Blog

New Zealand rushes in on upzoning where Australia fears to tread

12 November 2021

Australian planners and economists are currently debating the role of planning policies and regulations in dwelling production as part of the federal parliamentary inquiry into housing supply. Meanwhile the New Zealand government has announced it intends to dramatically roll back residential zoning across the country’s major cities in response to high house prices. This simplistic policy poses risks for strategic metropolitan planning and Australia should pay attention.

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We have to talk about energy poverty

29 October 2021

Right now there is very little discussion about this equity issue in our clean energy climate transition.

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RMIT students win international Students Reinventing Cities competition

30 September 2021

A team of students from RMIT’s Urban Design Project course have been named among the winners of the C40 Cities’ international Students Reinventing Cities – Melbourne competition.

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Ordinary people, extraordinary change: addressing the climate emergency through ‘quiet activism’

25 August 2021

Across the world, people worried about the impacts of climate change are seeking creative and meaningful ways to transform their urban environments. One such approach is known as “quiet activism”.

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It takes more than words and ambition: here’s why your city isn’t a lush, green oasis yet

07 July 2021

The idea of transforming cities from concrete jungles to urban forests is a popular one, and there have been some truly inspiring, exemplar projects in recent years. But has your city actually turned into a lush oasis yet? No, neither has ours.

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Three weeks without electricity? That’s the reality facing thousands of Victorians, and it will happen again

21 June 2021

Last week’s storm system wreaked havoc across Victoria. Some 220,000 households and businesses lost power, and residents in the hills on Melbourne’s fringe were warned yesterday it might not be restored for three weeks.

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Is temporary the new permanent? COVID street experiments open our eyes to creating better cities

20 March 2021

If the past year has made us more comfortable and confident with experimenting, all the better to help our cities meet the challenges ahead.

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Build-to-rent surge will change apartment living for Australians, but for better or worse?

12 March 2021

Australia’s emerging build-to-rent sector is growing — “booming” by some accounts with a 70% jump in value in the past year.

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Think taxing electric vehicle use is a backward step? Here’s why it’s an important policy advance

26 November 2020

The South Australian and Victorian governments have announced, and New South Wales is considering, road user charges on electric vehicles.

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Transforming smart cities: Observations on smart city integration

17 November 2020

As smart city technology continues to develop at exponential rates, cities are looking at how to best integrate the new technologies into their communities.

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Aged care isn’t working, but we can create neighbourhoods to support healthy ageing in place

29 October 2020

In 2020, the coronavirus pandemic has exposed issues and inequities across society. How we plan for ageing populations and older people is one critical issue that has been neglected for decades.

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Mapping COVID-19 spread in Melbourne shows link to job types and ability to stay home

30 July 2020

We mapped the connection between occupation types, indicating the ability to work from home, and the locations of COVID-19 cases across Melbourne in the recent second wave.

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Business as Usual or a “New Normal” for Cities?

16 July 2020

COVID19 is tragic for individuals, families, communities and the economy in Melbourne and across the globe yet provides an opportunity to stop and think about the implications for our cities.

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Melbourne tower lockdowns unfairly target already vulnerable public housing residents

06 July 2020

This week, the Victorian government unilaterally placed the residents of nine public housing towers in inner Melbourne under “hard lockdown” due to the “explosive potential” of increasing COVID-19 cases.

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Councils often ignore residents on social media. How can digital platforms ensure they have a say in planning?

16 June 2020

Local governments across Australia are mandated to consult their residents on urban development issues. They are increasingly using digital platforms to do this.

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Climate change is the most important mission for universities of the 21st century

04 June 2020

This essay is based on an episode of the UTS podcast series “The New Social Contract” that examines how the relationship between universities, the state and the public might be reshaped as we live through this global pandemic.

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A time to embrace the edge spaces that make our neighbourhoods tick

01 June 2020

As we emerge from COVID-19 lockdowns, it is timely to reflect on how the design of our neighbourhoods and the ways we interact with them affect our lived experience.

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4 ways our streets can rescue restaurants, bars and cafes after coronavirus

28 May 2020

As Australia re-opens, the bars, cafes and restaurants that give life to our streets face a tough ask: stay open and stay afloat with just a fraction of the customers.

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Public land is being sold exactly where thousands on the waiting list need housing

27 May 2020

The need for public housing is greater than ever before – Australia has a shortfall of at least 433,000 dwellings. Using public land for public housing is a no-brainer. But, at the time of writing, the Victorian government is preparing to sell over 2,646 hectares of land.

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Reforming land policy for affordable and inclusive housing

13 May 2020

How policy makers regard and manage the ownership and use of land has profound consequences for the affordability of our homes and the inclusiveness of our neighbourhoods.

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Physical distancing is here for a while – over 100 experts call for more safe walking and cycling space

30 April 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has dramatically shifted our lives and the ways we move about our cities.

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Coronavirus reminds us how liveable neighbourhoods matter for our well-being

21 April 2020

We are witnessing changes in the ways we use our cities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The liveability of our local neighbourhoods has never been more important.

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Australia had rent control in wartime. War on coronavirus demands the same response

15 April 2020

In this coronavirus “war”, governments should take inspiration from the past and again implement rent control.