October 24, 2017 9
It’s easy to give the appearance of being progressive when the proof of the pudding won’t be known until 2050, but sometimes inconvenient truths can't be overlooked
March 22, 2016 18
The idea of Sydney and Melbourne doubling in population to eight million by the 2050s conjures images of total traffic gridlock and super long commutes. Fortunately, it's not likely
June 30, 2015 23
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
October 18, 2013 5
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
May 1, 2013 22
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?
March 7, 2013 3
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!
February 25, 2013 8
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?
December 6, 2012 9
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.
December 3, 2012 9
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.
May 8, 2012 8
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 […]
May 1, 2012 6
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 […]
March 22, 2012 21
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 […]
February 20, 2012 15
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 […]
November 7, 2011 11
Melbourne 2030 envisaged growth of high density housing and office employment within established suburbs would be located in activity centres, especially those with a rail station. In fact it specified that 41% of all dwellings should be constructed in activity centres over the period 2001-30 (with 31% in Growth Areas and the rest dispersed in […]
November 5, 2011 11
The first exhibit shows the popular view of the geography of urban employment in Australia’s largest cities. It is commonly assumed the great bulk of jobs – and certainly virtually all “good” jobs – is located in the CBD. This is an understandable view given the first exhibit shows the spatial distribution of employment density in […]
October 18, 2011 21
New research by the Victorian Department of Transport (DoT) shows Melbourne’s tram system provides access to 34% of metropolitan jobs, whereas trains only give access to 15% (see first exhibit). The analysis found trams also give better access to housing – 17% of metropolitan households are located close to a tram stop compared to 8% […]
March 8, 2011 12
We’re familiar enough with the idea of the ‘centre of gravity’ of population in Melbourne. But where is the centre of gravity of employment? Is it the city centre? No, for one thing the CBD’s only got around 15% of all metropolitan jobs. For another, the combination of Melbourne’s distinctly lop-sided growth south of the […]
February 23, 2011
Many readers will have seen this now-ubiquitous chart before – it’s from Melbourne 2030 and has been republished countless times. It shows the proportion of metropolitan jobs accessible within 40 minutes travelling time from different parts of Melbourne by car and by public transport. I’ve never been happy with this chart because its simplicity is deceptive […]
February 5, 2011 9
The accompanying chart shows how public transport’s share of the journey to work varies with population density across 41 US and Australian cities. It is taken from the same article that I mentioned in my last post. The authors, Dr John Stone and Dr Paul Mees, find there is only a modest relationship between population […]
November 28, 2010 7
We all use the term “inner city” but I doubt we’re all talking about the same geographical area. For some people, the inner city means the area where cafe society thrives – probably a 10 km circle around the CBD in cities like Sydney and Melbourne. Or it might mean the extent of medium density […]