The Australian Government’s Department of Infrastructure and Transport has had a productive week, with not only the release of the State of Australian Cities 2013 report, but also the final report on Walking, Riding and Access to Public Transport.
The report aims to articulate the Australian Government’s interests in broadening the range of transport options in our communities: by increasing the share of people walking and riding for short trips; and improving their ability to access public transport.
The final report incorporates and considers almost 200 submissions received in response to the release of the draft report in October 2012 which explored how a national approach might help to increase the role of active travel in Australia’s urban transport systems.
As well as outlining broad principles and actions, the report recognises that the economy benefits by more than $21 every time a person cycles 20 minutes to work and back and $8.50 each time a person walks 20 minutes to and from work.
To read more on walking, riding and access to public transport click here.
The fourth State of Australian Cities report was released this week and includes interactive web-based maps and the second tranche of Australian Bureau of Statistics’ 2011 Census population and housing data.
The report’s main focus is how the change in Australia’s industrial structure (described in the 2012 report) is affecting its major cities and what this may mean for productivity and equity.
Interesting facts include:
- Australia has one of the highest population growth rates in the OECD.
- Aside from city states like Singapore and Monaco, Australia is the most urbanised nation on earth.
- An increasing number of people are living further away from city centres in major cities while higher-skill, higher-paying jobs, are becoming concentrated in central areas.
- Australian cities tend to have higher private car use than public transport use when compared with overseas cities.
- Since 2008, residential energy use has accounted for 12 per cent of Australia’s total energy consumption.
Energy demand for space heating and cooling is projected to increase in the coming decades. Factors influencing increased demand include houses with the largest average floor areas in the world, the decreasing occupancy rate of dwellings and the increased use of whole-house heating and cooling systems.
Nearly 40 per cent of total national energy use is expended in moving people and freight. The transport sector uses 73 per cent of Australia’s total liquid fuel, with over half of that being used by road transport.
The transport sector also contributes the largest proportion of average household carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions at almost 42 per cent. Light passenger vehicle use alone accounts for 35 per cent of Australia’s average household emissions, by far the largest overall component of the transport sector’s emissions.
Rates of walking and cycling fell throughout the 1990s before recovering in the first decade of the century. The proportion of journeys to work made by bicycle is now the highest it has been in 40 years.
To read more about the State of Australian Cities click here.
Paul Mees who was recognised as one of the most influential planners in Australia in 2011 by the Planning Issue, passed away this week after battling with cancer. Mees a public transport advocate, known for his incisive debate on transport issues continued his vocal support for public transport right up until 6 weeks ago when he spoke to 7.30 Victoria about Melbourne’s planned East West Link.
Mees, a transport academic had this to say about transport planning in Melbourne.
“The government have decided on the basis (as far as I can work out) of no evidence what so ever, to prioritise roads. I think the evidence from around the world shows that as a city gets bigger and bigger you have to prioritise rail and public transport…”
We hope that his passion and concern for these issues will live on in future generations of urban and transport planners influenced by his research.
For more on Paul Mees read Matthew Burke’s ‘Vale Paul Mees, Australia’s leading transport & land use researcher’ on The Conversation.
Urban Voices was recently released to celebrate the 100th edition of the Urban Design Forum. The book Urban Voices looks at urban design in Australia over the past 25 years and looks ahead to the challenges for the next 25 years. It contains contributions from a wide range of people interested in how our cities and towns function and the quality of life they deliver.
The book acknowledges that urban design in Australia is a work in progress, with the past 25 years seeing radical changes in nearly all spheres of life in Australia, and the world. These changes include climate change, population and household structure, immigration movements and urbanisation, as well as media and communications, finance, and governance.
For more on the past, present and future of urban design in Australia purchase Urban Voices or check out the Urban Design Forum for urban design news and updates.
“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.” — Jane Jacobs, ‘The Death and Life of Great American Cities’
This year, Jane’s Walk will be held on the weekend of the 4th and 5th of May. Jane’s Walk is an exciting event that orginated in Canada with the purpose of promoting the legendary ideas and legacy of urbanist Jane Jacobs.
Free walking tours are led by locals in a community who want to to create a space for residents to talk about what matters to them in the places they live and work. Jane’s Walk encourages people to explore their neighbourhoods and meet others in their community.
Since its inception in Toronto in 2007, Jane’s Walk has expanded rapidly and in May 2011, 511 walks were held in 75 cities in 15 countries worldwide.
The vision of Jane’s Walk is for walkable neighbourhoods, urban literacy and cities planned for and by people.
So are there any walks being held in Australia? From what we can see there is currently one registered walk in Adelaide and one in Melbourne. Not many, so as the website says, if there are no walks in your city… be the first!
For more information go to http://www.janeswalk.net/
UR[BNE] Film Festival is held annually in Brisbane Australia and features a range of films to inspire urban design, architecture and design thinking. The film festival will be held on the 13 April this year and includes opportunities for critical discussion and networking.
Films to be screened include:
Following the screening there will be a Q&A on the themes of the festival (urban farming, skate design, architecture, public spaces and landscape design) with:
- Katherine Skull (Bee One Third)
- Amy Saunders (QLD Emerging Design Award Winner 2012)
- Malcom Middleton (Queensland Government Architect)
- Scott Shearer (Brisbane Skateboarding Association)
The film festival will be from 2 – 8pm on Saturday 13 April 2013 in Auditorium 1,
Level 2, State Library of Queensland. Cost is $15 per person.
Tickets can be purchased in advance from http://urbnefilmfestival-eorg.eventbrite.com/
Food is included in the ticket price and will be provided by Street Food Australia.
The film festival is presented by SLQ’s SLiQ Flicks and Asia Pacific Design Library in support of the UR[BNE] Festival held in April/May in Brisbane, Australia.
Canberra, Australia’s ultimate planned city turns 100 this year. To acknowledge this coming of age a spectacular round of events is about to commence to celebrate this significant milestone.
For urban planning and design tragics there is a range of upcoming events and activities which should be of interest including:
- Design 29: Creating a Capital exhibition @ the National Archives of Australia
from 1 March to 8 September 2013
- Enlighten Canberra 2013, Canberra’s national attractions are lit up by spectacular architectural projections, also includes entertainment and other events from
1 to 9 March 2013
- Art and Architecture Tour of Parliament House 6:45pm and 8:30pm
on the 1, 2, 8, 9 March 2013
- Walt & Maz Pop-up bar @ Lake Burley Griffin foreshore (next door to the Gallery of Australian Design) open 2, 8, 9 and 11 March 2013
- Architectural Bus Tours - tour of Canberra’s post-war modernist architecture with fascinating stories of a bygone era, 6-8pm 2, 9 March 2013
- CAPITheticAL Design Competition @ the Gallery of Australian Design from
6 March to 11 May 2013
- We Built This City is an interactive play space for families where children and adults can work together to create their own city 7, 8 and 9 March 2013
- Planning Institute of Australia National Congress 24-27 March 2013
We look forward to giving you more information on how the March month of madness in Canberra unfolds.
Please send us a message at email@example.com if there are any other planning and design events that we have missed.