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Posts from the ‘Sustainable Transport’ Category

Growing cities face challenges of keeping the masses moving up, down and across

The Conversation, 4 June 2018
Cities worldwide face the problems and possibilities of “volume”: the stacking and moving of people and things within booming central business districts. We see this especially around mass public transport hubs. As cities grow, they also become more vertical. They are expanding underground through rail corridors and above ground into the tall buildings that shape city skylines. Cities are deep as well as wide.
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Will Australia turn to EVs to address poor fuel security, or ignore them?

REnew Economy, 7 May 2018
The Australian federal government has announced a long-awaited review of the country’s precarious transport fuel security – focusing on liquid fuels such as petrol, diesel and jet fuel. But it is not clear how much the prospects of electric vehicles will be taken into account by the government study into Australia’s fuel security, which has less than 50 days reserves, little more than half the recommended level.

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Time to take stock of Australia’s fuel security

The Sydney Morning Herald, 7 May 2018
As the world’s eighth largest energy producer, Australia’s fuel supplies have proved to be remarkably reliable and resilient over the last four decades. The last significant disruption was in the 1970s with the OPEC oil crisis. But since then, much has changed both domestically and internationally, requiring a reassessment of Australia’s liquid fuel security. Liquid fuel includes petrol, diesel and jet fuel and accounts for 37% of Australia’s energy use and 98% of our transport needs.

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This Is How Big Oil Will Die

NewCo Shift, 24 May 2017
It’s 2025, and 800,000 tons of used high strength steel is coming up for auction. The steel made up the Keystone XL pipeline, finally completed in 2019, two years after the project launched with great fanfare after approval by the Trump administration. The pipeline was built at a cost of about $7 billion, bringing oil from the Canadian tar sands to the US, with a pit stop in the town of Baker, Montana, to pick up US crude from the Bakken formation. At its peak, it carried over 500,000 barrels a day for processing at refineries in Texas and Louisiana.

But in 2025, no one wants the oil.
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Cycling receives just 1% of total road funding

The Feed, SBA, 13 April 2018
New research has found that cycling and walking receive a tiny fraction of overall transport infrastructure funding in Australia. Researchers believe this is “unacceptable in a wealthy OECD country”.
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Federal Parliament Inquiry into cities

On Tuesday 30 May 2017 The Hon Darren Chester MP, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, asked the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Infrastructure, Transport and Cities, to conduct an Inquiry into the Australian Government’s role in the development of cities.
See https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/House/ITC/DevelopmentofCities
and here to read the 165 submissions, including STCWA’s: https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/House/ITC/DevelopmentofCities/Submissions

Looming oil price shock that could trigger the next global recession

The Age, 20 November 2017
Revenge, it is said, is a dish best served cold. When Mohammed bin Salman rounded up more than a hundred of Saudi Arabia’s richest businessmen, investors and members of the royal family and imprisoned them in the comparative luxury of Riyadh’s Ritz-Carlton, cheering the crown prince on from the sidelines was one Donald Trump. “Some of those they are harshly treating have been ‘milking’ their country for years!”, he tweeted. Despite the present glut in supply, the oil price has again been creeping up. Long in abeyance, we are seeing the re-emergence of a geopolitical risk premium. Generally, this is taken for granted in the oil price, but in recent years it all but disappeared, apparently made redundant by the advent of US shale. Now it is coming back. Like a siren going off, traders are suddenly waking up to an old bogey – the possibility that rising tensions could close the Strait of Hormuz, through which approximately a fifth of world oil supplies pass.

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Spend more money on the public space – for all our sakes

The Guardian, 31 May 2017
Imagine designing one of our great cities from scratch. You would quickly discover that there is enough physical space for magnificent parks, playing fields, public swimming pools, urban nature reserves and allotments sufficient to meet the needs of everyone. Alternatively, you could designate the same space to a small proportion of its people – the richest citizens – who can afford large gardens, perhaps with their own swimming pools. The only way of securing space for both is to allow the suburbs to sprawl until the city becomes dysfunctional: impossible to supply with efficient services, lacking a sense of civic cohesion, and permanently snarled in traffic: Los Angeles for all.
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Sorry, Tesla owners, but your electric car isn’t as green as you think it is

Salon, 15 May 2017
Tesla Motors has an army of loyalists who either swear by the company’s sleek and stealthy high-end luxury electric cars or dream of getting their hands on one. They share company co-founder Elon Musk’s vision of ending the 130-year reign of the internal combustion engine by steering drivers away from gasoline and toward electricity. But hold on to your smugness, Tesla owners. Not all electric cars are the same, and until the U.S. more fully embraces renewable energy sources, buying an electric car isn’t necessarily the greenest option out there.
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On your bike! China’s latest asset bubble

Australian Financial Review, 1 March 2017
On the footpath outside one of Shanghai’s most popular shopping malls, China’s latest asset bubble is on display. Fighting for the attention of consumers are five different brands of shared bikes, each with their own brightly coloured frame and modern design. For as little as 4¢ an hour one of these can be rented, as cash-rich start-ups fight to secure market share and seek to emerge as the dominant player in this industry which barely existed 12 months ago.
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