Utopia? Can we plan future cities for tomorrow’s families?

Over the past twelve weeks, I’ve written about many aspects of the sometimes tense fusion between families, cities and communities in late modern times. I’ve discussed some of the history of cities and suburban families. I’ve pointed out how families are changing in intimacy and structure and how the balance of work and family remains precarious and inequitable. I’ve discussed the need to better plan cities, to stop the unplanned, poorly connected, urban sprawl, and the unsustainable spread of aesthetically poor McMansions. And I’ve discussed the consequences of gentrified cosmopolitanism (and the fight to create and retain the Creative Class), and the struggle to enact any kind of control over the flow of resources within globalised capitalism.

I’d like to finish off this series of blogs with a list of my tips for planning the houses and cities of the future:

  1. Orient cities to changing families – build the housing and transport that changing families need.
  2. Integrate work, care, and family needs – into the design of houses (smaller, more easily adjusted/changed), cities (social, green spaces), and transport (to end the family-hostile commuting nightmare that our cities have become).
  3. Infill – revitalise old areas around existing transport options, particularly along existing transport corridors (light and heavy rail).
  4. Social centres – If building new areas, build a social centre with shops, facilities, and green spaces within walking distance for people to come and gather and socialise.
  5. Effective public transport – connect each social centre by non-road public transport – trains and light rail (not buses), and embrace the idea of high speed rail to connect regional centres and satellite cities, funded with public/private ‘value capture’ strategies.
  6. Mixed use and flexible use – design streets and areas with many functions that balance ‘place’ and ‘movement’ requirements, use spaces for different purposes at different times (parking lots) instead of having dead space, adapt houses to actual needs (apartments and townhouses to suit smaller families, not McMansions)
  7. Housing affordabilitya range of options, part of which should include ending the race to build, buy, and then only partially occupy the biggest and ugliest McMansion (filled with rooms we never use)!
  8. Attract and retain the Creative Class – encourage diversity, mixing, AND affordability, so as not to drive out poorer workers
  9. Globalised Capitalism – Space of Flows, needs to be better steered, managed, and regulated democratically, rather than through under-regulated market mechanisms. This is of even greater concern in the post-GFC era of political populism. Slogans and transparently flimsy promises are not only impractical and insufficient, they risk eroding trust in intelligent interventions that might actually work …

Whilst not intended as a prescription for Utopia – and borrowing heavily from the excellent ideas of Jean-Frances Kelly at the Grattan Institute, and Professor Peter Newman  in general – I hope these ideas together can present a sense of what we need, what might help, how we might get there, and the biggest challenges we face: globalized rather than democratic control over the resources needed to create future, sociable cities for tomorrows families.

Posted in Opinion, Research, SOC208 - Cities, Communities and Families, UOW, Urban Studies.

32 Comments on Utopia? Can we plan future cities for tomorrow’s families?

Abbie Rowley said : Guest Report 2 years ago

This idea of utopia where we live in a perfect world is never going to be achieved. Yes it would be great think think where we live in a world where there is no poverty, everyone has a home, everyone has a job, we are able to afford a house of our own and so many other things but with such a rapid changing society we will never be able to keep up there fore this idea/ dream of utopia will never happen. If we do find a way to keep up with society it wont be long before we will need to change and find a new way to keep up. #S208UOW #Tut12 #Wed1430

Liam Marsh said : Guest Report 2 years ago

I think it is rather difficult to achieve utopia as what everyone see's as a perfect living environment would be different. For some people it would be a city were everyone can afford to live, travel to and from work in a reasonable amount of time with minimal to no congestion, work 9-5 in a stable economy and go home to their families leaving work at work. However others such as Rebekah see it as beaches, untouched landscapes and a relaxing environment. Utopia will never be achievable as each person has their own thoughts on what Utopia should look like. Cities in this day and age will always be planned looking at benefits to the environment and the economy. Not on what people want or can afford. #S208UOW17 #Tut12 #Mon1130

Michael Sewell said : Guest Report 2 years ago

While i agree with you on the fact that the car in our current situation is a burden on society, regarding commuting, time spend idle in congested traffic, and the infrastructure put in place that warranted such widespread use of the car, i do think that now that we have reached this point in time we are only now able to evaluate this and put it in some perspective. The car granted individuals invaluable freedom that couldn't be granted with what could have been developed with public transport at the time (rail, or buses). I think now that if we could go back in time with our knowledge it would be ideal to create societies more tailored to public transport, green areas and based around a community aspect. I hope that as we progress as a society we can work towards a future that integrates this aspect into new developments so that there is indeed less importance on the automobile. #S208UOW17 #Tut12 #Wed14:30

Michael Sewell said : Guest Report 2 years ago

In designing ideal houses and cities of the future, Roger has raised some key points that if adjusted can better our hope towards a utopian society, is a utopian society possible? Perhaps, but there are definite efforts that can be put in place which will help us as a community develop towards a more balanced and ideal living society. Two of the key areas that stood out to me the most was effective public transport and social centres. In this day and age with increasing numbers in migrating towards urban inner city suburbs, the necessity for effective public transport (light rain, trains) is key for commuting into and around the city landscape. If we as a society are to continue the way we are currently going the time workers spend in traffic commuting to and from work each day is only going to increase. Developing infrastructure around light rail and train lines not only helps commuters coming into the city for work in that it reduces the need for individual car transport, but significantly aids those living in urban residence to and from different areas of the city. If we are to progress towards future livable cities we need to get more cars off the road and this is the first step that needs to take place. Secondly, social centres are crucial to developing a functioning society. As new areas are developed and apartments replacing houses in key city locations, the importance of continuing to develop social centres (parks, shops, facilities) becomes an increasing key element in social cohesion. If we are to ignore this fundamental aspect when developing a city this will only result in increased loneliness and isolation in the city as well as a lack of connection with both the city and the people occupying it. By developing shops and facilities within walking distance of newly developed areas, this reduces the need for residents to find methods of transport to and from performing everyday tasks. These social centres also give people a sense of connectedness and community as they can go and communicate with those around them in a social setting. #S208 #Tut12 #Wed14:30

Patrick Lenck said : Guest Report 2 years ago

The emergence of the motor car as an affordable asset for families and young drivers a like was definitely considered as revolutionary in ability to commute anywhere at our own free will. Cities have been designed around this modern convenience, yet over time if feel like they have become more of a beast that is now inconveniencing our lives. Why do I think this? Because so much time, money and resources have been invested into building roads, highways, road stops and carparks and less on public resources that create social cities where everyone can prosper and enjoy life. if we had a green space instead of a concrete carpark, I think that would be more social. If we had faster and more accessible public transport, rather than mega highways I think we would have more time to spend with other humans, not to mention the environmental benefits. If we had more pedestrian streets rather than busy ones filled with cars I think our city streets would be more pleasant. If we had less one stop shops where you can get your petrol, and crappy coffee and lunch in a matter of a 2 second transaction, and more cafes offering opportunities to interact I think we would utilise these spaces more. The old towns of Europe that were designed prior to the motor car are much more pleasant places to be out and about interacting with others, whereas the chaos of cars on Oxford street in Sydney makes me not want to be there. If we don't spend all our tax payers money on roads that support urban sprawl and more on pedestrian areas and public transport I feel there will be a shift in culture from the anti-social and stressful lifestyle of sitting in traffic. #S208UOW17 #Tut6 #Mon1630

Jessica Formosa said : Guest Report 2 years ago

I agree with you Megan on the point that you mentioned that as we know the concept of families is an ever evolving notion that has changed over the years from a the nuclear families in the suburbs to families wanting to move into the cities due to the better opportunities for work and care. This is important to note as our lives, for most are based around our families. If there was an increase in housing affordability then there would be more communities and a decreasing amount of travel issues. It is all interesting to note and make point of these factors that can contribute to a utopian world as Roger makes point of, however accomplishing these and making it a reality is another concept. #S208UOW17 #Tut12

Alexandra Milora said : Guest Report 2 years ago

I also agree with this idea of utopia in many ways being something that is never truly accessible or achieved. This stems from the reality of the ever changing nature, tendencies, movement and form of cities especially with increased technology and information leading to variations. As we have seen over the course of this semester cities are in constant movement, from the origins of suburbia, to the urban sprawl and rise of the McMansions, to the creative class reemerging and taking over the inner city life and in the process the constantly switching divide and location of rich and poor. The places we live, job opportunities, our values and the things that we look for change over time. For example, major cities used to be formed around places that had substantial natural resources as they were the driving factors of the economy, yet today with the rise in finance driving the economy and the production of goods worldwide, restrictions regarding place and being tied down to natural resources is no longer an issue. Society is constantly in movement and ever changing. This idea of utopia for me is geared towards thinking of better futures, rather than a permanent solution. A push towards finding and implementing solutions to the problems that have risen over time with these changes in values, structure and influx of people in society. With the predicted and observable trends, our cities today are no longer viable options for liveable cities for future generations. It is therefore time to start fixing the existing issues and being proactive in setting up future cities with strategic resources that will allow them to remain sustainable for longer while continuously adapting. There is no static solution but instead a necessity for finding solutions for the problems of today, and constant forward thinking to avoid the problems of tomorrow. Today, transport is at the top of the agenda to fix todays issues and avoid further problems, in order to get close to this urbanized idea of utopia. Urbanized utopia being, in my opinion, not a solution but an encouragement towards forward thinking for better more liveable cities both in the present and for the future.

Justin Luzuriaga - @justinluzuriaga said : Guest Report 2 years ago

Cynical, but realistic. Far too often the ‘little guys’ are not considered when profits or incurring costs are a possibility. They are the one’s who hold the power, so we are left to accept and live with the consequences. It seems our interests only become important when their interests and agendas as being met in the process. #S208UOW17 #Tut12 #Mon1130

Justin Luzuriaga - @justinluzuriaga said : Guest Report 2 years ago

You identify a valid point in regards to our dependence on private transport that I agree with. One of the points I raised in the lecture during the initial exercise was increasing public transport between the ocean and the escarpment, as the current main focus is from North to South, which contributes to dependence on private vehicles for residents not living along these corridors. The effect of this, as many of us would have experienced, is crowded trains and buses current public transport options are inundated during peak times. Even worse is parking at UOW as the current (lack of) services means many students have no choice by to drive, further emphasising the need for more consideration towards public transport options in such a busy city. #S208UOW17 #Tut12 #Mon1330

Mark Tiere said : Guest Report 2 years ago

I too was under the impression that it is highly unrealistic to imagine a utopia that is regarded as the perfect or most ideal modern city. Even if we were able to achieve something close to it, there will always be naysayers and people who would nitpick at every detail and development no matter what. Having said that, I do hope that more governement intiatives are put in place, such as some of the points Roger has mentioned above to help cities such as Sydney and Melbourne become more esily accessible for people, particlulary during peak hour times. So effective public transport must be at the top of the agenda in my opinion to achieve this. #SOC208UOW2017 #MON16:30

Justin Luzuriaga - @justinluzuriaga said : Guest Report 2 years ago

In considering ‘what we need, what might help, and how we might get there’ with reference to key points in the lecture from Kelly et al. (2012), we can now better address and analyse the lecture exercise of ‘How would you change the city of Wollongong today to make it more liveable and social for families’ – taking the central hub of Crown Street Mall and their Eat Street Markets as an example. While this mixed us social centre within walking distance of many residents is utilised to bring people together satisfies the place function, the influx of people when imagined in measuring and mapping liveliness does not suit the building design and thus public space for people to meet. Crown Street Mall lacks soft edges for people to interact during these events – where instead we see crowds of people who exceed the function of the street. While their attempt is successful in bringing together the local community, I believe it would be better suited to spread down the length of the mall and provide more communal spaces to reduce congestion, or even still move to a larger area with more emphasis on encouraging community engagement. #S208UOW17 #Tut12 #Mon1330

Jarrod Wilson said : Guest Report 2 years ago

Couldn't agree more with these statements, the government is addressing low class issues with higher class solutions, they must show some sort of empathy or outside thinking to analyse the costs of automobile travel, not only the car itself, rising fuel prices, registration, tolls, potential fines and many more making this an inaccessible form of travel for some. As Roger has stated many times throughout this semester I would love to see the implementation of the bullet train (high speed rail), as I believe it would be a far superior and more efficient method of travel, this is only one step towards a Utopia however, it could get the ball rolling for further innovations.

Kiosha Gardner @kiosha839 said : Guest Report 2 years ago

All of these things listed in your blog do sound very appealing; I mean who would not want to live in an environment where they can access affordable housing, which is close to goods and services as well as employment. An environment which is walkable, serviced by public transport and provides the community with an abundance of opportunities to be social. This is beginning to sound like a utopia to me… Here is where I become more cynical… although I agree that social cities are something to be strived for and they are indeed achievable, to some extent, I worry that there are a number of players which all need to come together in unison to achieve this type of an environment. Players such as federal, state and local government departments, heads of private industry and those connected to the globalised economy. Is it possible that they can all set aside their conflicting interests and work together to create such an environment? Are they able to think of the ‘little guys’? If we had another week I would have loved to have seen an in-depth case study on a city which has achieved in all the mentioned areas? Does such a city exist? How did it come to be? Now that would be inspiring!

Jasmine Hamlet said : Guest Report 2 years ago

I agree that at the moment Australian society generally seem to prefer cars as opposed to public transport. Perhaps, this is because of the freedom and privacy they offer? Therefore, it seems necessary to improve the public transport system to make it more appealing to citizens. For example, this could be supported by updating trains to make them faster which will save time for people that are fed up of being caught in traffic and want more time to spend doing other things. Secondly, the appearance of public transport such as buses and trains could be significantly upgraded by making them more comfortable and clean (e.g free from graffiti and rubbish and more supportive cushioned seating). Thirdly, introducing a lot of new train and bus stations across cities and suburbs will facilitate greater access for more people to use public transport that may have previously chose cars because they don't live close to any stations. Lastly, with an increasing population there will be greater need for more housing and social centres. Therefore, perhaps cities like Wollongong could integrate underground transport such as trains in the future so that more space is available above ground for other infrastructure that is critical for future liveable cities. #SOC208UOW17 #tut12 #mon1130

Jasmine Hamlet said : Guest Report 2 years ago

Yes, cities can be planned for future families. It will require thorough planning and careful consideration of different ideas and possibilities produced by all levels of the government, urban designers and the communities in which these transformations will take place. Hence, clear methods of communication will be essential. This will help suit the needs of each area and will be most effective in building sustainable, multifunctional cities. In turn, this will ideally redirect the flow of the creative class and help retain them in Australia to boost the nation's economic and competitive edge in a globalised world. This is imperative so that Australia doesn't fall behind other developed nations. Meanwhile, as acknowledged in previous weeks, Australia is suffering from an increase in mental health issues despite an increase in medicalised support options. Thus, this suggests structural changes need to occur in wider society as people are feeling increasingly isolated and lonely. Perhaps cities of tomorrow can contribute to reducing this issue by attempting to make the more sociable instead of disconnected as suggested by Kelly (2012). For example, by building social centres that are safe and clean for everyone to enjoy. This could occur through different forms. For example, green spaces that incorporates playgrounds for young children and nice seating areas to assist adults in catching up. Additionally, improved public transport infrastructure can allow people to be more mobile which can help them to see friends and family more easily. Thus, social centres and public transport can help build sustainable cities that have the potential to minimise mental health issues whilst attracting the creative class. However, the term 'utopia' may be too unrealistic and overly optimistic to achieve in the future of cities because they are unlikely to be designed perfectly. #SOC208UOW17 #tut12 #mon1130

Georgia Henderson said : Guest Report 2 years ago

Throughout the course of this subject, a key theme that seems to continuously reoccur, is transportation as the answer to our problems addressed in this subject. As noted in Handy et al (2002) the most common form of transport is the car, meaning the prime focus for government agencies is and will seemingly continue to be everything related to the automobile. As already identified throughout this subject, all of our attention and focus into this alone will not fix the issues at hand. However, if our attention is drawn to public transport rather than private, the decrease of cars within cities will have a significant impact on the way cities and communities will work in the future. The congestion on our roads will be on a steep climb if the use of public transport does not increase soon and with government funding doing their best to increase freeway sizes to allow for more cars to be on the road, the sprawl within suburbia will only become worse. However, if developments change their perceptions, by creating spaces with more room for trains, trams etc. sprawl will decrease allowing for a greater city and community. At this current rate however, the antisocial and uninvolved behaviour of individuals will continuously become even more apparent from person to person. Are these really the type of locations in which we want to reside in and watch fall apart?

Savaan Goldsmith said : Guest Report 2 years ago

#S208 #MON430 #tut12

Savaan Goldsmith said : Guest Report 2 years ago

I believe the points/tips raised by Roger are all vital in planning for the future if we are to improve our current situation. Two tips that resonate the most with me include effective public transport as well as social centres. Public transport in Australia is at the root of many problems including the ones identified above. Australia looks very backwards in comparison with other countries in that individuals cannot rely on a means of public transport the way countries in Europe or Asia can for example. Improved public transport would improve a variety of issues from having unsocial cities to even simple things such as an improved way of life by creating greater ease amongst commuters therefore contributing to more satisfied individuals. Social centres also play an integral part in Australian life and I believe that future planning should include the improvement in social centres to encourage people to be social with one another again. This is important as the typical lifestyle of children playing outside and neighbours communicating and socialising with each other is slowly dying.

rachael waistell said : Guest Report 2 years ago

Utopia. It’s an interesting word that takes my mind to many places. I think of outstretched, untouched country side, as far as the eye can see, I think of a utopia of peace, where war is a foreign and distant concept, I think of a variety of zombie and other science fiction movies and television shows, which have an end goal of reaching the safe zone or the romanticised utopia, free from zombies or reavers. However my mind fails to go to the concept of a utopia of urban equality. I am 21 and as I type this and I wonder if I will see a sustainable, social and equitable future in my lifetime, perhaps that of my children or perhaps, with the current state of political movements, we will never see a world safe for all. Of course if we increase housing affordability and create new communities and city centres, decreasing the need to travel to the major city hubs, similar to Sydney, we will increase the equitable nature of our societies and with decreased resource wastage on the daily commute, our cities, in time could become more sustainable. However I wonder though, could I ever call my home town, or future home towns a Utopic place, a social town a good place to live, when in the world there will continue to be places and countries and continents forgotten, when we choose to live wasteful lives while others struggle to just find water to drink every day. Perhaps it is just this juxtaposition, of the outcome of our lives based on the geographic location of our birth. Perhaps a city or country can only ever be recognised as utopic/perfect because we as human beings, are inherently aware of the imperfect and unfair global world that exists behind our backs.

Megan said : Guest Report 2 years ago

Is a utopian society actually possible in our lifetime? Probably not however, we can aim for a city that strives to better than what it was by including some of the ideas that Roger has highlighted above. I also believe that it is important not just to imagine the possibilities of a better city but actually take the next step further and design these ideal cities instead of hoping they will occur naturally (Roger, 2017). So what are the changes we can make to create this ideal city environment for families? Firstly I would suggest planning cities around families. As we know the concept of families is an ever evolving notion that has changed over the years from a the nuclear families in the suburbs to families wanting to move into the cities due to the better opportunities for work and care balance as it reduces transport time. However, the cities create a dystopia for families as the housing affordability is a great issue for families (Roger 2017). So how can we combat this? A solution I would suggest is to improve the efficiency and reliability of public transport to enable families to still have the option of not living in the inner city. A suggestion would be to put in place the high speed rail as this is a better option then the car as it can carry approximately 50,000 people compared to the freeways which can only carry 2500 people in an hour (Newman 2012, p.359). Also, the train will enable socialisation to occur and reduce time spent on the road which ultimately allows more time for families and improve overall well-being and satisfaction (Kelly 2012, p.16). #S208UOW2017 #TUT2 #MON430

Amelia Collier said : Guest Report 2 years ago

The social word is ever changing, and it is crucial that cities change to adapt with these new structures. As technological advances are on a constant rise, this means that our cities will be seeing many advancements; and the integration of our communities to these new ideas that will ensure these advancements continue to benefit and rise our society to greater things. I believe that society and worldwide governments need to work together to enrich the cities across the globe. #S208UOW17 #Tut12 #Mon1130

Ryosuke Takahashi @roy23ald said : Guest Report 2 years ago

Economic, cultural and other issues may always become obstacles when we plan future cities. It could be seen on a global scale. Therefore, some policies should be enacted by the government in each country considering planning future cities so that people can spend their life lively. #S208UOW17 #Tut12 #Wed1430

Rebekah Fisher said : Guest Report 2 years ago

It's funny to think that now utopia can be translated into an urbanised idea. The initial image of utopia that popped into my head was stretches of white sandy beaches with pristine crystal clear waters, while I casually recline in a hammock with a cocktail in my hand, summer breeze slowly swaying me, with background music from a ukulele lulling me into a blissful state of calm and relaxation, but I guess a little less traffic and a little less social issues that subjugate people might be the start that urbanised areas need to become more of a utopic idea. Even if we did plan tomorrow's cities to be these phenomenal and wonderful places, where it made it easier to commute to work, and housing affordability wasn't sky-high, I just can't bring myself to see that it'd ever be utopia. Utopia is meant to be a place or a state where everything is perfect, and, just like humans, a urban environment can never be perfect, so therefore never utopia. I do dream that I could provide my future family a utopian lifestyle. That the world and its issues could never touch them, but it's not probable in a lifetime any time soon. However, if the arrangements, or even a fraction of them, as Roger has stated above were to be implemented in today's society, life would definitely become easier for the general citizens. #SOC208UOW17 #tut12 #mon1130

David Scognamiglio said : Guest Report 2 years ago

I completely agree, governments and organisations that help develop cities tend to focus on environmental issues or economic issues, much more is needed for the social issues that develop in cities. Likewise, I believe the cities and public spaces should be places that are welcoming and encourage interactions, this though can only be achieved by planners and organisations working together. I feel in the current situation the social isn't getting the attention it deserves, which is causes cities/ public spaces to feel very disconnected for people.

David Scognamiglio said : Guest Report 2 years ago

Governments, city planners and local councils need to collectively work together in order to properly meet the growing needs that cities demand. By working together there will be able to address any concerns families, commuters, businesses and others wishing to live in the cities of tomorrow have.

Michaela Matthews said : Guest Report 2 years ago

#SOC208UOW17 #tut12 #mon1130

Michaela Matthews said : Guest Report 2 years ago

There needs to be a stronger focus on social issues that face our cities. It seems that environmental and economic issues the are main priorities when planning and constructing cities. Our cities need to be developed to be ‘social,’ and not just a 9-5 environment. “Through our social connection we share information, resources and skills. (Kelly, 2012, p6). ” It is evident that socialisation and establishing relationships are important for a city to function and sustain itself. Kelly (2012) points out the psychological effects that an unsocial city can have on an individual “loneliness can have serious health consequences, with a similar impact to high blood pressures, lack of exercise, obesity of smoking,” (Kelly, p4). So why it is that our city planners are not paying attention to this? Our cities and public spaces need to be welcoming and encouraging for socialisation. Our public transport needs to serve more than a purpose of just movement and the flow of people. The same goes with streets, they aren't just built for the purpose of moving cars, but serve multiple purposes involving pedestrians. As Kelly states, “streets can prioritise cars or pedestrians," (Kelly, p3). Lively streets attract people, and people attract more people, thus generating social interaction and building of relationships, which is vital to our health and wellbeing. An idea that was shown in this weeks lecture was the ‘pop-up culture’, I think it is a great idea to create spaces for public interaction, to be able to turn carparks into cafes, creates lively streets in which people want to be a part of. I think cities have the potential for greatness, (and I’m not just talking about its appearance), with the correct planning and construction, each person can feel a sense of sense of belonging and comfort to where they live.

Jordan Osborne said : Guest Report 2 years ago

Excellent points you raise. Look at the urban nightmare Jakarta faced in 2010 where the average travelling speed for commuters was 5.2 miles per hour, and small food and drink rickshaws tending to stalled commuters grew to become prosperous street businesses. Un-surprisingly, at the time it was the largest metropolis in the world without rail infrastructure. This article from Foreign Policy surmises the situation: http://foreignpolicy.com/2010/11/09/jakartas-urban-nightmare/. A case study that boldly illustrates your point, and demonstrates the urban headaches a lack of policy focus on transport solutions can cause. #SOC208 #Tut12 #Wed14:30

Kristy Iervasi said : Guest Report 2 years ago

#SOC208UOW17 #TUT12 #MON16:30

Kristy Iervasi said : Guest Report 2 years ago

Allie and Emma you both bring up great points regarding our car dependency. Living in Sydney I see it all the time. The government makes more motorways but instead of making things better they are just making the commute to work worse. Not only that but our train system is shocking too. People are like sardines at peak our on our trains with some people not even being able to get on and having to wait for the next train/bus. I think if we had a system like other countries such as Japan the flow of public transport would be more efficient so more people would be inclined to take trains/buses. I myself, avoid public transport in Sydney for that reason, its a nightmare sometime trying to squeeze yourself into the trains. So I think the government should stop putting time and money into motorways and start investing in a better public transport system and more of it around Sydney and Australia.

Emily Martin said : Guest Report 2 years ago

Allie I think you have made an excellent point. The government's focus on a 'car driven' society is never going to create a Utopia. There needs to be access available for everyone to have the freedom of movement within a city, whether that be by foot, car or whatever else. With all these new developments are solely focused on the car, just by simply being in an area that is not easily accessed by car, will not work. As you stated, we increasingly become more car dependent if we continue to built cities and suburbs that do not have the necessary infrastructure, including public transport. #SOC208UOW17 #Tut12 #Mon1130

Allie Sims @AllieSoc said : Guest Report 2 years ago

The most common solution I have heard to solve the problems identified in this subject is to have more attention paid to public transport and to pedestrians. At the moment our society is heavily car focussed and the Australian government continues to pour money into creating more and “better” freeway. Transportation planning has, because of the dominant form of transport being the automobile, focussed on car travel (Handy et al, 2002, p. 70). This is not what is going to create better cities. Instead cities need to focus on keeping cars out but ensuring people still have easy access to everything. This require more commitment to public transport and pedestrian traffic. The government in the most recent budget pledged money to public transport. But until our cities change to become less car friendly and our government stops supporting car orientated cities, our cities will not be able to become better. Our car dependent living also negatively affects the sprawl of our suburbs. If we build along existing public transport corridors we restrict our sprawl which is better. If we continue to expand out without the necessary infrastructure, our cities will become increasingly car dependent, and this is not the way we should be going. Already there are developments that are putting more cars on the road as opposed to more trains on the tracks. These include the developments southwest of Sydney, past Campbelltown and out to Camden. These developments do not have the adequate transport system to take people into the city to work, so instead they drive. Currently we are increasing our unsocial, unfriendly, unliveable cities and that needs to change. #S208UOW17 #Tut12 #Mon1130 Handy, SL, Boarnet MG, Ewing R, Killingsworth RE 2002, ‘How the Built Environment Affects Physical Activity: Views from Urban Planning, American Journal of Preventive Medicine, vol. 24, pp. 64-73.

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