Do Sydneysiders act like noisy galahs?

A recent holiday to Japan had me thinking about Australian birds. Big, noisy birds such as cockatoos, kookaburras and crows. It also had me thinking about how little we value space in Sydney. And I will explain below why I was thinking about these things. I visited Tokyo with my family during September. While in…

Why is Sydney enjoying the high life?

There was a time when high-rise buildings were the natural enemy of community activists. They were practically seen as the devil’s spawn – local character-destroying intruders which were the work of supposedly money-hungry developers. However, the recent statistics shows that, surprisingly, there may be some common ground when it comes to high-rise buildings between your average…

Does rugby league help us plan Sydney?

THE sight of more than 16,000 fans crammed into a soggy and bedraggled Leichhardt Oval in early April confirmed that Sydney is essentially a tribal city. Despite an antiquated scoreboard, access via 19th century laneways and a lack of toilets – along with atrocious weather – they came in their droves to watch the home team…

Pop-up shops: are they the solution or problem?

Soon after it first opened in 2000, the Italian Forum development was a thriving part of Leichhardt which featured an attractive and spacious open-air plaza ringed by restaurants and shops. You could enjoy an authentic Italian meal or gelato from any of the restaurants which circled the entire plaza, or shop for the latest fashions.…

Are granny flats a housing solution?

Sydney property owners are making big money out of their backyards, with the number of granny flats and new dual occupancy developments jumping by nearly 20 per cent in just one year. The latest NSW Government Local Development Performance Monitoring 2012-13 report was released earlier this month and gives an important health check into the…