The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Infrastructure, Transport and Cities has today tabled its report on the development of cities. The STCWA made a submission and appeared at a hearing for the Inquiry.
The report, titled Building Up & Moving Out, calls for the development of a national plan of settlement, providing a national vision for our cities and regions across the next fifty years. It is available at :http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/download/committees/reportrep/024151/toc_pdf/BuildingUp&MovingOut.pdf;fileType=application%2Fpdf
Committee Chair John Alexander says population growth, urbanisation, the ageing of the population,
and the transformation of the economy towards service and knowledge based industries are causing
profound changes in Australia’s urban and regional landscapes.
The report makes 37 recommendations addressing issues at a national, regional and local level
across a broad range of subjects, including:
• Developing integrated master plans for States and Territories, regions and communities.
• Pursuing a system of urban planning which promotes:
o accessibility and liveability, promoting heath and quality of life
o economic, social and environmental sustainability
o high quality natural and built environments
o access to employment
o a more compact urban form
o the concept of the 30-minute city.
• Developing a framework for the development of cities and regions outside the major
• Developing transport networks which allow for fast transit between cities and regions, and
within cities and regions in order to foster the developments of these regions.
• Producing a cost of living index, including housing, at the scale of local communities to
highlight the economic and lifestyle advantages of living in regional communities.
• Promoting freight access.
Sydney Morning Herald, 27 August 2018
The number of passengers enduring “crush capacity” on Sydney’s inner west light rail line or being left behind on platforms will worsen unless the Berejiklian government buys more trams to boost the frequency of services, “sensitive” documents warn. And even if new trams are bought, it will be up to three years before they are running on the line because of the length of time it takes to procure and commission them.
Sydney Morning Herald, 15 July 2018
The first detailed plans for new units to be built on government-owned land along the Metro Northwest train line have been released. Tallawong Station south in Rouse Hill will get about 1100 units in an area near The Ponds, with buildings up to 8 storeys tall. The plan includes parking for 1015 cars and 1210 bicycle spaces. One of the “key principles” of the development is to encourage greater use of cycling by residents. A minimum of 5% of the units will be used to provide affordable housing for at least 10 years.
The Conversation, 27 June 2018
It is no secret people are living longer, thanks to advances in medical technology. Futurist Ray Kurzweil predicts we are approaching a point of breaking even – where for every year lived, science can extend lifespans by at least that much. And more than 80% of Kurzweil’s predictions have so far proved correct. But length of life and quality of life are not the same thing. For good quality of life as one ages, there must be optimal retirement options. The default is to stay in one’s current home for as long as possible, or downsize. Some will settle into the quiet life of a retirement village on the urban fringes.
The Conversation, 7 June 2018
As more and more people move to cities, the experience of being stuck in impenetrable gridlock becomes an increasingly common part of the human experience. But managing traffic isn’t just a human problem. From the tunnels built by termites to the enormous underground networks built by fungi, life forms have evolved incredible ways of solving the challenge of moving large numbers of individuals and resources from one place to another.
But how do natural systems – which lack engineers or in some cases even brains – build and manage their transportation networks?
The Conversation, 14 May 2018
More than half a century has passed since high-speed rail (HSR) effectively began operating, in Japan in 1964, and it has been mooted for Australia since 1984. I estimate that the cost of all HSR studies by the private and public sectors in Australia exceeds $125 million, in today’s dollars. But the federal government is now less interested in high-speed rail (now defined as electric trains operating on steel rails at maximum speeds of above 250km per hour), and instead favours “faster rail” or medium-speed rail.
Bloomberg, 24 April 2018
Electric buses were seen as a joke at an industry conference in Belgium seven years ago when the Chinese manufacturer BYD Co. showed an early model. “Everyone was laughing at BYD for making a toy,” recalled Isbrand Ho, the Shenzhen-based company’s managing director in Europe. “And look now. Everyone has one.”
The Conversation, 24 April 2018
Public discussion of rail links to airports has been narrowly focused on the idea of a single line and where to run it. 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. The issue of rail access for a new western Sydney airport has also not been resolved.
The Conversation, 19 April 2018
Infrastructure Australia’s latest infrastructure priority list has been criticised for being “too Sydney-centric” and for giving Melbourne’s East West Link, cancelled in 2014, “high priority” status. The cancelled Roe 8 project in Perth was removed from the list. So how does a project get onto Infrastructure Australia’s list? This requires submission of a full business case, which then needs to be “positively assessed” to be given priority status.