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.
The Driven, 14 September 2018
Getting petrol and diesel cars off the road and replacing them with electric will go a long way to solving pollution problems but if you can do the same with heavy-fuel-use trucks the results are even more impressive, and that’s what Volvo is banking on with their just announced cabless truck.
The Conversation 13 September 2018
Autonomous, or driverless, vehicles can support and promote active travel, such as walking and cycling, when two basic conditions are met:
1. their access to cities is restricted
2. their use is pooled.
In the absence of these two conditions, autonomous vehicles could lead to a decline in active travel in cities and an increase in economic, social and environmental costs. Potential costs are rarely mentioned in the rhetoric about autonomous vehicles, much of which is highly optimistic.
The Guardian, 13 September 2018
The end of the internal combustion engine, which for more than a century changed the way we lived in Britain, is nigh. No one but the motor industry thinks this dirty technology ought to survive. The refusal to accept reality is exacting a high price: Britain will miss its legally binding carbon emissions targets because transport, unlike all other parts of the economy, is not doing enough to curb the growth in emissions.
Clean Technica, 9 September 2018
Despite intense media scrutiny around Tesla’s Model 3 “production hell” ramp, and Elon Musk’s take-Tesla-private drama, Tesla now has the #1 best selling car in the US. You may think that was a typo, but read on. Tesla has finally executed on its vision of bringing a truly mass market car to the US, with solid results in July and August pointing to a record third quarter. In August, Tesla’s Model 3 became a top 5 best selling car in the US by units, behind popular cars from Toyota and Honda that start at less than $25,000, compared to Tesla’s current starting price of $49,000. (Note: The car category does not include SUVs and trucks.)
The Driven, 3 September 2018
Yes, it’s true – an electric version of the iconic Vespa scooter made by Italian vehicle maker Piaggio Group is finally going into production. The Italian company announced that it will start making the “Vespa Elettrica” this month at its Pontedera plant in the province of Pisa, with a view to making the electric scooters available for orders by the beginning of October.
The Conversation, 3 September 2018
Sections of cities all over the world are being demolished to meet increasing demand for transport infrastructure. The process of building new roads, harbour crossings, metro systems and light rail lines seems unending. Large-scale construction includes loss of public space, housing and backyards. Historic suburbs, such as Sydney’s Haberfield, have suffered. And then there’s the issue of cost blow-outs and traffic gridlock. There are rumblings, too, about environmental impacts and equity of access. But there is actually one public transport option that can mitigate many of these concerns: cable cars.
ABC News, 29 August 2018
The drive to electric vehicles promises a better future — but there is a road rage battle brewing, pitting petrol guzzlers against their green successors on how we should be paying for our roads.
The Conversation, 22 August 2018
After the tragedy in the Italian city Genoa, where a highway bridge collapsed killing more than 40 people, nations seem to be taking stock of the maintenance levels of their bridges. There are reports thousands of UK bridges are at risk of collapse, and there are hundreds of similarly damaged bridges in France, Germany and Italy itself. Australia is no different to other developed countries in this regard, where a lot of bridges are old and deteriorating, and we would be foolish to think we are immune. That said, bridges are generally safe structures, with the risk of fatality from a bridge collapse being around one in 100 million per year. This is roughly 100 times less likely than being killed by lightning.
Renew Economy, 8 August 2018
President Trump has followed through on his promise to roll back Obama-era fuel economy and emissions standards for passenger cars and trucks, proposing to freeze standards at 2020 levels. Given the tremendous benefits of these rules to-date and the promising future for 2025 and beyond, you can imagine that justifying this rollback requires contortions that would qualify the administration for Cirque du Soleil…and you would be right. Here are just a few of the ridiculous assertions found in the proposal to justify rolling back such a successful policy: