significant role in determining whether Australia will meet its net zero emissions goals according to the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA). It

Drought towns need sustainable solutions and political collaboration

At least two Australians towns, Stanthorpe in Queensland and Braidwood in NSW, have run dry and are now trucking in water at great expense. UNSW professor Stuart Khan says there’s many options to help drought-stricken towns before resorting to carted water, with some solutions more affordable and sustainable than others.

Why Uber is bad for cities

App-based hire ride taxi services like Uber and Lyft have added millions of miles travelled – and therefore air pollution, congestion, and millions of tonnes extra greenhouse gas emissions – and pulled riders away from public transport in cities wherever they operate, new research shows.

Nothing moves slower in Australia than fast rail 

Despite piles of reports, oodles of analysis and a substantial application of common sense, the federal government is proceeding at a glacial pace with plans for fast rail at scale. This week, another inquiry was launched, this one by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Infrastructure, Transport and Cities. It is an inquiry into […]

How cities are decarbonising

Now we know that an investment of $1.83 trillion a year in 16 low-carbon measures in cities – about 2 per cent of global GDP –  could reduce global urban emissions by 90 per cent by 2050.

The future of transit in cities could be point to point mobility that mimics nature

Imagine a transport system powered by renewable energy that lets you zip around on autonomous pods above the ground as quickly and smoothly as blood and nutrients course through our bodies, and is linked up to our food production systems for faster paddock-to-plate dining than ever before.

On the need for speed and is it just a nasty habit we need to break?

We’re amazingly quick on the uptake when it comes to some kinds of innovation – air travel for example, which has only been a thing for just under a century. But the cost of close to 100 years of flying has been a whole new source of pollution and carbon emissions.

Peak car – what is it, and so what?

The “peak car” phenomenon has captured the attention of many but what is it really? This is a deep dive into mobility trends of today and where this might steer us into the future.

Observations on Japanese city making

You might think that a city like Tokyo, with a metro population of 14 million, has very little in common with a city like Sydney or Melbourne.

The post-election infrastructure review

The NSW and federal 2019 elections saw the return of Coalition governments. My perspective – from western Sydney – is: Coalition infrastructure policies have been dreadful, Labor’s offerings weren’t any better.

Election cash splash shows transport planning shouldn’t be left to politicians

OPINION: Over the weekend we had Bill Shorten promise $10 billion in federal funding for the Suburban Rail Loop proposed by the Victorian Labor government, and Scott Morrison promise $4 billion in federal funding for the East West Link. With such massive amounts of money being thrown around, you’d think there would be some good […]

Philip Thalis on Sydney’s future: public treasures or throwaway junk buildings?

The nature of Sydney’s built environment and its brand has been under siege from a range of critics in recent years. Now renowned architect and City of Sydney councillor Philip Thalis has waded into the fray with a searing look at what will happen to public Sydney under the current regime of how it treats its built environment.

Rethinking the city means rethinking economics 

We have become accustomed to talking about economic disruptions in recent years.  Disruption of the taxi industry by Uber and of the hotel industry by Airbnb. Before that, we had the disappearance of film processing stores and music record stores with the arrival of digital photography and music. With digital technology the marginal cost of […]

Queensland’s big infrastructure spend in Brisbane and what it means

As one of Australia’s fastest growing cities, Brisbane has faced more than its fair share of growing pains. South Brisbane’s population is expected to treble by 2031, while Greater Brisbane’s will rise to 2.95 million.  Anticipating this dramatic population surge, the Palaszczuk Labor government has begun substantial infrastructure projects, committing to a $944 million urban […]

NSW transport reshuffle a chance to rethink mobility

OPINION: The NSW government’s recent announcement that Roads and Maritime Services – until now the state’s standalone roads agency – will be integrated into Transport for NSW could not have come at a more opportune time.