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The hidden energy cost of smart homes

Light globes that change colour with the tap of an app, coffee machines you can talk to, and ovens that know exactly how long to cook your food: our homes are getting smart

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World Environment Day in a shifting ‘environment’

What does World Environment Day mean in a world in which we are no longer sure what ‘environment’ means?

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Meet Stephen Flood: expert in climate adaption

Recently, Stephen Flood Post Doctoral Fellow at the New Zealand Climate Change Research Institute at Victoria University of Wellington, and the Director of Research and Pacific Projects at SmartEarth Ireland, visited the Centre for Urban Research to discuss his working paper on the legal issues affecting coastal retreat as an effective response to sea level rise.

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Has the 100 Resilient Cities Challenge benefited Melbourne?

The selection of Melbourne to participate in the international 100 Resilient Cities program sponsored by the New York-based Rockefeller Foundation generated a mix of hopes, expectations and concerns.

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Factory Farming and Urban Planning

While many of us can barely imagine what a million chickens in a shed might look or smell like, peri-urban and rural communities often have firsthand experience. Australians consume a lot of cheap chicken, but planning conflicts show not everyone appreciates an intensive chicken factory as a neighbour.

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‘30-minute city’? Not in my backyard! Smart Cities Plan must let people have their say

The federal government’s Smart Cities Plan is framed around the “30-minute city”. In this city, journeys will take no more than half an hour, regardless of your location.

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The temporal dynamics of being an international visiting scholar

In this short piece of writing we are interested in the ways in which one globalising move — the appointment of the ‘visiting academic’ — disrupts and rearranges the temporal routines of academics’ everyday lives.

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EcoCheck: Victoria’s flower-strewn western plains could be swamped by development

When Europeans first saw Victoria’s native grasslands in the 1830s, they were struck by the vast beauty of the landscape, as well as its productive potential.

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CCR researchers look beyond the city boundary

This April, members of the CCR research program presented on the group and their research at a meeting of the Victorian Universities Rural and Regional Research Network hosted for the first time at RMIT.

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Build in good services from day one for healthier communities: lessons from Selandra Rise

Building new residential communities is no mean feat. Building healthy new communities is an even greater challenge.

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PolicyCheck: Labor’s phased emissions trading scheme

The Conversation’s academic experts look at the history of policies, whether they have been tried in Australia before, and how likely they are to succeed.

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Turnbull should help the states switch stamp duty for land tax

Before the government considers company or personal income tax cuts, it should help the states replace property stamp duties with a broad based land tax argues the Australian Council of Social Service.

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Ideas for Australia: City v4.0, a new model of urban growth and governance for Australia

In providing for the well-being of the next three million urban Australians, we need to take unvarnished stock of our situation.

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Does higher-density city development leave urban forests out on a limb?

Greater recognition of the benefits of urban forests is focusing efforts from all levels of government to defend and improve them.

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The two-year wait for Hazelwood mine fire charges shows the system needs to change

Victoria’s Environmental Protection Authority has brought charges against four companies over the Hazelwood coal mine fire, which burned for 45 days in February and March 2014, blanketing the nearby town of Morwell in smoke.

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Hot cities: the ‘smart’ response to urban heat threats

Significant urban policy and planning efforts have been directed at the problem of rising heat in cities.

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Done like a chicken dinner: city fringes locked in battles over broiler farms

Since 1965 the per-capita annual consumption of chicken meat in Australia has increased ten-fold from 4.6 kilograms per person in 1965 to 44.6 kilograms in 2012.

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An environmentally just city works best for all in the end

Melbourne’s population is expected to almost double by mid-century, overtaking Sydney as Australia’s biggest city.

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Amphibious Living in Iceland

Combining water and architecture for sustainable living

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Raising expectations for Melbourne’s railways

Improved public transport has long been a high priority among Victorian voters however; the recent announcement of the $1.6 billion project to remove nine level crossings between Caulfield and Dandenong has not been met with the expected enthusiasm.

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Christchurch five years on: have politicians helped or hindered the earthquake recovery?

The Canterbury earthquakes of 2010-11 required a momentous recovery undertaking by the City of Christchurch in New Zealand. Five years on, what insight can we glean from the fallout?

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Will house prices ‘collapse’ if negative gearing is changed?

There is much confusion about the effects of Labor’s tax proposals with respect to investors in rental housing.

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Negative gearing: scrap or preserve?

The Australian tax debate has placed negative gearing under scrutiny.

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