This opinion piece only scratches the surface of the enormous problems we have here in Canberra with planning and development. The whole of the planning system has been corrupted by decades of bad management and the development of a culture that has residents as the enemy to be tricked and out manoeuvred. Click here for my piece in City News.
In Canberra how developers bend and get around planning rules is a common debate. The ACT Government has several ministers who mess around in planning and development – and all not good at it. See my City News article – click here.
In Australia we have a small band of conservatives who work tirelessly to have their brands of religion have a greater influence on government and the country’s laws.
Luckily till now they are more of less not so successful – well most of the time.
In their last round of attempts to achieve more religious freedoms (whatever that meant) – what would have been more applicable would have been to remove religion and the influence of such religious fundamentalists completely from the workings of government.
Meanwhile in a land not far away – things are going from bad to worse.
Click here for the story in the Guardian.
Some issues just do not go away. Dogs that are dangerous or potentially dangerous is such a topic.
Continue reading Danger to dogs from the ACT Government
As I watched the horrifying footage of the London Grenfell Tower fire, I remarked that this is what could have happened in Docklands, Melbourne, in 2014.
Continue reading Will your house burn?
Following the resignation of their highly paid CEO, it seems that our postal services need to recover some of the revenue it has been paying out in the last few years.
Continue reading Inappropriate letterboxes to be replaced
Again – workers are being Trumped – and Turnbulled
Click on the image for the piece by Andrew P Street – about how workers are to be further exploited by the decisions endorsed by the Prime Minister – and he loves it.
Continue reading Being Turnbulled
It took about three hours of argument on Friday 28th October for a decision by the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (ACAT) on whether certain government planning documents should be released to those making objections to the Government’s agreement to the revised Development Application (DA) for the Dickson supermarket.
Continue reading Lawyers, files and money–and those responsible for this mess
A few comments following our previous post on how the Chief Minister is going into the ACT Elections (15 Oct) with the past catching up to him.
Continue reading ACT Government transparency and accountability 2
An Auditor-General’s report has been released on some questions on the operations of the ACT Government’s Land Development Agency (LDA).
Continue reading ACT Government transparency and accountability
I share with many others the dilemma of how to vote in the coming ACT elections.
Continue reading My vote before & after the candidates meeting
There are many nasty things about the current Turnbull government. Granted he is not Abbott, but he has instead installed a very strange set of protocols for how he deals with – or not deals with – many difficult issues.
Continue reading Being Turnbulled
Here’s a couple of perspectives on the so-called ‘stop the boats’.
Continue reading stop the boats
A nice summing up of the realities around Magna Carta – click on the image.
Commentary: George Monbiot
There are lots of good commentators out there who have loads of intelligent views to offer.
George Monbiot, author and contributor to the Guardian, is one of these people.
I have quoted from George before and have a few of his books.
Continue reading George Monbiot
Opinion Piece from PLANETIZEN
Does Beauty Still Matter?
Dealing with contemporary planning agencies has become a very stressful task for any person with concerns for their immediate and future urban environments.
Continue reading Urban Beauty
Is architecture is failing contemporary Sydney? Part One
There is no doubt that the City of Sydney and its harbour are magnificent to behold. (click on the photo to enlarge). The mix of built structures really makes for a view that demands you take the time to stare, contemplate and to just enjoy it for as long as it takes. However…..
Continue reading Sydney Urbanity & Architecture
Recent Canberra Government development announcements
In recent weeks and months there have been several significant development proposals announced by the territory (ACT) government in Canberra. If all the government’s ambitions come to fruition then residents about to witness some very serious alterations and additions to the make-up of several parts of the inner city urban fabric.
Continue reading Canberra Urbanity & Development
Using Parking Meters in Climate Change
There are all sorts of stories in circulation in Canberra as a result of the decision to introduce paid parking for all areas within the Parliamentary Triangle. This has a big impact on those who work in the area. Some public servants are devising clever tricks to continue to have free parking.
This will also mean that visitors will now have to pay to visit the national institutions and have limited time to visit. This could be a marked change in how visitors regard the national cultural institutions. I know as a local, it will mean less visits to these institutions.
Continue reading Car Parking
Report: The Built Environment
In January 2013 Ed Vaizey, the UK Minister for Culture, Communications and the Creative Industries, commissioned Sir Terry Farrell to undertake a national review of architecture and the built environment. The report is now available online.
Terry Farrell undertook this Review independently with his team at Farrells and advised by a panel of 11 industry leaders with a breadth of experience that covers education, outreach, urbanism, architecture, property and philosophy.
Continue reading UK Farrell Review
Leadership in design of the built environment
I was attending a meeting of combined community council two years ago, when to members of the public who were in attendance made very similar appeals. Both were very upset with the quality of the redevelopments that had appeared within their street, despite the local communities objections about key aspects of the developments.
As far as I could ascertain, they were not necessarily opposed to the infill of their suburb. It was more about the nature of the apartments being built.
Continue reading Leadership in Design
Reporting on research being undertaken
Urbanism, Climate Adaptation and Health
You are urged to ‘watch this space’ for research and reports by scientists who have been carrying out research on Urbanism, Climate Adaptation and Health. To quote from their website:
Safeguarding future health in Australian cities, The CSIRO Climate Adaptation Flagship has funded scientists and researchers from a range of disciplines to develop adaptation strategies which will improve the health of urban populations in the face of a variable and changing climate.
The Urbanism, Climate Adaptation and Health Cluster was established in 2010 and officially launched in March 2011 at a Conference in Cairns, bringing together nine different partner organisations focusing on 7 major research projects.
Continue reading Urbanism, Climate Adaptation and Health
Opinion Editorial: Urban Trees and Heat
A case study of neglect and willful blindness?.
(cross posted from our other blog)
Continue reading Urban Trees and Heat
Environmental Policy Analysis: A Guide to Non-Market Valuation
(Taken from a media release)
The Productivity Commission this week released a staff working paper that examines methods available for assessing costs and benefits for environmental values.
Continue reading Environmental Policy Analysis
Green Spaces and the Health Budgets
re-posted from the BBC
In Australia planning authorities and government administrative services sections still do not address the proven links between health and the access to open spaces. One has to only look to the small budgets for parks initiatives and worse still to the shrinking allocations for park maintenance within local governments.
Meanwhile all our governments are under stress because of the increasing requirements being identified under their health portfolios.
Continue reading Green Spaces and the Health Budgets
re-posted from BBC, science and environment
It’s about the links between Health Wellbeing and Parks
Green spaces, Parks, have lasting positive effect on health and wellbeing
Living in an urban area with green spaces such as parks has a long-lasting positive impact on people’s mental well-being, a study has suggested. UK researchers found moving to a green space had a sustained positive effect, unlike pay rises or promotions, which only provided a short-term boost.
The authors said the results indicated that access to good quality urban parks was beneficial to public health. The findings appear in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.
Continue reading Health Wellbeing and Parks
Re-Posted from UK Landscape Institute
Public health and landscape: creating healthy places (November 2013)
The UK Landscape Institute believes that greater priority needs to be given to prevention of ill health in public health and social care. All those involved in creating healthy places, public health professionals, planners and landscape architects, need to recognise that landscape has enormous potential to improve our health and wellbeing. In Australia, despite all the evidence being available, it has been a struggle to have the Australian Government recognise the importance of the links between our public spaces and the population’s health and well being.
Click here for UK Landscape Institute Public Health Policy links