Australia

Australia's Long Suffering Commuters

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Daily commute times are ballooning in Australia's largest capital cities (metropolitan areas, called Greater Capital City Statistical Areas). This is a finding of the latest Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey. The HILDA Survey is conducted across the nation by the University of Melbourne.  read more »

Is It Time To Rethink Density?

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With new forecasts of record population growth across Australia’s major capital cities over the next few decades and affordability remaining a challenge, is it time to reconsider the core principles and policies that guide the management of this growth?  read more »

Who Needs Democracy Anyway?

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On the 18th June this year, climate change demonstrators glued themselves to a main street in the centre of Brisbane, protesting what they regard as a climate emergency and to voice their objection to the recent approval of the Adani coal mine in Australia’s Galilee basin. Their protest caused major disruptions to CBD traffic and has since continued with a series of deliberate actions to block inner city streets and cause as much congestion and disruption as possible.  read more »

The “New Zealand Dream” is Still Alive

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The promotion of middle-income home ownership long has been a policy priority of governments around the world. This includes New Zealand, as Gael Ferguson indicated in The New Zealand Dream, published in 1994:  read more »

Making Life Worse: The Flaws of Green Mandates

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“Saving the planet” should be an unbeatable political slogan. Yet consistently the imagined “green wave” mindlessly embraced by most of the media continues to fall short, as evidenced by recent elections in Canada and Australia, as well as across much of Europe.  read more »

Trouble for the Bubble Down Under

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In a remarkable and most unexpected outcome, Australia’s conservative Prime Minister Scott Morrison has retained the country’s leadership at the recent Australian Federal Parliamentary election (18 May, 2019). Morrison’s victory confounded a wide array of commentators, academics, advocacy groups, industry groups, all of the opinion polls, most of the media and a host of fringe political groups who not only predicted victory for the Labor opposition but an emphatic one.  read more »

The Once-Lucky Country

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Few places on earth are better suited for middle-class prosperity than Australia. From early in its history, when it was a refuge for British convicts, the vast, resource-rich country has provided an ideal environment for upward mobility, from the pioneering ranches of the nineteenth century to the middle-class suburbs of the late twentieth. Journalist Donald Horne described Australia in 1964 as “a lucky country run mainly by second-rate people who share its luck.”  read more »

The End of Aspiration

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Since the end of the Second World War, middle- and working-class people across the Western world have sought out—and, more often than not, achieved—their aspirations. These usually included a stable income, a home, a family, and the prospect of a comfortable retirement.  read more »

Why Suburbs Need To Be The Next Frontier For Cities Policy

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“Around the world, the vast majority of people are moving to cities not to inhabit their centres but to suburbanise their peripheries. Thus when the United Nations projects the number of future ‘urban’ residents… these figures largely reflect the unprecedented suburban expansion of global cities.”  read more »

Update on Australian Urban Areas (with a Photographic Tour)

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Australia is one of the world’s most urban nations, with nearly 90% of its population living in urban areas, according to the United Nations (2018 estimate). Only four nations with as many residents have a larger urban population percentage (Argentina, Japan, Venezuela, and Brazil).  read more »