Blog

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.

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Where the wild things are: how nature might respond as coronavirus keeps humans indoors

08 April 2020

COVID-19 has taken a devastating toll on humanity, and this is nothing to be celebrated. But as Australians stay at home and our streets fall quiet, let’s consider how wildlife might respond.

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The average regional city resident lacks good access to two-thirds of community services, and liveability suffers

16 March 2020

The way our growing cities are planned and built is becoming ever more important in building healthy, liveable and sustainable communities.

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Thousands of city trees have been lost to development, when we need them more than ever

26 February 2020

Trees often feature prominently when talking about solutions, but our research shows trees are being lost to big developments – about 2,000 within a decade in inner Melbourne.

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Want to help save wildlife after the fires? You can do it in your own backyard

24 February 2020

Here we provide various practical tips on things people can do in their own backyards and neighbourhoods to help some of the species hit hard by the fires.

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No need to give up on crowded cities – we can make density so much better

18 February 2020

The more immediate need is to focus on improving conditions in our major cities. Our smaller towns matter, but we can’t neglect the urgent need to get better at doing the bigger ones right.

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No food, no fuel, no phones: bushfires showed we’re only ever one step from system collapse

06 February 2020

This summer’s bushfires were not just devastating events in themselves. More broadly, they highlighted the immense vulnerability of the systems which make our contemporary lives possible.

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Rebuilding from the ashes of disaster: this is what Australia can learn from India

27 January 2020

A key question facing us all after Australia’s unprecedented bushfires is how will we do reconstruction differently? We need to ensure our rebuilding and recovery efforts make us safer, protect our environment and improve our ability to cope with future disasters.

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Bushfire education is too abstract. We need to get children into the real world

22 January 2020

Children and young people have been deeply impacted by the current bushfire crisis. Schools have been destroyed and thousands of houses have burnt down.

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Blue carbon is not the silver bullet the Coalition wants it to be

18 December 2019

The only Australian achievement on display at last week’s COP25 conference was “blue carbon”, paraded in three minor side events on including carbon stored in coastal ecosystems in national carbon reporting.

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We’re still fighting city freeways after half a century

11 December 2019

Like the modernist plans of its time, the 1969 Melbourne Metropolitan Transportation Plan was bold in ambition. Major motorways have been built across the city as a result of the plan.

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The problem with transport models is political abuse, not their use in planning

10 December 2019

On the 50th anniversary of the Melbourne Transportation Plan, we review the role of transport modelling as a planning tool. What are models now telling us about the future of Australian cities?

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50 years on from the Melbourne Transportation Plan

08 December 2019

The 1969 Melbourne Transportation Plan was perhaps the most influential planning policy in the city’s history. Every freeway and major arterial road built since then, as well as many current freeway and tollway projects and proposals, stem from this plan.

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How 1 bright light in a bleak social housing policy landscape could shine more brightly

22 November 2019

In the year since the Australian government created the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC), its bond aggregator, AHBA, has raised funds for affordable housing providers, allowing them to refinance loans under better conditions.

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Churches have legal rights in Australia. Why not sacred trees?

07 November 2019

In Australia, corporations such as Coles and Westpac and even some churches operate as legal entities entitled to most of the rights and responsibilities that individuals possess. Why don’t the Djab Wurrung sacred trees have legal standing?