The Urbanist — Editor of The Urbanist

The Urbanist

Editor of The Urbanist

The Urbanist is edited by Dr Alan Davies, a principal of Melbourne-based economic and planning consultancy, Pollard Davies Consulting.

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Could an Andrews government really deliver on transport promises?

Could an Andrews government really deliver on transport promises?

November 25, 2014

One of Victorian Labor’s key promises is to remove 50 of Melbourne’s worst level crossings over 8 years. If it wins government this Saturday it might’ve promised more than it can deliver.

Does the gong for ‘world’s most liveable city’ mean anything?

Does the gong for ‘world’s most liveable city’ mean anything?

August 21, 2014

Five Australasian cities and three Canadian cities once again dominate the annual Global Liveability Index, but it doesn’t tell us much about cities as places to live, or the differences between them.

Is Sydney’s Cloud Arch sculpture just a giant logo?

Is Sydney’s Cloud Arch sculpture just a giant logo?

August 4, 2014

Sydney City Council’s proposed giant Cloud Arch sculpture looks good, but means little. Australia’s premier city should aspire to something more authentic than a giant logo.

Why city centre apartments won’t be the slums of the future

Why city centre apartments won’t be the slums of the future

July 28, 2014

One of the most persistent and widespread criticisms of city centre apartment towers is they’ll inevitably be “the slums of tomorrow”. But does the claim hold up on closer examination?

Should the government intervene in housing design?

Should the government intervene in housing design?

July 25, 2014

The Victorian Government Architect is proposing a mandatory design standard for apartments. But it’s not all milk and honey; it’ll lower housing supply, raise costs and reduce housing choice

How Brisbane’s car-free bridge changed the spread of the city

How Brisbane’s car-free bridge changed the spread of the city

July 17, 2014

Brisbane's car-free Eleanor Schonell Bridge has been a huge success. Should cities look at replicating the concept?

Tea Party planning: Tecoma McDonald’s v Bendigo mosque

Tea Party planning: Tecoma McDonald’s v Bendigo mosque

July 4, 2014

What happens when ideology gets in the way of town planning?

Does high visibility clothing really help cyclists?

Does high visibility clothing really help cyclists?

July 3, 2014

There’s an emerging meme that high visibility clothing doesn't make cycling safer. In certain limited circumstances that’s probably true but in most situations being easily seen still makes good sense.

Guns in your neighbourhood

Guns in your neighbourhood

July 1, 2014

Licensed gun ownership is mostly a country phenomenon, but even if you live in the inner suburbs it’s likely there are hundreds of firearms in dwellings within the same postcode as you.

Does housing supply impact on inequality?

Does housing supply impact on inequality?

June 30, 2014

More residential developments are being approved in Melbourne than in Sydney. Is this the cause of the harbour city's housing woes?

Is the fuel excise a ‘carbon tax on steroids’?

Is the fuel excise a ‘carbon tax on steroids’?

June 16, 2014

It might’ve been a gaffe, but Tony Abbott is right to say the fuel excise is effectively a carbon tax. The Greens and Labor should support the Government’s plan to restore indexation of the fuel excise.

Shoeboxes and studios: how small can CBD apartments get?

Shoeboxes and studios: how small can CBD apartments get?

June 13, 2014

A new report proposes a mandatory minimum size of 50 sq metres for one bedroom apartments. But having a better apartment isn’t much use if you can no longer afford to live in it.

Will we drive less in the future?

Will we drive less in the future?

June 12, 2014

Australians are driving a lot less than they did even ten years ago, largely because of changes in technology. Although cars will remain the main mode for a long time yet, we’ll likely drive less in the future.

Why bikeshare schemes failed to take off in Australia

Why bikeshare schemes failed to take off in Australia

June 10, 2014

Tourists and locals have failed to embrace Brisbane's Citycycle and Melbourne's Bikeshare programs. Elliot Fishman says helmet laws aren't solely to blame.

Should we be aiming for a road toll of zero?

Should we be aiming for a road toll of zero?

June 2, 2014

It’s common enough to hear a politician justify a public policy by arguing “if it saves just one life it’s worth doing”. Sounds noble, but they almost always fail to consider all the costs.

Should repealing the bicycle helmet law be a priority?

Should repealing the bicycle helmet law be a priority?

May 29, 2014

Repeal of Australia’s mandatory bicycle helmet law is a key demand of many cycling advocates. But the likely gains are dwarfed by those from better cycling infrastructure and regulation of drivers.

Is congestion pricing too inequitable?

Is congestion pricing too inequitable?

May 27, 2014

Intense public concern at the negative equity effects of the Budget doesn’t seem to bode well for key urban policy ideas like congestion pricing.

Melbourne Rail Link has more pros than cons

Melbourne Rail Link has more pros than cons

May 12, 2014

Some of the criticisms of the Napthine government’s new Melbourne Rail Link miss the big picture. writes Alan Davies.

Which road users are most likely to end up in hospital?

Which road users are most likely to end up in hospital?

May 7, 2014

Focusing on road fatalities ignores the impact of serious injuries caused by collisions on our roads.

Should cyclists need a licence to ride on public roads?

Should cyclists need a licence to ride on public roads?

May 5, 2014

The NSW government is considering it, but there's nothing to prove licensing would make cycling safer.