News

May 2018 edition of The Urban Observer out now

This third edition of our dedicated Centre magazine The Urban Observer, is testament to the strength of our research effort. This issue reports a remarkable volume of thinking and analysis across a diverse array of topics.

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News

Remaking imperial power in the city: The case of the Barak building

On 3 March 2015, the enormous drapes that had been covering a new building in central Melbourne were thrown off to reveal an extraordinary sight: a colossal image of a face staring down the city’s civic spine.

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Dry Zones and other Temperance Hangovers

When Melbourne’s two ‘dry zones’ had compulsory ballots for restaurant and café liquor licences removed in 2015, some reports surmised that “a hangover from the anti-alcohol movement of the 1920s had finally been relegated to the history books”. 

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The evolution of metropolitan planning

If one were to conduct an opinion poll among all the urban planners currently employed by local government authorities across metropolitan Melbourne with regard to the issue of state government regulation and interference, one might be reasonably safe to assert that the survey response would be ‘there is too much.’

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News

The struggles over empty space

Why are there empty spaces in our cities? Does it matter? I’ve been thinking a lot about vacancy lately. Firstly this was because my family received a ‘Notice to Vacate’ late last year.

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Can remote sensing help answer planning and transport policy questions?

With cars stationary 95 percent of the time, car parking is essential to car-based travel. Parking is also a widespread and controversial policy concern in planning and land use decisions. 

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The mark of the covenant on housing and planning

The recent Reserve Bank of Australia report The Effect of Zoning on Housing Prices put forward the argument that restrictive zoning is driving Australian house prices up - particularly in Melbourne and Sydney - arguing that that planning policy reform is necessary in order to meet projected population increases.

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Bright lights, smart city: Connecting our cities to a wireless future

In recent years, Australian municipal governments have significantly expanded their investment in digital infrastructure and services, adding to their responsibility for physical infrastructure and community services.

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News

CUR academic joins editorial board of new international journal

Senior Research Fellow at the RMIT Centre for Urban Research Dr Cecily Maller has been selected as a lead editor for the new international journal People and Nature.

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Media

New report settles the score on Perth’s liveability

A new report measuring Perth’s liveability progress has found that despite the city’s improvements, it is struggling to meet its targets for policy implementation.

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Blog

Indigenous communities are reworking urban planning, but planners need to accept their history

Nearly 80% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia live in urban areas but cities often exclude and marginalise them.

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New plant app a force of nature at international internet awards

A new virtual greening app, based on research from RMIT and the University of Melbourne, has won both the People’s Voice and the Judge's Webby Award – the ‘internet’s highest honour’.

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Media

RMIT experts available for comment on State Budget

Experts from RMIT are available to talk to media from 6am this morning about a range of topics and issues relating to the 2018-19 State Budget.

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Blog

Melbourne Airport is going to be as busy as Heathrow, so why the argument about one train line?

In Melbourne, the politics of this debate has so far prevented a railway from being built, because it is not possible for one line to meet all of the landside access needs of the airport.

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Melbourne needs second metro to get demand on track, experts warn

Urban researchers are calling for a second Melbourne Metro Rail, warning the current project won’t meet the expected capacity demand unless the city plans for more rail line infrastructure.

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Media

Expert comment on Melbourne Airport train link

RMIT University infrastructure and urban planning expert Professor Jago Dodson says a new rail link for Melbourne’s airport is welcome news, but needs to be part of a broader transport plan if it is to have major benefit.

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Media

Expert comment on Infrastructure Australia priority list

RMIT University infrastructure expert Dr Ian Woodcock says the Victorian projects in Infrastructure Australia’s 2018 priority list will “lock Melburnians into increasingly toll-paying car dependence”.

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News

New report helps guide urban investment in growing outer suburbs

A new report examining transformational urban projects across Australia aims to provide councils experiencing rapid population growth a guide on how to restructure economic and community functions.

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Blog

How tree bonds can help preserve the urban forest

Great cities need trees to be great places, but urban changes put pressure on the existing trees as cities develop. As a result, our rapidly growing cities are losing trees at a worrying rate. So how can we grow our cities and save our city trees?

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Blog

Homeless numbers will keep rising until governments change course on housing

The number of people experiencing homelessness and the rate of homelessness have both increased. Our research points to problems in the public housing system as one of the more important causes of these increases.

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Blog

For Australians to have the choice of growing old at home, here is what needs to change

The population of people aged 65 and over in Australia is projected to grow from 3.7 million to 8.7 million by 2056. Cities, towns and housing need to be designed to help people stay at home as they age.

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IPCC cities conference tackles gaps between science and climate action on the ground

Some 600 climate scientists, urban researchers, policymakers and practitioners attended the International Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) first ever conference on cities last week.

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New cities? It’s an idea worth thinking about for Australia

Is there a case for revisiting the idea of new cities for Australia in the light of recent population projections and resurgent debate about the implications of a big Australia?

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Blog

All the signs point to our big cities’ need for democratic, metro-scale governance

Infrastructure Australia has called for metropolitan-scale governance of Australia’s largest cities. The new report by the Commonwealth’s statutory infrastructure agency, which sought to scope out the prospects for Sydney and Melbourne over the next 25 years, identifies integrated governance and leadership as keys to success.

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