Why the RBA is wrong about zoning and house prices. Again.

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”.

Australia’s iconic water tank making waves as an urban favourite

There’s something deeply iconic about the galvanised water tank in Australian architecture. It’s a practical response to the need to save water, and at the same time a symbol of a growing sensitivity to the need for a more sustainable way of life.

How design of our cities is amplifying urban heat and what to do about it

Most of the time we discuss climate change as affecting cities and the people who live in them. Less well known is that cities – specifically their planning and design – also create climate change through the urban heat island. Encouragingly, this means that cities can provide climate solutions. Why are we not discussing this?

New thinking needed to address Sydney growth constraints

If government won’t explore innovative ways to grow Sydney’s CBD, perhaps the private sector – with all its faults – may be our only hope. It sometimes seems that planning is as much a concealing and evasive discipline as it is a coordinating and enabling one. As explained recently in The Fifth Estate, Pyrmont is […]

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 […]

Uprooting urban tree myths in the climate emergency

Australia faces a shrinking window of opportunity to plant enough trees to help cool our cities and protect our farms, writes sustainability expert Michael Mobbs.

Gamifying the planning process to bring young people into the fold

A digital engagement tool that relies on gamification elements could bring hard-to-reach community members, including time-strapped millennials, into Australia’s planning process.  The tool’s creator, founder and chief executive officer of UK-based Built-ID Savannah de Savary, has global ambitions for the tool and is in Australia teaching potential clients how it works. The engagement tool allows […]

Five important ways the federal leadership could show leadership

The federal government keeps pushing back on taking responsibility for major national infrastructure centred on cities. But there are five good reasons it needs to reassess and take a leadership position.

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.

Davina Rooney’s letter to the industry: Toward a zero carbon future with cautious optimism

New GBCA chief executive Davina Rooney comes with a challenge the industry seems happy to embrace. What’s on the cards could be all 6 Star Green Star buildings be mandated net zero carbon. In my career I have seen sustainable buildings come a long way.  Now, as we approach the critical decade on climate change, […]

 Save Our Suburbs rejects Posh Sydney label

OPINION: Philip Bull’s article “Posh Sydney says No to density” incorporates an inaccurate, emotive attack on me that requires a response.

Half of NSW’s coastal dwellers don’t think sea level rise will impact them directly

Brief: Only half of the people living on the coastline in NSW believe that sea level rise will impact them directly according to new research from the University of New South Wales.  As many as 25 per cent of coastal accommodation businesses don’t know or are unsure if sea levels are rising at all. UNSW researchers […]

A pathway to One Planet cities 

Our UK based correspondent David Thorpe has written what’s quickly gaining acclaim as a stunning book that offers a holistic solution to the sustainability crisis on our hands… not that we’re biased of course. Here’s our resident book reviewer Willow Aliento’s take.

Grow your own city – vertical forests take off

Milan’s Il Bosco Verticale (the Vertical Forest) is a high rise building populated by people and trees. It is the first of a new concept of building in cities being pioneered by Stefano Boeri’s architectural practice based in Milan. Although only a few years old, he is now planning entire city neighbourhoods around the concept. […]

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.