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The Forum > Article Comments > What really makes cities liveable? > Comments

What really makes cities liveable? : Comments

By Ross Elliott, published 26/9/2016

In August this year, that journal of inner city indulgence The Sydney Morning Herald published a front page story boldly declaring 'Sydney’s ten most liveable suburbs revealed.' Attention grabbing headline? Tick. Rigorous methodology? Fail.

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I must defend Adelaide's liveability: hemmed in by the Mt Lofty Ranges (some of whose peaks nearly reach hundreds of metres), it is a long and narrow city, which is great for those who live across the middle (you can get right across it from west to east in half an hour), and with express rail into the city's heart, you can travel from the outer southern or northern suburbs in 45 minutes. My bus gets me into town in less than half an hour.

House prices are lower, and growing more slowly, than in other less liveable cities and everybody has access to fifty km of shoreline within barely half an hour.

If anything, one disadvantage has been Adelaide's length, these days around eighty km north to south. This has had dire implications for access to tertiary education, particularly for those in the outer northern and southern suburbs which are, mostly working-class or welfare-dependent. All university campuses in Adelaide are either stretched across the middle, more specifically from the city itself to the affluent eastern suburb of Magill, with only Flinders and the U of SA's Mawson Lakes campuses being outside that belt - and each of those not halfway into the outer suburbs.

Twenty years ago now, the University of SA, in its 'wisdom', closed the most northerly campus at Salisbury (suburbs now reach out twice as far as Salisbury), ruining the opportunities particularly of working-class and welfare-dependent women. I was working there at the time and staff found out about the closure on the 7.30 Report. A few years later, the same management closed the working-class-oriented western campus at Underdale. A year or two later, the Vice-Chancellor was named South Australian of the Year by the Labor government, before wreaking havoc elsewhere. Go figure.

Apart from that glaring anomaly, Adelaide has entertainment venues second to none, and a wide range of eateries and cafes, most outstanding of which would be the Leigh Street Mall's Waffle Shop. One can even buy kale in Adelaide, if anybody ever really wanted to.

Come for a visit: you'll be hooked.

Posted by Loudmouth, Monday, 26 September 2016 10:02:38 AM
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I agree with Ross' belief that some researchers are "becoming besotted with wealth and privilege at the expense of opportunity and equity."
This characteristic appears in nearly every survey I study.

Who, apart from me, knows what attracts me to anything?
Likes, preferences, and appreciation are enirely personal. Their expression is not at the whim of some unknown individual who has no idea of my interests.

The presumptiveness in assigning reactions to me is similar to journalists publishing articles headed "What You''ll Pay"

Who says?
Posted by Ponder, Monday, 26 September 2016 11:24:10 AM
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Ah yes Ross. Some of our wealthiest folk can also be described as uncaring filth, with the widest whitest smiles I'm alright Jack, the rest of you can go visit the nearest taxidermist types? Often portly, pompous and filled to overflowing with a bought and paid overwhelming sense of their importance!? And where billionaire and former bankrupt, Donald Trump would fit in as if tailor made? Surrounded by folk, who like him, seem to believe the world owes them a living?

Perhaps a month or two reduced to the accommodation of Tokyo's poorest; slide in and slide out stacked and racked coffin sized ventilated sleeping quarters, (well they are up off the ground, weatherproof and secure) might change a few attitudes? the most livable cities have to be the least crowded, best lit, with the best public transport options, the most green space and the fewest homeless!

I mean seriously, a seaview?

Get a houseboat and have that daily and from endlessly changing perspective!

In conclusion, the most livable cities will be ours when we realize how big Australia is, spread out a bit! As opposed to stack and rack people like sardines, in unaffordable little concrete boxes! A good start would be to embrace (world's cheapest, safest, cleanest) thorium energy?

Bananas are more radioactive than thorium!

The most liveable cities are the ones providing quality of life for everyone and that's entirely dependant on cheap, clean, safe, carbon free, energy!
Posted by Alan B., Monday, 26 September 2016 11:24:16 AM
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Born in Sydney and have moved to smaller and small cities then towns, and now live on a farm 3 hours drive from Adelaide. Agree with Loudmouth give me Adelaide over Sydney any day.

Even better a nice house on some rolling green hills of the lower Flinders Ranges. but hell if you want to spend a million dollars on a 2 bedroom house with a harbor view go for it.
Posted by Cobber the hound, Monday, 26 September 2016 4:09:37 PM
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