London Underground - reimagined!

Alternates to the London Underground map

The Death and Life of...

Planning for our future (figuratively speaking)...

Urban greening in high density environments

Creating 'Vertical Forests' in high density residential developments

Crazy Looking Vertical Forest That's Actually Being Built

You all know how much I love insane architectural ideas, no matter how preposterous, and how they almost never actually get built. Well here's one that is! It's an apartment tower that has a serious density of trees at each floor. Each planter box is offset so they have room to grow, and should hopefully (once fully grown) create a stunningly green tower. I can only imagine that the complications of having such deep soil volumes at each balcony of an apartment tower. It's in Milan if you're passing through in a couple of years.

Read more at designbuildsource.

The Age Launches Bicycle Offensive in Lead Up to Ride To Work Day

Seriously, I love bikes, I love reading about them almost as much as I like riding them (OK probably not), but The Age is taking it to a whole new level.

Check out the following articles and videos of the last few days:

Build the paths and they will ride;

Cyclist finds the work ride balance;

Tessa rides to work: road safety;

Car vs Bike, Wife vs Husband;

Cycle Tribes of Melbourne; and

Wintry City a Wonderland for Cyclists.

There was some more, but I think you get the point. Of these, I'd recommend reading the 'Wintry City' for lessons for Melbourne from another cycling city, Minneapolis; and Build the Paths for an interesting look at relative cycling infrastructure spending in Melbourne.

Who else reckons The Age should have a 'Ride' magazine in the same vein as it's 'Drive' magazine?

PS. I hope to see you all on the road tomorrow for Ride to Work day!

Housing Affordability is Bloody Complicated, But Bloody Important

Michael Pascoe writes in The Age about the wicked problem that is housing affordability and land taxation in Australia. It's a good article, requiring a little economic knowledge to figure out what's going on though. 

Last week I watched all nine federal, state and territory treasurers either explicitly or implicitly acknowledge that they're running taxation policies that are bad for the nation because of their impact on housing, perverting the more efficient use of land, worsening affordability, making poverty worse.
If their nine shadow counterparts had been in the room, we would have had 18 politicians equally guilty of taking the politically expedient course rather than attempting politically dangerous change.
They might well call it politically suicidal change.
It's a problem that effects planners like few others, and there are even a few fingers pointed in our direction here. One of these fingers is the Reserve Bank of Australia in this article:
Noting that Australian cities were far less dense than others overseas, the report said zoning limits encouraged people to live further from the central business district than they would otherwise. This had the effect of increasing the footprint of the city and pushing up prices.
With demand for housing in well-located areas set to grow, the Reserve said there was a risk house prices could be pushed higher across the board.
''As population grows and land prices increase, the expected response would be cities to become denser and for land to be used more intensively. However, any fixed set of zoning restrictions will slow this adjustment,'' the report said.

Read more here at The Age.