Everything from our skyline to our transport system, road rules and schools will start to change this year. Here’s everything you need to know to stay ahead of the curve.

Our city skyline will never be the same

Brisbane’s skyline is set to soar to new heights when the city’s tallest tower comes to town. At 90 storeys (274 m), Brisbane Skytower will give Brisbane the second-highest habitable units in Australia, with the developers hoping to eventually take out the top spot with the addition of a further 26m.

Located at 222 Margaret Street in the CBD, Brisbane Skytower will be the highest building in Brisbane and the third tallest in Australia, behind only Q1 on the Gold Coast and Eureka Tower in Melbourne. Construction on the building will kick into overdrive this year and Brisbane residents will be able to watch the tower grow over the next few years.

Brisbane will undergo construction to make way for a new transport system

The BaT (Bus and Train) project is a new north-south tunnel that will deliver bus and rail together in a world-first design for Brisbane. It will combine a railway and a busway in a single, double-decked, 15m-wide tunnel beneath the Brisbane River and Brisbane’s central business district. Pending all approvals during the current planning phase, construction is set to start this year.

The BaT project will be a major construction task carried out in the most densely settled area in Brisbane. It has been hailed as a once-in-a-generation, city-changing project and will offer faster, more frequent, direct and reliable bus and train trips to the CBD from across the region.

Our road rules will never be the same

A number of changes to road rules affecting motorcycle riders in Brisbane will commence on 1 February 2015. From this date riders with an open licence for riding a motorcycle will be allowed to move between stationary or slow moving vehicles travelling in the same direction as the rider, provided they are not travelling at more than 30km/h and it is safe to do so. Learner and provisional riders will not be allowed to lane filter because of their relatively limited on-road driving and riding experience. If done safely, lane filtering may ease traffic congestion for all road users in Brisbane, allowing motorcycle riders to move quickly and safely away from congested traffic.

But these are not the only road rules that have changed. On 1 January this year, the road rules were altered so that cyclists would not have to ride on the far left side of the road on a single lane roundabout. They are now allowed to ride on any part of the road appropriate for their point of exit on single lane roundabouts. As of this year, cyclists are able to ride across a zebra or children’s crossing as long as they come to a complete stop before doing so.

Brisbane schools look radically different

Brisbane students are preparing to leave summer holidays behind and head back to school, but for those entering high school things will be looking very different in 2015. This is the first year that year 7 will become the first year of high school in Queensland and many Brisbane schools have had a make-over and an overhaul to accommodate the change.

Forty new classrooms, an arts centre and new staff facilities will be built at Brisbane State High School in South Brisbane as it prepares to include Year 7 students and other high schools across Brisbane have undergone extensive changes to make way for the extreme change to our schooling system.

Smoking and property laws will change how we live

Being able to smoke openly on your balcony may be a thing of the past if a property law review taking place in 2015 has anything to do with it. A review into whether residents in Queensland could be banned from smoking on private balconies in apartment buildings has been commissioned by the State Government. The review into property law is exploring ways to allow bodies corporate to ban smoking in apartment buildings.

According to the Cancer Council Queensland, support also continues to grow for smoke-free public spaces, including bus stops, taxi ranks, and malls, so the world is definitely set to change for Brisbane smokers.

What do you think about all the changes happening to our city in 2015? Which changes are you most looking forward to?