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The University of Melbourne, in partnership with VicRoads, has today launched a world first “living laboratory” on the streets of Carlton and Fitzroy to research high-tech solutions to ease road congestion and enhance safety.

A radical new process that allows hydrogen to be efficiently sourced from liquid formic acid could be one step forward in making the dream of hydrogen-powered cars an economic reality.

Level crossing removals should be viewed as part of a total picture for an effective transport system and the best way to achieve this is to incorporate elevated lines or ‘skytrains’, according to Melbourne researchers.

A new smartphone application is currently being tested by the University of Melbourne to gather accurate travel and activity data.

The University of Melbourne has welcomed the State Government’s decision to give international students access to discounted transport.

Dr Patrick Hearps talks about future transport and sustainability.

Australia must do - and more importantly, be seen to do - its bit to reduce greenhouse gas emissions caused by transport, says Professor Nicholas Low, Director of the University of Melbourne-based Australasian Centre for the Governance and Management of Urban Transport (GAMUT).

Speaking ahead of an international conference organised by GAMUT on "Sustainable Transport in the Asia-Indo-Pacific", Professor Low says Australia needs to work harder to move transport planning in the right direction.

"Australia needs to reduce its emissions by a factor of 18 to bring it back to parity with the rest of the world."

"There's no doubt everyone has the same right to mobility, but they thus have the same responsibility to minimise carbon emissions."

"We know India and China want greater mobility and they have the right to it, but this will have consequences not just for climate change but also the future of their own cities."

"I'm not sure whether Australia is yet in a position to lead China and India with regards to transport planning, but it cannot afford to lag behind either."

"The question is, how can we move away from the current, disjointed transport system - buses running for bus customers, trams for tram customers etc - to a system where people are mobility customers, who want a system that serves their mobility needs in the best possible way, and doesn't destroy the city in the process."

Professor Low says one of the issues for Australia is its lack of strong planning systems.  "I think we have to address transport alongside land use planning, but we can't expect land use planning by itself to save us from our transport defects."

"We have to learn to provide better, more integrated transport in the low density cities that we have, much like Europe has."

The State Government will need to rethink its policy on meeting urban demand as the city reaches five million people, urban management expert Professor Nicholas Low warns.