Articles on Cities

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We need to find new ways to deal with the complexity of modern cities and make them better. from www.shutterstock.com

Cities are complex systems – let’s start looking at them that way

There are very few approaches that examine all aspects of the complexity of urban design and development. Ergonomics, human factors and sociotechnical systems methods offer a way forward.
Johannesburg’s night sky with its most densely-populated suburb of Hillbrow in the foreground. Leon Krige

Johannesburg and Accra: inching their way up the urban food chain

Accra and Johannesburg have some way to go before making it onto anyone's top 20. Both cities have a desperate gap between rich and poor but inequality is not a uniquely African problem.
Customers who arrive on foot, by bicycle or by public transport contribute significantly more to the restaurant trade than the business owners realise. Mik Scheper/flickr

Parking isn’t as important for restaurants as the owners think it is

A new study shows that restaurateurs would be better off advocating for better public transport access to their precincts rather than for more parking.
Community murals can rekindle an area’s shared memories and sense of identity. Photo: Martin Purcell. Reproduced with permission

How murals helped turn a declining community around

Over the past 15 years, community groups in a rundown inner-city district have created public murals as part of a successful process of reversing decades of stagnation.
While many urban design guidelines include ambience as a required ‘city quality’, few provide ways to achieve it. Ayrcan/flickr

Unlocking the secrets of street ambience

Ambience is a result of a whole range of processes and physical objects. We can use a systems approach to examine and describe what needs to be done to achieve such a subjective quality in a street.
Treasurer Scott Morrison is eyeing bond aggregation as a way to finance social housing, but government funding is still needed under that model. Mick Tsikas/AAP

Affordable housing, finger-pointing politics and possible policy solutions

In the second part of our review of what The Conversation experts have to say about housing, we focus on affordability, social housing and what government can do about a growing crisis.
The Turnbull government’s line that supply is the key to affordability finds little support among housing experts. Dan Himbrechts/AAP

What housing issues should the budget tackle? This is what our experts say

Housing experts writing for The Conversation largely agree on the government policies that are causing negative distortions in the market and the wider economy. And supply is not the key concern.
Melbourne is Australia’s fastest-growing city. Across Australia, the share of UK-born residents is declining, and the share of China-born and India-born residents has increased. AAP Image/Julian Smith

Three charts on Australia’s population shift and the big city squeeze

Melbourne is Australia's most rapidly growing city, a title it wrested from Perth around 2013-14. Several of Australia's big cities are growing well above the national average population growth rate.
Both Donald Trump and his political opponents are on board the global infrastructure bandwagon. Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA

Making sense of the global infrastructure turn

The trillions of dollars spent on infrastructure demands democratic transparency and accountability. This applies to both the investment and to the effects on cities, societies and the environment.

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