Before the last election there were promises of how planning was to be made easier to understand (the Ponton planning review that did not happen), planning was to be more people focussed (pigs might fly first), and new agencies to ensure good design and better urban environments (it has got worse).
Continue reading More about Geocon, Purdon and Kingston
another Geocon story
A Regular theme for my column is the spin that dominates the city’s planning and development.
Continue reading Opposition to eight storeys in Kingston
Developers ruin the town centre, politicians silent!
In late 2019 the ACT government proposed to vary the plan for the Gungahlin town centre. It didn’t take long for the Gungahlin Community Council to spot the devil in the detail – or to be more accurate – what detail went missing.
Continue reading ACT Government messes with Gungahlin
The ACT Government ruins a good city!
The Chief Minister Andrew Barr and his Labor/Greens government have made it clear that their view of Canberra’s future is different from that of the city’s residents and those that cherish its place in the world as Australia’s bush capital.
Continue reading Spoiling the bush capital
A stupid decision by Chris Steel MLA
A media statement by an ACT Minister would surely be fact checked and at least have someone cast their eye over it for a reality check.
Continue reading ACT Minister with silly ideas
The agency that is supposed to be the steward for the national capital, the National Capital Authority (NCA), does come out with some rubbish at times. In this case it floated the idea of pulling down Commonwealth Ave bridge to build a new bridge for the tram. Luckily the project engineer who worked on the bridge is around t point out how stupid this thought bubble was. Click here for my opinion piece in City News.
How many ACT politicians actually catch the public transport that they continue to make a mess of? Click here for my piece on this in City News
It is annoying to constantly experience the culture within this ACT government that delivers a daily onslaught of spin. Who writes this stuff? Don’t they realise how hollow they sound? What do they think this nonsense achieves? click here for my piece on this
Unfortunately what has been happening for years in Canberra, being bad planning and development, looks to continue given the on-going bad decisions by the ACT’s planning minister and his bureaucrats in the planning directorate. Click here.
A win for inner Sydney
Lorrie Graham has posted on her blog about a win within her area of Sydney.
Continue reading Planning battles
Life for pedestrians in Dickson is not as safe as it should be. Here’s a few events to illustrate my point.
Continue reading Pedestrians be aware – be very aware!
There are not too many places that have tram (light rail) stops that are exciting designs. Most are functional and are usually simply places marked where you stand to catch the tram.
Continue reading Tram stop design
Bureaucrats doing what bureaucrats do..
The other day we ran a set of small stories on urban issues – one being about student parking and how it has become a nuisance in the streets near the school.
Continue reading Urban Bites
With the debate in Canberra about housing affordability, the ACT Liberals have been using a particular line in their election statements to criticise the current government’s Land Development Agency (LDA) and its handling of land prices.
Continue reading Googong or Canberra?
The story on the ‘superblocks’ (for pedestrians) in Bacelona – click here
There’s many debates about lowering our use of cars.
Continue reading Carmageddon Beckons
Oh- what a silly debate – Trams for Canberra
The ACT Election is happening right now. Every forum or debate eventually gets hijacked by the Liberals in the campaign to oppose the tram. Continue reading Trams for Canberra
Here is Australia we still struggle with ‘shared spaces’
Continue reading Shared Spaces
There’s a 1989 song by Pere Ubu, Flat, that has the following lyrics, “In the early part of the 20th Century, Deep inside the American wilderness, In the state of Kansas – 82,000 square miles of flat -There were two automobile cars. On July 5th 1904 they ran into each other”.
Continue reading Share your space
Canberra’s planners in the 1950s and beyond delivered an infrastructure made for cars. There were even major freeways planned (a story for another day).
Continue reading They’re digging up the parking lots
Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution
Author: Sadik-Khan, Janette; Solomonow, Seth
New Book – here’s text from the publishers: As New York City’s transportation commissioner, Janette Sadik-Khan managed the seemingly impossible and transformed the streets of one of the world’s greatest, toughest cities into dynamic spaces safe for pedestrians and bikers.
Continue reading how cycling changed New York
The ACT Government has released an updated overview of its planning for the redevelopment of Northbourne Ave.
Continue reading Northbourne Ave
Imitate to Innovate: Vitoria-Gasteiz Shows How Cities can Address 21st Century Challenges. Click on image for the story.
Just when most locals probably thought that there have been more than enough discussions and surveys about the Canberra’s new light rail (or trams), the ACT Government has launched another consultation on the topic.
Continue reading Trams, trams and more trams
How many time have heard people (motorists) complain about any change to the traffic infrastructure to encourage more people to get on your bike.
Continue reading on your bike
I recently took the opportunity to observe the new shareway along Bunda Street.
Continue reading Bunda Street Shareway
While Australian governments spend a lot of time on transport matters, it usually means cars, maybe public transport and occasionally bicycles. In Canberra the pedestrian is not often on the agenda. Walking is far more fun. I visited Vienna recently and was impressed about many things to do with its urban structure. And now I read that they have a new emphasis on walking and urban planning is allowing for this!
Continue reading Walking
It was during a radio program on the future of Civic, the centre of Canberra, that an architectural academic came forward with his Big Idea on how this city centre could be refurbished. To my surprise the academic suggested that Civic’s pedestrian areas should be opened up for cars. I have to say that ‘architectural experts’ often speak on urban matters as if they are living on another planet.
Continue reading Cars for Canberra
photo-essay: Chicago L
The ACT Government is to implement the city’s first light rail system. Particular lobby groups have been hounding the government about this decision.
Continue reading Public Transport
Re-Posted from ThisBigCity blog
Seven Myths About New Urbanism: Joel Kotkin, a fellow at Chapman University and an untiring defender of the suburbs, begins a recent column in the Washington Post with a valid question: “What is a city for?” He then proceeds to get that question completely wrong. But really, we should be thanking him. In his article, he neatly sums up many of the key myths emerging from the anti-urbanism set, making the job of debunking these myths a lot easier. Click here.
Comment: The Dangers of Bicycles
The ACT Government has released plans to trial the laws that make it mandatory for cars to keep at least one metre between themselves and cyclists. This is good news that this matter is being treated seriously as cycling on Canberra roads is very hazardous. But I say that with some serious issues to be aired as well.
It must be remembered that as in the picture opposite, not everyone appreciates bike paths. There are dumb people everywhere!
Continue reading Bicycles and Roads
Notice: Urban Bikeway Design Guide, Second Edition
National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO)
The Urban Bikeway Design Guide, Second Edition, is based on the experience of the best cycling cities in the world. Completely re-designed with an accessible, four-color layout, this second edition continues to build upon the fast-changing state of the practice at the local level. The designs in this book were developed by cities for cities, since unique urban streets require innovative solutions.
To create the Guide, the authors conducted an extensive worldwide literature search from design guidelines and real-life experience.
Continue reading Urban Bikeway Design Guide
Los Angeles a city for cyclists?
LA wasn’t always a driver’s town. In the 1920s, it had the longest urban rail network in the world, and innovative infrastructure was built for cyclists as well. Despite this, Angelenos fell in love with the car early on and moved for more highway projects, making it the road-based city it is today.
click here for the story.
Paul Costigan, 19 August 2014
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
Public Transportation Use is Growing — the Facts
Two reports on the rise in the use of public transport in the USA.
First – set out below is a March 2014 media statement from the On March 10, 2014 by the American Public Transportation Association. or – check out the original on the association’s own web site – click here.
The second is an article in the New York Times, March 10 2014: Use of Public Transit in U.S. Reaches Highest Level Since 1956, Advocates Report – click here
Continue reading Public Transport Facts
re-posted from Gehl Architects:
The City and Cyclists
Their guest blogger reports:
Brussels – a city of cars, Amsterdam – a city of cyclists
By Devon Paige Willis
Devon is doing a Masters program called 4Cities, an Erasmus Mundus Masters that takes students from Brussels to Vienna, Copenhagen and Madrid to study cities. Gehl Architects met her when she was interning at the Montréal Urban Ecology Center in 2013.
Continue reading the city and cyclists
Re-posted from The Dirt
Rina Cutler: Urban Transportation Change Maker
When I retire I will write a book called, ‘you can’t make this sh*t up,” said Rina Cutler, deputy mayor for transportation and utilities, Philadelphia, at a National Complete Streets Coalition dinner in Washington, D.C. In a review of her experience serving seven mayors and governors, Cutler revealed the sometimes painful truths about pushing for positive change in urban transportation.
Continue reading Urban Transportation Change Maker
Big road projects don’t really save time or boost productivity?
from the Conversation, 24 Jan 2014
With the Rabbott government expressing support for large infrastructure projects in the shape of more big roads, there is the absence of any sense of what some these projects do to local communities. Let’s not also consider how roads encourage more traffic, that is more cars, that is more use of petrol, that is less use of any form of public transport and other more sustainable transport – such as walking.
The New South Wales and Victorian governments have recently released business cases for their pet motorway projects, WestConnex in Sydney and East-West Link in Melbourne. But will these big road projects, costing a combined A$20 billion (with A$3 billion being donated by the federal government), really generate the economic benefits promised? Read the full piece from The Conversation – click here
Re-Blogged from WIRED
Public Transit Is Underfunded Because the Wealthy Don’t Rely on It, By Keith Barry 2013
Canberra has traditionally not had a great public transport system. The population is 350,000 and as it continues to climb it is approaching the levels to support some forms of rapid bus transit or a light rail systems. There has been some very strange opposition. Maybe the article from the WIRE magazine goes some way to giving some of the possible reasons behind this opposition.
Continue reading Public Transit