Planning Xchange promotes a better understanding of urban affairs and city design. The website complements a podcast interview series. We aim to be a useful addition to the many wonderful urbanist web resources which assess, appreciate and enhance urban living.
Featuring hosts Jess Noonan & Peter Jewell
PlanningxChange 82 with Russell Dickson - land surveyor
In PlanningxChange Episode 82, Jess Noonan and Peter Jewell interview Russell (‘Russ’) Dickson a licenced land surveyor. Russ gives listeners an excellent introduction to the world of land surveying, through its culture, vocabulary, exacting requirements and the feared ‘land surveying cops’. He talks of the incredible technological changes he has experienced and offers a glimpse into the future. A profession that dates at least as far back as the ancient Egyptians, Russ talks of the highly precise measurements made by the early coastal navigators as well as the pioneering land surveyors sent into the vast unknown. He also talks of the importance of reference points, for example sea level; these critical measurements will have much importance in measuring the impact of climate change and the public policy decisions (and expenditure) that follows. Land surveying is the ‘quiet’ profession in city and regional development but whose output we all rely upon for confidence. Russell Dickson is a wondering interview subject who speaks with authority, knowledge and a quiet dignity. A fascinating insight into the world of land surveying.
Audio production by Jack Bavage. The episode was released on 24 August 2021.
PlanningxChange 81 with Marshall Sullivan
In PlanningxChange Episode 81, Jess Noonan and Peter Jewell interview Marshall Sullivan a private planning consultant based in regional Victoria. Marshall came up ‘through the ranks’ of local government starting as an enforcer officer and ending as a senior manager. Now he runs his own very prosperous planning consultancy based in Geelong and the Surf Coast. Marshall discusses his journey through local government and the support he received through mentoring. He talks of the skills he learnt in dealing with the public and developers alike whilst also fitting in with what at times can be very political local Councils. He talks of the Importance of new ideas in planning policy and the need to encourage new ways. One of his motto’s ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’ - best to keep an open mind. Marshall talks of the transition and associated surprises going from government to private practice. His answer to the question: ‘what has been your most eventful site inspection?’ Is sure to raise a laugh. A thoughtful and clear speaking view of a planner’s life.
Audio production by Jack Bavage. The episode was recorded in mid February 2021 and released on 25 July 2021. Due to an error in editing, a second version was released 15 August 2021.
PlanningxChange 80 with Nicole Gelinas (NY Columnist & writer)
In PlanningxChange Episode 80, Jess Noonan and Peter Jewell interview Nicole Gelinas an author, columnist and podcast regular based in New York. Nicole is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a contributing editor of City Journal, and a columnist at the New York Post. She writes on urban economics and finance. Gelinas is a CFA charterholder and the author of After the Fall: Saving Capitalism from Wall Street—and Washington (2011).
Gelinas has published analysis and opinion pieces in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, and other publications. Before coming to City Journal (https://www.city-journal.org/), she was a business journalist for Thomson Financial, where she covered the international syndicated-loan and private-debt markets. Gelinas holds a B.A. in English literature from Tulane University. Nicole makes regular appearances on City Journal’s podcast series, 10 Blocks (https://www.city-journal.org/10-blocks).
In the PX interview Nicole discusses various cities (and different parts of cities) she has lived in and how local governance can make enormous differences in liveability and prosperity. She talks particularly on issues of crime and transportation. Referencing Jane Jacobs she makes various observations about how governance during Covid affected life in New York as well as the impacts of urban riots on business confidence, employment and citizen feelings of well being. She addresses the question, Manhattan needs people but do people need Manhattan? A thoughtful and clear speaking view of city life.
Audio production by Jack Bavage. The episode was released on 5 July 2021.
PlanningxChange 79 - Learning from the past (freeways and community opposition): Sebastian Gurciullo PROV
In PlanningxChange Episode 79 Jess Noonan and Peter Jewell interview Sebastian Gurciullo. Sebastian is a professional archivist, editor, curator and writer. He has worked at the National Archives of Australia, Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) and University of Melbourne Archives. He has been the editor of the Australian Society of Archivists journal Archives and Manuscripts and PROV's journal Provenance, and remains on the editorial board of both journals. Although currently working in collection management at PROV, he continues to contribute to exhibitions and other forms of outreach including tours, talks and seminars. Proximity to the state archives has allowed him to explore his research interests, particularly the administration of Aboriginal Affairs, and Melbourne’s urban history and built form. He is particularly fond of the collections many visual collections: photographs, maps, plans and architectural drawings spanning the history and breath of the State of Victoria. His current research interests are focused on unbuilt projects from Melbourne's urban and planning history.
In this episode, Sebastian discusses his research paper ‘Deleting Freeways’ which appeared in the 2020 edition of Provenance a publication released by PROV. Details at https://prov.vic.gov.au/explore-collection/provenance.
Provenance which means ‘place of origin’ is the free annual journal published online by Public Record Office Victoria. The journal features peer-reviewed articles, as well as general research papers, drawing on original records in the Victorian state archives' collection. Sebastians article “.. explores community resistance to the F2 freeway proposal that emerged in the wake of the 1969 Melbourne Transportation plan. Drawing on published work in urban social history and urban policy analysis, as well as a wide range of archival sources, it provides an account of the defeat of this freeway proposal through community protest and the exertion of political pressure on government. It argues that the defeated proposal had been generated as part of a broader road-building consensus in Melbourne that gave little consideration to community impacts and the possibility of alternative transport solutions—a consensus that largely survives to the present day despite occasional backdowns such as the one explored in this article.”
The views expressed in this episode are the individuals' own and do not represent the views of PROV or any other body.
Audio production by Jack Bavage. The episode was released on 4 June 2021.
PlanningxChange 78 - Hyperlocal zoning reform; fixing broken housing markets globally
In PlanningxChange Episode 78 Jess Noonan and Peter Jewell interview John Myers (UK) and Michael Hendrix (USA) about the hyper local zoning initiative. John has developed a ‘bottom up’ approach to fixing chronically underperforming housing markets that occur throughout the western world. This consists of citizens within a block or similar smaller area petitioning to up zone their properties to enable greater development opportunities.
'Hyperlocal' can be part of the efforts to fix unresponsive and ‘gummed up’ zoning systems. The negative impacts of this planning failure are profound including the disenfranchisement of vast segments of citizens from the housing market and thereby creating significant layers of inequity and intergenerational conflict. For healthy cities to benefit their citizens, this problem needs to be tackled. Traditional methods of solving housing equity such as inclusive zoning, rent control and the mandatory allocation of social housing in large projects are discussed in the interview and these are found wanting. The critical issue is supply and to allow markets to do what they do best. John and Michael have teamed up to offer a new tool, hyperlocal zoning, for city managers, developers and city planners to increase housing choice and diversity by empowering local residents. Hyperlocal zoning is one of the most innovative theoretical approaches in recent decades to help cities achieve a better and more equitable supply of new housing. The initiative has been embraced across the political spectrum.
John Myers founded London YIMBY and the YIMBY Alliance, which campaign for an end to the housing crisis in the UK. He originally worked as a New York and English litigation and competition lawyer and then as an investment manager. His work has been covered in media including the Australian Financial Review, Bloomberg, CityLab and the Guardian.
Michael Hendrix is director of state and local policy at the Manhattan Institute. Previously, he served as senior director for research and emerging issues at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Hendrix is a frequent public speaker, and his writings have appeared in, among others, National Review, City Journal, and National Affairs.
This podcast was produced by Complete Podcasting Services. This episode released 20 May 2021.
PlanningxChange 77 with Loudon Luka (Australia and Malawi)
In PlanningxChange Episode 77, Jess Noonan and Peter Jewell interview Loudon Luka, a planner with experience in both Australia and Malawi. Loudon went to Australia from his homeland Malawi in the mid 1990's to undertake post graduate study. He gained a Post Graduate in Urban Planning and a Masters in Planning both from Melbourne University. He then commenced work as a local government planner. His final position was as planning advocate for the City of Greater Dandenong before Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). Here he would present the Council position before the independent VCAT which reviewed Council decisions on appeal. He returned to Malawi in 2014. In the following years he has worked as a lecturer in Urban and Regional Planning at Mzuzu University. He was also the President of the Malawi Institute of Physical Planners for a number of years. More recently he has been appointed to the Physical Planning Council of Malawi (a higher order Tribunal much the same as VCAT). In this wide ranging interview, Loudon discusses his transition to Australia, cultural differences and experienced gained in local government. The second part of the interview discusses the history of planning in Malawi from colonial times to the contemporary; and the magnitude of the planning and development issues confronting his country. Loudon is also in a rare position to contrast the planning issues in first and third world nations. He also discusses what Africa can teach the west in terms of getting the best out of limited resources. Loudon opens the window to what many of us can never see or could hope to experience. He brings an optimistic and pragmatic viewpoint to the opportunities before us.
At the start of the interview Jess refers to PX76. Due to a re-ordering in episode numbering this is actually PX77. Apologies for any confusion.
This podcast was produced by Complete Podcasting Services. This episode released 12 April 2021.