City Futures Blog

News and research in housing and urban policy, from Australia’s leading urban policy research centre.

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Why is it so hard to engage communities in healthy city making?

June 14th, 2018 · No Comments · Cities, Planning, Wellbeing

By Susan Thompson, City Futures Research Centre. This article originally appeared in New Planner – the journal of the New South Wales planning profession – published by the Planning Institute of Australia. For more information, please visit: www.planning.org.au/news/new-planner-nsw. Why is it hard to get people from all walks of life and across the age spectrum genuinely involved in planning?  Is there […]

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Airbnb regulation needs to distinguish between sharing and plain old commercial letting

June 6th, 2018 · No Comments · Airbnb, Cities, Data, Housing, Housing supply, Law, Planning, Sharing, Sydney

Image: paul/Flickr, CC BY By Laura Crommelin, Chris Martin and Laurence Troy, City Futures Research Centre, UNSW. This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. Airbnb and other short-term letting websites have been a hot topic of debate for some time. In New South Wales, it seems the state government is on […]

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Last year’s affordable housing green shoots have withered

May 22nd, 2018 · No Comments · Affordability, Affordable housing, Economy, Finance, Government, Housing, Social housing

By Chris Martin and Hal Pawson. This article was originally published on John Menadue’s Pearls and Irritations. Budget 2018 fails the 1.5 million Australian households living in unaffordable rental housing or officially homeless, despite the urgent need for Commonwealth leadership on affordable housing policy. On Budget night 2017 Treasurer Morrison announced a ‘comprehensive plan to […]

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Homelessness: Australia’s shameful story of policy complacency and failure continues

May 15th, 2018 · No Comments · Affordability, Cities, Data, Government, Guest appearance, Housing, Social housing, Sydney

By Hal Pawson, UNSW and Cameron Parsell, The University of Queensland. This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. Exactly a decade ago in 2008, the Australian government committed to an ambitious strategy to halve national homelessness by 2020. Through stepped-up early intervention, better homelessness services and an expanded supply of affordable housing, […]

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Zoning: impost, or necessary urban management?

May 14th, 2018 · No Comments · Affordability, Cities, Data, Economy, Housing, Planning

By Greg Paine, City Futures Research Centre. City Futures Research Centre and the Henry Halloran Trust recently hosted a seminar to review a Reserve Bank Australia discussion paper on zoning and house prices (see the video, and the CityBlog summary).  It was well-attended (the issue strikes a chord), and conducted in the best traditions of […]

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NSW is overselling its social housing commitment

May 8th, 2018 · No Comments · Construction, Government, Housing, Housing supply, Social housing, Sydney

Photo: Zachary staines By Hal Pawson, City Futures Research Centre. Originally published on The Fifth Estate.  According to figures published this week the NSW government has over the past few years managed to build more public housing units than it has sold to raise revenue. As revealed by the figures, the NSW Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC) […]

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Can the cost of zoning in Sydney really be $489k per house?

May 4th, 2018 · No Comments · Affordability, Economy, Housing, Housing supply, Planning

By Laura Crommelin and Hal Pawson, City Futures Research Centre. Can landuse planning restrictions be fairly blamed for Sydney’s unaffordable housing? Around 200 people attended a spirited yet erudite debate on this subject jointly staged by Sydney University’s Halloran Trust and UNSW City Futures last week. At issue was the striking claim made in a […]

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Grappling with housing disruption: how should planners respond to Airbnb?

May 1st, 2018 · No Comments · Affordability, Cities, Data, Economy, Government, Housing, Planning, Sydney

By Laura Crommelin. This article originally appeared in New Planner – the journal of the New South Wales planning profession – published by the Planning Institute of Australia.  The explosive growth of digital short-term letting platform Airbnb poses plenty of challenges for planners, with the impact being felt across both urban and regional areas. But what exactly is the […]

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How does a city get to be ‘smart’? This is how Tel Aviv did it

April 20th, 2018 · No Comments · Data, Government, Guest appearance, Smart cities

Image: Alexandra Lande/Shutterstock By Christine Steinmetz, Senior Lecturer in Built Environment, UNSW. This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. Smart cities, digital cities, virtual cities, connected cities. Are these just trendy buzzwords? Perhaps. But these types of cities are supported by infrastructure that is more than bricks and mortar. These cities […]

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Sydney needs more boarding houses

April 9th, 2018 · No Comments · Construction, Government, Guest appearance, Housing, Housing conditions, Housing supply, Marginal rental, Planning, Private rental, Sydney

By Matthew Benson, UNSW Built Environment Masters candidate and town planning consultant. Originally published in the Sydney Morning Herald. I was a town planner at the former City of South Sydney in the mid-nineties when brothels became legal. Brothel operators could apply to legalise brothels that had been operating for decades. I remember someone objecting […]

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