How many motorways does a big city need? And what sort of city do we want?

On Friday, The Age reported that Infrastructure Australia has put out a report that asks what sort of city we'd like to have in 2046: The Expanded Low Density scenario - similar to Los Angeles - sprawling, dispersed suburbs, even more car-dominated than today The Centralised High Density scenario - similar to New York City - concentrating jobs and housing in the inner 15km ring The Rebalanc

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Overground, Underground, wombling free

Backdated. Posted 29/10/2017. Before we headed back to Australia, one more day in London to explore... at least for most of us. Three of us were catching an evening flight, but M had to head back 12 hours earlier, departing on a morning flight. I walked her to the station and helped her (and her luggage) get on the right train to the airport. For the rest of us, we packed up all our stuff fr

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See London by bus

(Backdated. Posted 21/10/2017) Our second last day on London. While the others had breakfast, I ducked out of the flat to try and find a post office, as I'd neglected to give one of my relatives a souvineer from Australia, and thought it best to mail it while we were still in England. The nearest post office was embedded in a kind of supermarket/newsagent, a not unfamiliar scenario that occu

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Sent to the Tower

(Backdated. Posted 1/10/2017) Our mission today was to get locked up in the Tower Of London. Oh, sorry, I mean to see the Tower Of London. We headed on the Tube to the Tower. Tickets booked in advance the night before meant we could bypass at least one of the queues, but it was still pretty busy, and the weather was grey and drizzly from time to time. Inside the grounds there are plen

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East meets west

(Backdated. Posted 29/9/2017) Good morning! It was garbage day in our street in Chiswick. As usual, you notice the little things that are different from home. In the London Borough of Hounslow, the garbos (what's the local term? Not sure) don't have an arm on the truck that grabs the bins; they have to manually put the wheelie bins into place. On this occasion, we could hear raised voices

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The border incident, and London sightseeing

Backdated. Posted 21/9/2017 Time to head back to London for the last few days of our holiday. We packed up our stuff and left the Air BNB flat. A word about the flat. It had been chosen for its location (walking distance to Brussels Midi/Zuid station), which along with the price, which were its best features. The layout was curious (one bedroom on the ground floor, stairs up to a small li

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UK/Belgium holiday in planning

Very busy the last few weeks, which is why the blog has been so quiet. Long-time readers would know that I like to write about my interstate and overseas holidays in almost excruciating detail. Well brace yourself for another one - I've got a European holiday in planning for later this year. It's looking like England, Wales, and Belgium, with catching up with various family scattered around


CBD rail capacity myths: Loop tunnel usage, Stations served, the European solution

In this blog post I hope to address a few myths around Melbourne's rail system that I'm seeing floating around. The Loop tunnels have hardly any trains! I've heard from a couple of sources in the past week (one on mainstream radio) the claim that nothing needs to be done about rail capacity in the CBD, because trains only run in the tunnels every 10 minutes or so. It might be true in

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Video from my trip to Europe in 1998

15 years ago I got back from my first trip to Europe. Here, finally, are the video highlights. Daniel's 1998 Europe trip highlights from Daniel Bowen on Vimeo. Includes England (south-east, London, and York), Scotland (Edinburgh, Inverness, Plockton), Brussels, Bruges, Amsterdam. Worth noting... The blog posts written at the time are available here: Europe 1998. This was pre-Oyster

News and events

Did some see the London riots coming?

Terrible scenes in England. What started peacefully seems to have descended into pure opportunism from troublemakers. Did anybody see it coming? Well check this fascinating article from The Guardian, a week ago: Farewell youth clubs, hello street life – and gang warfare With budget cuts leading to the loss of facilities that kept many inner-city youths occupied, experts predict a rise in