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100 Years Ago... Melbourne Footage from 1910

Have you ever wondered what Melbourne looked like 100 years ago? The following clip comes from a silent documentary first screened on November 22, 1910. Quaintly titled Marvellous Melbourne: Queen City of the South, the film is the oldest...Show More Summary

Melbourne Heritage in the News

Turning our backs on city's heritage... again By Marika Dobbin The Age January 24 2011 Docklands sheds are a vanishing part of Melbourne. Photo: Michael Clayton-Jones IN ITS heyday a century ago, cargo shed 19 to 21 at Melbourne's docks...Show More Summary

Melbourne in Art: 'Comings & Goings' by Andrea Jenkins

Last month I was invited to Andrea Jenkins' exhibition, Comings & Goings, at fortyfivedownstairs. Jenkins' oil paintings disconcert the viewer by depicting familiar locations in Melbourne with unexpected twists. The likes of Flinders...Show More Summary

Melbourne Heritage in the News

Demolition of Key Hotel Approved Jason Dowling The Age March 30, 2011 MELBOURNE University has won approval to demolish the heritage-protected 1957 Elizabeth Towers Hotel in Parkville and replace it with a $210 million medical research centre that will aid in the fight against influenza pandemics. Show More Summary

Have buyers abandoned McMansions (forever)?

It only seems like yesterday we were told Australia had the largest new houses in the world (e.g. see here and here). Now it seems we’ve seen the error of our ways. According to this press report, the head of residential communities at property developer Stockland, Mark Hunter, has no doubt  the era of ever-growing [...]

A literary map of Melbourne’s railways?!

The English cricket writer, Neville Cardus, is famous for bringing a literary sensibility to the hitherto prosaic task of reporting on the game. International cricketer John Arlott said, “before him, cricket was reported … with him it was for the first time appreciated, felt, and imaginatively described”. British novelist David Mitchell may be the Neville [...]

Is the Auditor-General on-track with cycling?

It’s a long time since I’ve read an official report as both extraordinary and disappointing as the report released last week by the Victorian Auditor-General, Developing cycling as a safe and appealing mode of transport. This effectiveness...Show More Summary

What’s so bad about regional malls?

I’m always a little surprised by the ill-feeling many planners, architects and educated elites show toward regional managed shopping centres (a.k.a malls). The alternative isn’t always articulated but in most cases seems to be some notion of the traditional strip shopping centre, or ‘High Street’. The vast majority of Australians – the 90% plus who [...]

Are parking prices at the airport a rip-off?

The new draft report by the Productivity Commission on Economic Regulation of Airport Services has sparked outrage among readers of The Age for its finding that parking fees at Tullamarine are “not a ripoff”. Last time I looked there were 110 comments on The Age Online, virtually every one of them dripping with vitriol. Whether [...]

What can be learned from the English riots?

A lot of the commentary published in the wake of the English riots earlier this month marvelled at the wide range of views on the underlying causes. But few had much of substance to say themselves that might enhance broader understanding of the fundamental causes of the riots. I’ve come across three sources that I [...]

New book giveaway: ‘When we think about Melbourne’ by Jenny Sinclair

Affirm Press has kindly supplied two copies of Jenny Sinclair’s beautiful book, When we think about Melbourne, to give away to readers of The Melbourne Urbanist. To be in the running to get a copy, all you have to do is say which shopping/activity centre in Melbourne you think is the best. Follow this link to [...]

Are Melbourne’s trains really this bad?

The amazing thing about this footage is that it was filmed only yesterday at Montmorency on the Hurstbridge rail line. The truly shocking thing is apparently this section of track was upgraded to concrete sleepers last year. It was uploaded to Youtube by Rocketboy 1950, who says: I shot this footage on the Hurstbridge line [...]

Are our trains going down the toilet?

There’s a theory that women are an “indicator species” of how bike-friendly a city is. According to Deakin University’s Jan Garrard, “if you want to know if an urban environment supports cycling, you can forget about all the detailed ‘bikeability indexes’ — just measure the proportion of cyclists who are female”. I reckon you can [...]

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