Monthly Archives: January 2012

Big-Box Bonanza

American Landscape

I’m on crikey today – here – expanding on my thoughts from the other day about Matthew Guy’s Big Box retail reforms, and on Ministers forsaking planning merits in favour of quick political fixes.

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Bulking Up

Bunnings Warehouse
Victorian Planning Minister Matthew Guy has put out a press release today (here) foreshadowing changes to the approach to what was once called bulky goods retailing, and which is called in Victorian planning schemes “restricted retailing.”

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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (David Fincher, 2011)

I hadn’t read Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (or seen its 2009 Swedish film adaptation), so I went into David Fincher’s version of the story with little knowledge or expectation. The striking credit sequence promises a dark and intense thriller, as you’d expect from someone of Fincher’s talent, and indeed I was intrigued for much of the film …until slowly it became apparent just how non-intriguing it truly is.

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I Thought it Sounded Familiar

Herman Cain

Herman Cain is long gone as a U.S. Presidential nominee (after giving a farewell speech quoting the Pokemon movie), but his memory lingers. And, crazily, I feel he has vindicated me.

A couple of years ago I wrote an article for Planning News which looked at the parallels between SimCity and actual policy-making, and what it might mean if people took the lessons of SimCity and applied them to actual situations. This article memorably caused me to be labelled a “drooling, mouth breathing moron” by a commenter over at The Age when one of their blogs mentioned the story. But was Herman Cain playing some SimCity when he formulated his policies?

I missed it at the time, but amongst in the coverage of this was this great article by Amanda Terkel at the Huffington Post. As Terkel points out – getting all the nerdy details impressively correct – Herman Cain’s infamous 999 tax plan echoes SimCity 4‘s tax structure. Cain had a 9% corporate tax, 9% personal income tax, and 9% sales tax; this echoed SimCity 4‘s approach of a 9%commercial tax, 9% residential tax, and 9% industrial tax. I might add that these are just the default rates for SimCity, which I guess makes SimCity’s tax model more complex than Cain’s.

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Subscription Options: How to Follow Me, and How to Selectively Ignore Me

Mail day
Just a quick heads-up that I’ve added the option to subscribe to the site via email. You can find the link in the right-hand column (or just click here). This will send you new posts to the page via email (maximum once per day).

In my continuing attempts to help my film readers who aren’t interested in my urban planning stuff, and vice-versa, I’ve also created separate mailing lists that cover just my film content and just my urban planning content. These are also in the right hand column, or alternatively here:

Film Mailing List

Urban Planning Mailing List

Hopefully these will be attractive options for those who have no interest in one or other of the major “streams” of my content. (You can also view the site at category specific URLs: and

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