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Are these outer suburbs “food deserts”?

Michelle Obama popularised the idea that “food deserts” with too few healthy food stores (and too many fast food outlets) are a key cause of bad health, but the idea of food deserts misses the underlying problem

How might our cities change over the next decade?

Ten years is a short period at the scale of cities but some big changes occurred in our capitals over the last decade. Predicting what might happen over the next ten years is useful but hard

What’s going on with indexation of the fuel excise?

Senator Di Natale is insisting the Government must fund public transport if it wants the Greens to support indexation of the fuel excise. There are some interesting aspects to this ongoing saga

Will higher standards make apartment residents worse off?

The Victorian Government wants to stop “dogbox” apartments getting built. But it’s doubtful mandatory standards would help residents; it’s more likely they’d raise prices and fetter housing choice

Which cities in the world are the most “bicycle-friendly”?

Ho hum. Another week, another list of the “world’s best cities”, this time ranked on bicycle-friendliness. The problem with the fashion for rankings is most times the lists just aren’t reliable

How long before driverless vehicles take over cities?

Driverless vehicles offer huge potential benefits but it’s unlikely they’ll materialise soon. Besides the regulatory and commercial obstacles, it’s still early days for the technology

Are trips by public transport and by car the same?

Cars dominate travel in Sydney for all trip lengths over one kilometre. Seriously increasing public transport’s mode share is an enormous challenge; it will require making cars less attractive

Is the Qld cultural precinct a laurel worth resting on?

Giving heritage listing to the Cultural Centre complex might make the Qld Government look forward-thinking but preserving such a large and strategically valuable area doesn’t come cost-free

Should natural light in apartments be more tightly regulated?

Bedrooms that “borrow” natural light from living areas are a key target in the debate about apartment standards. Is it a problem? If so, is it severe enough to justify stronger regulation?

Is promoting health and fitness a winning strategy for cycling?

Emphasising the exercise and health benefits is a good way to promote cycling in the short term but it might make it harder to win serious mode share in Australian cities in the long run

Should all apartments have a place in the sun?

The Victorian Government wants to know if a majority of new apartments should have mandated access to direct sun.That’s a questionable idea but requiring sun control should be considered

 What would it take to justify rail to Melbourne Airport?

A rail line to Melbourne Airport won’t make economic sense for decades yet under standard assumptions but there’s a (politically courageous) scenario where it could work now

Is questioning the bicycle helmet law being ‘contrary’?

Media Watch characterised Radio National’s questioning of the mandatory bicycle helmet law as “all about being contrary”. ‘Contrary’ is a heavily loaded term and should be used with care

How does Sydney compare to Vancouver on travel?

Vancouver is often cited as a city that does transport and planning right. Compared on a like-for-like basis, Sydney holds up pretty well when it comes to shares of public transport and active modes

Would a world of driverless cars be all beer and skittles?

A speculation on some of the wider and less commonly cited changes – not all positive – that might happen in a would where autonomous vehicles have replaced human controlled vehicles