Anitra Nelson writes in The Conversation (4.3.16) about the types of planning and development principles that should go into creating ‘environmentally just’ Australian cities.
‘Melbourne’s population is expected to almost double by mid-century, overtaking Sydney as Australia’s biggest city. But all states are growing and the increases are concentrated in the capital cities.
‘Along with adaptation, developing resilience and decarbonising buildings and other infrastructure – in response to climate change – the expansion and densification of the city present massive challenges for state and local council planners.
‘Skyscraper residential blocks and ultra-tiny apartments have already created controversy. Will Melbourne end up with a skyline like a pincushion, or Chicago without its grand style? Are vertical communities feasible? If so, will they be gated communities?
‘With a two-tier, global-local real estate market and growing numbers of international students, will inner Melbourne become host – or hostage – to a clutter of boarding-house-like apartments? And will those living in oversized, energy-guzzling new homes in fringe suburbs spend hours every day in private cars to reach work, school, retail and medical services?
‘If planning once seemed a boring job entrenched in the minutiae of approving, rejecting or amending individual development plans, today every level of planner is engaged with stakeholders. They must argue the pros and cons of designing appropriate urban policies across vast and complex economic and social landscapes.’
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