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The big screen at Melbourne’s Federation Square will play a selection of films examining just what a sustainable city will look like in the future.

Hosting the World Cup is like a bad divorce and FIFA’s lawyers are better than yours, says Professor Richard Tomlinson, Chair in Urban Planning at the Faculty of Architecture, Building & Planning.  After the fun you’re left with the costs and a sour relationship.

The Victorian Eco Innovation Lab (VEIL) has been invited by the World Mayors Summit and Siemens to take part in this year’s United Cities and Local Governments Congress.

The Director of the University's Melbourne School of Design has welcomed a plan by the State Opposition to hold a design competition for a redevelopment of Flinders Street Station.

Catherine Mosbach, creator of the famous Botanical Gardens of Bourdeaux, will deliver a free public lecture at the University of Melbourne next week on her philosophy of landscape architecture.

Residences that generate power and purify grey water and farming fish and growing vegetables in a refurbished factory are two of the options being proposed in a new Victorian Eco-Innovation Labs (VEIL) plan to make Broadmeadows and other Melbourne suburbs ‘greener’ and healthier.

A sporting pavilion that tries to start a Mexican wave by itself and a high-rise residential tower made of recycled shipping containers are two of the projects on display at the latest Faculty of Architecture Alumni Retrospective Series.

On the 175th birthday of the city of Melbourne, Professor Miles Lewis says the city needs to overcome a long history of 'planning anarchy' to continue to grow.  

"Planners have lost their vision of what planning needs to be.  When town planning was introduced here after World War 2 it was seen to be a rather socialist activity, where you distributed the goods across the community in the best possible way.  Now it's seen to be a task of facilitating development, which it shouldn't be."

"What needs to be done is a revived policy of decentralization where we encourage people to live elsewhere."

"What should happen is a complete freeze on the development of farming land that is being destroyed around Melbourne and there should be a limitation on the amount of population that comes into Melbourne.  Not by law but by adjusting the market so it pays the real cost of adding to existing infrastructure."

"In other words, when you build a new estate you pay your share of the original water supply - electricity and so on - so in fact prices are allowed to rise and people have a real incentive to go somewhere else if they don't need to be in the metropolis."

Professor Lewis, speaking on Melbourne Day, says that for what was an illegal settlement back in 1835, the city has turned into something very liveable.  "Despite all that illegal history, we somehow became very respectable and very English."

"I like the layers of meaning, history as you walk around. The whole form of Melbourne today, was totally laid down in the first 20 years and it's just got bigger and bigger and bigger in the same shape. You can read all that into it as you walk around today."
"It's more like a big Adelaide than a small Sydney, it has the respectable flat character and none of the dramatic scenery of Sydney but as a liveable city it certainly stacks up."

The football World Cup in South Africa this year will have economic draw backs, not benefits, for its host country says Professor Richard Tomlinson.

"Facts are negotiable when it comes to the World Cup as it relies on the source of the facts and the context that they're put in.  However, its estimated that South Africa has spent about $4.6 billion on the event."  

"I attended a financial modelling conference in the lead up (to the Cup) and the conclusion at the end was that the best we could hope for was that it would not damage the economy, and that circumstance would only arise if costs were kept under control."

"Well, we know costs have spiralled way out of control."

Professor Tomlinson, the head of Urban Planning at the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, co-edited and contributed to a book on Development and Dreams: the urban legacy of the 2010 Football World Cup.  He says despite this, there will be benefits.

"A lot of what has happened has just been bringing forward in time planned investments in transport and infrastructure, and certainly the public transport upgrade will be, for me, the defining legacy.  For example, the airports now are really first world, they're top class."

Professor Tomlinson says that culture and identity reasons were a prominent part of the government's decision to host the tournament.  "To me, it centres on an African identity, a respect for African culture and a replacement of the typical images of dismay associated with the region; starving children, HIV etc."

"The questions of cultural identity are deeply psychological for most South Africans.  The world media invaribly displays Africa in a negative light, and I think there's a strongly felt need to say 'we can do it, we have a culture that's worth respect'.  It's not just to say we're a fun party place."

The now iconic vuvuzela's however, are not part of this culture he says.

"I think the vuvuzela phenomenon is quite extraordinary.  They aren't made in South Africa, China actually, and the website from which most are sold originated in Israel.  So who benefits?"

"To go back to an African identity theme, the head of FIFA Sepp Blatter has said these are an African games and that's why we're going to have the vuvuzela.  But Africa is bigger than just one country, so I find that an expression of ignorance.  Are we to say that the Moroccans use the vuvuzela? No. Do the Algerians? No."  

"These assertions are just silly."

Students from the Melbourne School of Design at the University of Melbourne are converting old shipping containers into new community centres for the Gudorrka Community and Knuckey’s Lagoon Community in the Northern Territory.