My book The Victorian Planning System: Practice, Problems and Prospects is now available from Federation Press.
My book Movie Towns and Sitcom Suburbs is out now through Palgrave Macmillan.
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RCI Planning is my consultancy providing expert advice, VCAT advocacy and statutory planning services in the Victorian planning system.
Tag Archives: humour
Tim Minchin’s Christmas song White Wine in the Sun is now pretty well known in Australia I think – or at least no longer obscure enough to seem novel when posted on a website like this. But I want to post it anyway, and I figure it will be new at least to any overseas readers who haven’t been chased away by my articles about Victorian urban planning. What I like so much about it is that it so completely and comprehensively rejects two of the cores of traditional Christmas iconography – the religious underpinnings and the northern hemisphere winter imagery – but gets instead to the core of what Christmas is (or should be) all about.
While I’m posting Christmas clips from YouTube: another favourite of mine is this duet by David Bowie and Bing Crosby, recorded for television in 1977. It’s such a strange juxtaposition of talent, and very corny, and yet it works. There’s something about Bing Crosby’s voice, in particular, that evokes Christmas in a very profound Pavlovian way for me.
Having posted every other bit of Tintin promotion, it seems remiss not to post the full trailer released the other day. I don’t really have anything to add to what I’ve said before: parts of the animation (particularly the comic “falls”) look a little off; computer animation is a strange choice; but the retro look of the world has a really nice, indefinable Tintin-ness to it.
I genuinely enjoy being an urban planner. But this video, it has to be said, has an awful lot of depressing truth in it.
For a more serious take on the subject of planner’s despair and self-loathing, see my post from the other day here.
I’ve written about my misgivings about a CG Tintin before, but my fandom keeps overtaking my rational reservations. The thought of Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson collaborating on this material, working from a script by Steven Moffat (writer of some seriously good TV) and Edgar Wright, is pretty exciting. And now we have this pair of handsome posters. If only the last movie that had me this excited at poster stage wasn’t Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
Some real posts should follow shortly, but as a filler here’s an image expressing a thought every planner has had while playing Sim City. (From Cracked’s “If Video Games Were Realistic.”)
I looked more seriously at the game vs reality of Sim City here.
Eighteen months ago I posted about Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus, the latest opus from the folk at Asylum, the studio noted (until now) for basing its whole business model on getting people confused about which DVD they’re renting. Incredibly, it’s turned up here in Melbourne at the Nova.
What’s even more impressive, however, is now they’ve made a sequel: Mega Shark vs Crocosaurus. While there’s nothing in this trailer quite as hilarious as the final shot of the previous trailer, overall it actually looks a lot more fun.
Amendment Process Streamlined through Wikis
The government has responded to criticism of prolonged planning scheme amendment processes by shifting management of the VPPs and planning schemes to a new website, Wikischemia.
The new system builds on the proposal under Modernising Victoria’s Planning Act to allow amendment proponents to undertake steps in the amendment process. The new process will follow this initiative to its logical conclusion by placing the VPPs and all planning schemes on an online wiki, where users can edit content at will.
“This is an exciting leap into the 21st Century,” said Planning Minister Justin Madden. “It makes the planning system more democratic, responsive, and flexible. If there are new policy challenges, schemes can be updated in minutes. Mistakes and problematic provisions won’t sit in schemes for years without being fixed. Best of all, our tests show a substantial improvement in amendment processing timeframes, with the average length of the amendment process slashed from 20 months to 0.1 seconds, assuming you have broadband.”
Melbourne is set to join the global race to construct the largest non-functional building in an ambitious plan announced by the State Government, spurred on by the opening and then closure of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
That project was opened in January and then closed in February for unspecified reasons. At 828m in height, it claims the title of the world’s largest non-functional building: a glittering prize that the State Government now wants to claim for Melbourne.
Spotted over at MaryAnn Johanson’s site, and too clever not to share – Raiders of the Lost Ark, 1950s style. It’s not quite as good as Raiders of the Lost Ark as made by a bunch of kids, but it’s still pretty cool. And certainly better than Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
Opposition planning spokesman Matthew Guy has argued for the immediate introduction of a 200cm height limit for planning ministers in response to resident concerns about “out of control” ministerial heights.