News from the front, issue 515: Planning minister Rob Stokes released a lovely new human-centred planning policy last week. But two weeks before another change to the planning controls went unannounced. Few people, outside the inner circles of planning knew what was going on. The first SEPP (state environmental planning policy) last week was loudly […]
According to the people who specialise in these fields the future of the NSW economy is not in the CBDs. It’s in the industrial and light industrial zones that can generate technology centred innovation such as bio tech, med tech, robotics and so on. Perhaps like Professor Veena Sahjwalla’s green ceramic micro factory that’s supplied […]
Senior citizens need help and encouragement to remain active as they age in their own communities. Given the choice, that’s what most would prefer. The smart city can provide the digital infrastructure for them to find and tailor the local neighbourhood information they need to achieve this. Australia has a growing population of older adults, […]
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 […]
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 […]
American urbanist Richard Florida expects the Covid-recovering 2020s to mimic the “Roaring 20s” that marked the recovery from the Spanish Flu.
Let’s hope the rush to the regions doesn’t mean duplicating the urban planning mistakes we’ve made in our cities.
Is it time to consider “un-building” and “non-building” in urban design projects, such as the revival of Sydney’s Parramatta Road?
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). […]
The kerbside, that humble bit of concrete between buildings and the road, is “failing our local places” according to a new report by WSP and Uber.
Urban consolidation policies to contain development within existing urban areas are creating poor development outcomes in Australian cities. In Brisbane, our newly published research shows this means the low-density housing character of the city is being retained at the expense of backyards.
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.
Interest in the great outdoors has spiked dramatically in Australia’s capital cities due to Covid restrictions. Recently released data from urban planning data analytics company Neighbourlytics shows that while online engagement – measured “digital chatter” across various different online platforms – with parks and other natural spaces increased across the CBDs in Brisbane, Melbourne and […]
EXCLUSIVE: Net zero precincts have lots of barriers: complex governance challenges and disincentives among them, a soon-to-be-released federal government report says.
Dodgy NSW builders, developers and certifiers are expected to get a kick up the backside as sweeping new powers come into force, with the state’s construction watchdog aiming to shake up the industry to provide confidence for prospective buyers.
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, […]
Here’s one view why the Reserve Bank’s approach on zoning and housing prices is “conceptually flawed, relies on lobbyist input and doesn’t interrogate housing supply evidence or quantify the effects of planning controls”.
A corridor of park land cutting through Western Sydney’s dense and busy suburbs is set to be developed into a thriving urban farm, bolstering the city’s food bowl that is at risk of disappearing.
The floodgates are open for stunning green buildings covered in foliage and plenty of outdoor space so people can make the most of Brisbane’s temperate climate. Now to make sure these buildings deliver.
Capital flow is moving Australia’s way – strongly. What’s the bet that well-managed cities are the winner in the aftermath of Covid? As the impact of Covid-19 advances are the old theories still good? Is urban life still viable and desirable? Much of the response to Covid-19 emphasised distancing, avoiding gatherings and public transport. In […]
Regional cities are outperforming urban capitals as national leaders in economic and inclusive growth according to a new study of 101 Australian towns. According to Polis Partners’ The City Report, key regional areas in New South Wales and Victoria such as Wollongong, Newcastle, Ballarat and Geelong, are surpassing their capital counterparts in investments, job growth […]
Australian planners have declared a climate and biodiversity emergency.
With the pandemic upending normal work life, Australians are rediscovering their local suburbs and considering the bigger role they could play in a post COVID society.
It actually seems that some of the environmental optimism accompanying the COVID-19 “rupture” is surviving into the recovery phase. How and where is it being expressed and are there opportunities for its extension?
Melbourne’s global reputation for liveability does not resonate with many Melburnians. Its economy has slipped into per capita recession a couple of times over the past decade. Population growth has outpaced the provision of parkland and social housing. Many households must look to fringe areas to find housing they can afford. Read more: Our cities […]
Last month Amsterdam became one of the first cities in the world to adopt the “doughnut economics model” as a means to help it become genuinely socially and ecologically sustainable. Philadelphia and Portland, Oregon are amongst other cities following suit. In the words of the model’s inventor, Kate Raworth, “This takes the global concept of […]
Despite pockets of silliness, like the freedom ‘n’ gun-loving idiocy erupting in the US, sensible minds are turning to what happens once COVID-19 restrictions are eased. Already, tensions are starting to appear between resuming past urban policy settings and the need to rethink them deeply.
If we’re picky about the projects we choose, fast-tracked planning approvals could accelerate the low carbon transition, fix social problems and boost the economy at the same time.
The push by pedestrians and cyclists to use more street space during the coronavirus lockdowns could prompt a major rethink of how we use our public space after we emerge from the crisis.
You may have seen some of the discussions around environmental silver linings to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. The overall environmental narrative is inconsistent, as policy and energy experts express differing opinions over how to interpret what’s happened so far. Certainly, there have already been short-term benefits. Local air and water quality have dramatically improved in […]