Blog

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?

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No Australian city has a long-term vision for living sustainably. We can’t go on like this

06 November 2019

Australia was already one of the most urbanised nations by the end of the 19th century. Unlike European and North American countries, Australia’s pattern of settlement did not have a neat urban hierarchy. The gap between the large and small towns was huge.

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What is ‘ecological economics’ and why do we need to talk about it?

05 November 2019

As environmental crises and the urgency to create ecological sustainability escalate, so does the importance of ecological economics

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Wild Stray Care: Exploring multiple ways people co-exist with urban nature

16 October 2019

This essay introduces the three frames, then shares some of the outcomes from the The Nature of Cities Summit Seed Session.

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It’s easy to get us walking more if we have somewhere to walk to near our home and work

11 October 2019

We know walking more and increasing our levels of exercise are good for our health. But how can we walk more in our busy lives?

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How can we improve our homes to be energy efficient?

04 October 2019

With rising energy bills the new normal, we need to focus on improving Victoria’s housing stock to help householders adapt. New research in Moreland is exploring the barriers and opportunities householders face in improving their homes.

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Academic petition to stop the destruction of the Djab Wurrung sacred trees

10 September 2019

We write to express our grave concern and disappointment about the Victorian Government’s plans to bulldoze the sacred trees of the Djab Wurrung people of Western Victoria in order to construct a new alignment of the Western Highway.

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Fall in ageing Australians’ home-ownership rates looms as seismic shock for housing policy

27 August 2019

A new report raises concerns that rising mortgage debt and falling home ownership rates in later life are undermining the role of home ownership in supporting retirees’ financial wellbeing.

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What kind of state values a freeway’s heritage above the heritage of our oldest living culture?

23 August 2019

What kind of world do we live in when freeways are valued as of greater cultural significance than the practice of the oldest living culture in the world?

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Australian city workers’ average commute has blown out to 66 minutes a day. How does yours compare

31 July 2019

Average daily commuting times across Australia also increased from about 49 minutes in 2002 to almost one hour in 2017 according to the latest Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA).

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Regional cities beware – fast rail might lead to disadvantaged dormitories, not booming economies

17 July 2019

Governments are looking to fast rail services to regional cities to relieve population pressures in major cities, but will subsidising metropolitan workers to live in cheaper regional towns have a positive economic effect?

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From hospital to homeless: Victoria’s mental health system fails the most vulnerable

11 July 2019

People experiencing homelessness and poor mental health are among Australia’s most vulnerable citizens. Without secure housing and an accessible mental healthcare system, recovery from mental illness is seriously compromised.