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Sydney: World's best city
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Surprised to see no one posting this from last weeks SMH. Clover Moore wants to the city on its feet, and has enlisted Jan Gehl, a Danish architect to oversee this. About time we need to hand our streets back to the people!!!!

From The Sydney Morning Herald
City with a hole at its heart shown how to get back on its feet

Catharine Munro Urban Affairs Editor
May 9, 2007

TRAFFIC managers are good at monitoring car movements, but no one is studying how pedestrians use the roads, says the Danish architect Jan Gehl.

The oversight could be costly.

Professor Gehl believes Sydney - like Melbourne, which he began to study while on sabbatical there in the 1970s - is a "doughnut", because it has nothing in the centre.

"A great proportion of those who use the streets, they have nobody to represent them … they have gradually been treated worse and worse until, in America, they go home and stay home and watch TV and go to the shopping mall and that's the end of life," he said.

The City of Sydney has budgeted almost $300,000 for Professor Gehl's team to observe how pedestrians use the city centre. Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne have also used his services.

Melbourne is on his list of nine international success stories. Its achievements have been measured through counting how much life had entered the CBD: the residential apartments, the pavement cafes and the nightlife.

City of Melbourne's director of city design, Rob Adams, said Professor Gehl's two studies, in 1994 and 2004, allowed the city to assess the effect of the changes they made, including the closure of Swanston Street. "Suddenly Swanston Street is the most successful retailing street in Australia," Mr Adams said.

Sydney pedestrians could also "reconquer" the city from the car, Professor Gehl said. "I have the feeling that we should be a little bit bold here and a little bit brave."

City of Sydney already plans to give pedestrians room to move on one of its busiest intersections. They have been buying properties opposite Town Hall - including the Woolworths building - in the hope of making room for a park.

A particular bugbear is the pedestrian push button at traffic lights. Professor Gehl argues walkers should not have to "apply" to cross the road. In a study of London traffic, he found most pedestrians crossed against the lights. "Crossing the road is a human right," he argues.

A spokesman for the Roads and Traffic Authority retorted that "not getting hit by a car" was "beneficial to human rights".

Professor Gehl suggests creating a continuous footpath on main streets, so that cars have to drive over the raised area. "Then the cars have the problem," he said.

His recommendations on Sydney will be released in September.
 

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Oh and one particular annoyance of mine (in terms of making walking unpleasant) is the roar of STA buses as they accelerate or brake right next to you. Jesus Christ it pisses me off.
 

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^ that does suck, especially if you're talking. everyone just has to pause and pick up again later, if you remember what you were saying that is!
 

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Oh and one particular annoyance of mine (in terms of making walking unpleasant) is the roar of STA buses as they accelerate or brake right next to you. Jesus Christ it pisses me off.
The diesel buses are ridiculously loud. But get used to it, because the state government has committed to buying the cheaper diesel buses instead of the natural gas alternative. This comes years after Brisbane started replacing its diesel buses with gas - and even New Dehli is doing it. Gotta love Sydney. :eek:hno:
 

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The thing to rememeber is that Sydney is a very different city to Danish cities such as Copenhagen; Sydney is a bigger and much more of a major business, manufacturing and financial centre than Copenhagen and it is also a lot younger and as such developed in a way that compliments its status. Copenhagen is your typical socialst Euro Scandy city, very lovely, with great bars (and fantastic Scandy girls everywhere) and restaurants, but it's no where near as hetic as Sydney, it's a lot more laid back. Anyway I always thought Sydney was full of people at night and on weekends, of course not all districts, no city does that, except for probably HK and NYC. I always think that people should be careful of following the Europeans just because they think it's cool or fashionable.
 

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Has Sydney in the past ever had a central Bus Station?
Bus station like for route buses? Nope. Before 1961 virtually every tram ran to Circular Quay and that remains the biggest route bus terminus in the city.

(North Shore system trams ran across the Harbour Bridge and into Wynyard station; Watsons Bay services terminated in Erskine Street - a different location in the CBD).

If you mean coach services to regional destinations then that's at Central railway station. Prior to that being built, each coach company had their own terminus in or near the city.
 
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