The crane mutiny: how Sydney’s apartment boom spun out of control

Mike Ticher reported in The Guardian on Thursday 4 January 2018 that building apartments along transport routes in Sydney was meant to create a more sustainable city.  But only developers seem happy with the results.  You can read the article here.


  1. Ulm has the answer to thwarting greedy land speculators!

    Here is an excerpt from an article written by Richard Fuchs (Fox) in Deutsche Welle on 2/4/18. You will see from this article that the City of Ulm in Germany has broken the upward spiral of property prices by greedy land speculators by buying up city land itself and placing conditions upon the handling of the land when it is sold to developers.

    It actually warmed my heart when I came across a governing institution which is acting in and protecting the best interests of its people and not selling the land out from them as is too often the case, This is how it’s done people. The entire article can be read

    Ulm is buying up land

    The city of Ulm in Baden-Württemberg is an example of how things could be reorganized in future. Here, the administrative system protects construction land from speculation — and has done for more than 125 years.

    The administration of this alternative land policy happens not far from Ulm’s famous Minster. The local authority real estate office oversees the plots of land and buildings in public ownership.

    “The city often buys up land decades in advance, with the specific aim of using them one day for a plot exchange, as construction land for its own projects, or for the development of industrial parks or residential areas,” explains the head of the department, Ulrich Soldner.

    In 2017 the city of Ulm invested €33 million in buying new plots. Soldner’s team has now bought so many adjacent plots of construction land in 16 future residential areas that they’re ready to take the next step.

    “The crucial aspect is that, with us, a development plan becomes legally binding once we have all the plots. Not before.” Specifically, this means that, in Ulm, construction land can only be purchased from the city itself, at a predetermined price set by an evaluation team. The private investor cannot sell on the plot of land purchased in this way to third parties at a higher price, and the circle of speculation is broken.

    If the land is not used for its intended purpose, a clause in the Ulm contract says the plot must be sold back to the municipality. “It’s not possible to sell it on to third parties as property speculation,” Soldner explains.

    For people renting in the city, this means the municipality has considerable influence on the development of new residential areas. Investors are bound by the condition that they must offer housing at a reduced price on 30 percent of the new-build in order to be allowed to buy the land.

    Some 4,500 hectares of public land is now managed in this way. That equates to a third of the total surface area of the city. This is why Ulm doesn’t have the severe shortage of living space Berlin, Frankfurt or Munich are dealing with.

    And this is the case even though the university city is a desirable location for many high-tech companies. Meanwhile, the state government of Baden-Württemberg has declared Ulm a model for all cities, and wants to end the taxation of land.

    The federal government is hesitating: instead, it is merely scratching at the surface of the problem. Federal Justice Minister Katarina Barley (SPD) recently spoke in favor of tightening rent controls to put a stop to overpriced luxury redevelopments. It seems that some politicians in Berlin have yet to realize that the real root of the problem is access to property and land.

    We should agitate for such reforms; we are great for putting our views in forums but where are the feet on the street! I’m in!

  2. On the small picture; we should trust local opinion, for the very good reason that locals must live with the consequences of planning decisions. It’s a pity the ivory tower theorists, who make a creed of jeering NIMBY all the time, live well outside the stressed localities.
    On the bigger picture: Maybe a moratorium on immigration is too much to ask for, but that is the way to argue. Halving current immigration rates is a necessary compromise that will influence my vote. Moreover, if implemented, it will deliver some rapid relief. To the Big Australia bunch: when you can demonstrate that most immigrants are settling outside our capital cities, I am prepared to modify my position. Call me after that happens.

  3. Suggestion: have just two tiers of govt: federal and regional govts that cover both state and local govt issues. In other words, no more state govts. State govts are a legacy of pre-federation times, and are little more than state councils as they spend most of the money but raise little of it themselves. Much of what they do is wangle to rob each other of monies from Canberra, and behave like little countries otherwise!

  4. 6,370 people are not happy with proposed development of 95 seniors units on high priority wildlife corridor at Bayview Golf Course . Enough is enough – development has to stop.

  5. Dick says:
    Thanks John, some very good points.

  6. what is needed in the three stratas of Government are more Independent Parliamentarians who genuinely believe that over population is going to be the demise of the Australian Way of Life in the future.
    Further, it is basic logic to believe that with the over population of Australian Cities particularly, but also important Regional Centres. Both will not have the civic services from local government – Shire Councils to facilitate advanced infrastructure to keep up with population ” bombs”.
    Population Bombs – That is, when newly settled immigrants and Naturalized Australians begin to have family reunion visa applicants inhabit Australia, but also by having greater than 2 children per couple to ballance the diminishing aging Australian Population.

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