A place for people: more street and less road

There is a difference between the road and the street. A road is designed for cars. The street is a complex environment designed for people and may include a road. The street includes many other features including verge, median strip, footpaths, bike paths, seats, outdoor dining, gardens, and more. Streets can include longitudinal parks and playgrounds. Most people will not cycle on road. New Space For Living – Quality Of Public Space looks at the urban forms found in The Netherlands and considers what could be done with this public space.

Close to home is best

Canberra is compartmentalised with different parts specialised, providing goods and services found nowhere else. We live in Gungahlin, work in Tuggeranong, buy furniture in Fyshwick and school our kids in Red Hill. Vast distances are travelled for things we could do locally. The 20-minute city is where we have all this at our doorstep. Fewer mega-stores, mega-schools, and mega-department-buildings, for a more decentralised approach. Think local.

Ginninderry Estates: more urban sprawl?

The new suburbs at the western edge of Belconnen look like more urban sprawl. Although the blocks were hotly contested recently, it appears the residents are not aware of the congestion that has been predicted with the development of Molonglo 3. What are their options by bike when the road congestion hits.

Canberra’s future: medium density

What are the effects and impacts of our increasing population on traffic congestion in our beautiful city? In Canberra, over 80% of the working population drive to work. That percentage is higher than in any other city in Australia! Assuming this bad habit remains, our continued car culture will heavily impact on already heavy rush hour traffic. A circular city modelled gives us some insight into Canberra’s future.

Victor Gruen: true in 1964 and true today

Victor Gruen as architecture and urban planner living in postwar America and dedicated his life to making cities more liveable that have “been invaded by a metal hoards”. He concludes, “planning for the renewal of our languishing cities must emanate from the realisation that cities are for people and not vice versa, and that therefore, technology has to serve people and the city and can never be allowed to tyrannised settlements. Cities that enslave and degrade humanity are not cities.”

Section 9: 2019 Australian Walking and Cycling Conference

What can be done here is to present the transcript of three gems from Australian commentators in the Step away from the car 2.0 podcast, recorded at Australia Walking and Cycling Conference. One of my favourites is Getting There Faster by Slowing Down, featuring Paul Tranter, an academic, here in Canberra.

Shifting baselines: a cognitive bias towards the status quo

Our memory is very short, so we quickly lose perspective of what was, and take the new as the natural order of things, as though it always was, but there is nothing normal about it. This article relates to the environment but it can be applied to our culture and seen in politics.