Two shocking examples of developments that blatantly ignored existing neighbourhood character

HERITAGE

Is faux heritage the future?

Melbourne City Council requires the facade of this old pub to be retained when redeveloped even though the building has no demonstrated heritage value

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

Should corridors be protected for HSR?

Infrastructure Australia reckons protecting corridors for East Coast High Speed Rail would save billions, but the case hasn’t been made that the project makes sense

Is Melbourne Metro being built way too fast?

The Sunday Age reckons the Andrews Government has cynically chosen to use a truck-intensive tunnelling method so it can get the Melbourne Metro rail project finished faster

Is public transport the only solution to congestion?

Public transport is a big part of the answer to congestion but it can’t do it alone. But congestion isn’t the only big issue; so is providing access to places as population grows

A regional rail fantasy map

Here’s master mapmaker Adam Mattinson’s vision of what a high quality regional rail network could look like in Victoria. Sheer fantasy, you say?

Is Daniel Andrews selling out public transport?

Victoria’s Andrews Government has decided to continue with franchised management of Melbourne’s trains and trams rather than bring them back under direct government control

All stops to ‘Winterfell Station’…in Australia?

Winterfell is leading the public nominations for names for the five new Melbourne Metro underground rail stations. Melbourne can do much better

WATER

Will Melbourne really run dry in a decade?

The mainstream media likes to frame news to convey a sense of impending disaster – like Melbourne’s running out of water – but sometimes it gets out of its depth

CARS AND TRAFFIC

Have we passed peak car (parking)?

Australian city dwellers have passed peak travel (kilometres per capita) but it seems they haven’t passed peak car ownership or peak parking

Has the case been made for the West Gate Tunnel?

More problems are coming to light with the proposed West Gate Tunnel in Melbourne. The Government needs to do a better job of explaining and justifying this project

Should this motorway report be secret?

No, Daniel Andrews, you can’t spend $1 Billion of public money to get rid of the East West Link and then be secretive about the case for the West Gate Tunnel

PLANNING

Is immigration ruining our cities?

The Age ran a set of stories on the weekend geared around the idea that immigration-fuelled population growth is seriously damaging Melbourne’s “celebrated liveability”

Is popular support for city growth disappearing?

No matter what experts think, slowing population growth – and hence immigration – seems to be a very powerful political idea winning support across the demographic board

Is the “20-minute city” mostly spin?

It seems an attractive idea, but the 20-minute city is more about marketing than substantive policy. Of course politicians love it; the rest of us have no excuse for being gullible

Are the politicians trying to con us on this one?

If the “20-minute” city is defined by how many everyday services can be accessed by bicycle then we’ve already got it and the claims of Federal and State leaders look like a con

Can public transport define the 20-minute city?

We make a vanishingly small percentage of short trips by public transport and it’s mostly because we prefer the alternatives for this sort of travel. Transit’s strengths lie elsewhere

Is Melbourne’s liveability gong mostly bullshit?

The media and politicians continue to give it credibility but they know the EIU’s ‘world’s most liveable city’ gong has little bearing on the life of residents of Melbourne

Are outer growth suburbs dystopian?

The media loves to portray fringe growth suburbs as hell on earth and suggest they should be done away with. But they’re neither optional nor dystopian

SOCIAL

Have young children lost “the right to roam”?

We often hear that the rise of helicopter parents prevents young children from roaming independently; sure, but while the standard assumption is they’re worse off, there’s more to it

Why don’t neighbours matter as much anymore?

We’re not as connected with our neighbours as previous generations were, mostly because we’re better off; we have greater mobility and more choice

Is selling public housing land to developers a good policy?

The Victorian Government’s policy of inviting proposals from the private sector to redevelop outdated public housing estates is proving controversial

CYCLING

Are kids cycling a whole lot less?

A big drop in the number of children’s bicycles imported into Australia last year doesn’t mean large numbers of children are losing interest in cycling

Can Melbourne be the new Amsterdam?

It’s an appealing meme, but the idea Australian cities could replicate the experience of Amsterdam if only they had the political will is harder than it might look

How safe is cycling on city roads?

The likelihood of suffering a serious injury while cycling on urban roads is extremely low, but it seems our tolerance for risk is even lower

AIRPORTS

What are the key issues for Melbourne Airport rail?

The solution is seen as a single rail line, but it should be conceived as the package of infrastructure and policies that will best improve the accessibility of Melbourne Airport

Should airport trains also serve metro passengers?

One of the key issues that needs to be worked through in planning mass transit access to airports is integration with the existing rail network

Is subsidising airport rail fares the way to go?

The fare travellers will pay – whether less than $5 or more than $25 – is a key issue in planning for a mass transit connection between Melbourne Airport and the city centre

MEMORIALS

Should public works be named after politicians?

No matter how worthy they are, we should be very cautious about naming public works after people, but most especially after politicians

Is a drug death memorial a dubious idea?

A proposed public memorial to those who died from a hard drug overdose wouldn’t do any harm but smacks of creating an edgy amenity for inner city residents

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