Planning & Transport

See the following bolded links for:

  • Ideas on safe, automated vehicle technology, the impending convergence between cars and on-demand public transport / shared-vehicle services and the implications for future patterns of urban development;

  • Transforming passenger airline comfort, efficiency, safety & economics, and using high-altitude balloons for the initial lift of round-the-world rocket spaceship flights;

  • A design for front campervan seats that can be unfolded to make a bed;

  • Proposals to reduce Sydney CBD congestion, especially through bus routing changes (far cheaper and more effectively than with light rail);

  • Flexible transport, covering taxi reform, including for shared-use (multi-passenger) & on-demand or "point-to-point" services like Uber - mostly now implemented,
    plus regulation of bikes & scooters, which can play a supporting role for the "last-mile" connection to/from longer distance public transport routes;

  • Reform of postal services, including creating "open access" to local storage depots to improve the efficiency of last-leg parcel distribution;

  • Pricing innovation for roads & taxis/shared-vehicle services (necessitated by the electric vehicle revolution), as well as for public transport, along with related matters of project valuation;

  • Sydney Metro & High Speed Trains to support an integrated NSW planning strategy for Affordable Housing with continued population & economic growth (including support for refugees)
    - now being planned & 'committed' to be 'operational in the second half of the 2020s', although I think they'll still need to reprioritise (aka cancel) other projects to afford this, even with private finance (which only delays the funding ultimately required from users or taxpayers);

  • The "Sydney Overground": for fast, frequent, simple & efficient "anytime, anywhere" bus services
    - the concept underpinning the NSW Government's plan for 'Sydney's Bus Future';

  • Comments on SpaceX's plans to populate Mars and ideas for Tesla's proposed Hyperloop & high-speed tunnel boring.

Finally on NSW transport, see attached my Nov. 2017 submission to the NSW Future Transport 2056 Strategy, and also "7 Habits for Infrastructure" (written in 2012) and "Three Keys to the Gateway" (addressing the interaction with a transformed Treasury) for my view on how to improve future NSW transport planning practices and culture.

More transport reports of interest are at: http://www.10000friends.org.au/reports/

Also check out the "Green Grid" originally developed in 2013-14 by the NSW Government Architect's Office, which got some initial funding in 2016 and is now part of a 50-year vision for Greater Sydney. Show your support by liking this Friends of Greenways Facebook site.

Whilst the focus of these pages is on Sydney (where I live), the concepts are obviously more generally applicable. In particular, although it's a lot more expensive & complicated with trains, I think the UK could potentially benefit from optimising its rail network using the grid network concept of the Overground (e.g. through improved cross-country services connecting to N-S London routes) in tandem with moving its central bank and parliament to Birmingham, which (unlike Manchester) could use high-speed rail to become within commuting distance of London, Manchester, Leeds and other northern cities, thus addressing a similar economic and transport imbalance to that of the Greater Sydney Metro region (with a congested London/south of England and lower wealth in the north). An integrated planning & transport strategy like this (which even the Economist supports) might actually make the otherwise questionable HS2 worth at least some of its staggering cost, which keeps on rising and diverting desperately needed funds from other core public services (possibly it could be limited to just connect Birmingham to CrossRail at Old Oak Common/Acton). Personally my gut preference is to use a Transrapid Maglev system for HS2, rather than conventional high-speed trains, but I'm not across the details enough to form a firm view and anyway, it seems to be too late (or maybe not?).