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Is the urban fringe a jobless wasteland?

Inner city residents can access many more jobs than those who live in the outer suburbs. But it doesn’t follow that sprawl means the urban fringe is a wasteland of economic opportunity

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What if no new city centre rail lines were built?

The chances of getting the massive funding required to build major urban rail projects any time soon don’t look promising. What might happen to our cities if they’re never built?

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Are there issues that don’t warrant consultation?

The received wisdom these days is the structure of big cities should be ‘polycentric’ rather than ‘monocentric’. It’s apparently so self-evidently desireable there’s no need to consult with the public!

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Agglomeration economies: are they exaggerated?

We’re increasingly being told we need higher job densities in our cities to exploit ‘agglomeration economies’ associated with the ‘knowledge economy’. But are the benefits exaggerated?

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Why is Sydney’s CBD growing slower than Melbourne’s?

Jobs grew faster in Melbourne’s centre than in Sydney’s over 2006 to 2011. It might be that Melbourne makes it a lot easier for firms to locate in and near the CBD.

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Should the “20 minute city” be the key objective of planning?

Planners seem seduced by the idea that cities are just lots of self-contained villages. But that view misunderstands what cities are about and why they form.

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Is Melbourne’s Metro Strategy off to a bad start?

Work on preparing Melbourne’s new Metropolitan Planning Strategy finally went “live” on the internet yesterday with the curious slogan, A Vision for Victoria. Victoria?! Although officers in the Department of Planning and Community Development (DPCD) have been working away privately for almost a year, this is the public launch of the Strategy. This is, so [...]

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‘Melbournes’: how many are there?

A new Australian site, Other Cities, has just published a must-read article for anyone interested in cities. It’s an interview with Kevin O’Connor, Professorial Fellow in Urban Planning at the University of Melbourne. This fascinating and insightful interview covers many issues from developer levies to public transport to cars to where university workers live. I [...]

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Decentralisation of CBD jobs: will it save the suburbs?

Bernard Salt had a fascinating but ultimately somewhat flawed article in The Australian last Saturday, Welcome to the Metropolis, which looks “at how Melbourne is narrowing the gap with Sydney in the contest to become the nation’s top city”. It’s gated, but well worth reading – I recommend doing what I did and taking out [...]

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Should our city centres get (a lot) denser?

Urbanists throughout Australia and the world were startled and amazed to read of the radical 20-50 year vision for expanding Melbourne’s CBD proposed last week by Victoria’s Planning Minister, Matthew Guy. According to the Herald Sun, which headlined its story Mega Melbourne plan for skyscrapers in suburbs, Mr Guy’s plan will “see skyscrapers stretching from [...]

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