Articles on Cities

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When it comes to urban planning, the question is not so much how to physically plan our cities differently. Rather, the question is how to convince both the public and our politicians to implement change. Patrick Tomasso /Unsplash

Existentialism: A guiding philosophy for tackling climate change in cities?

City planners and politicians have pitched carbon emission reduction as an individual choice but this leads to green gentrification and fails to make broad changes. We need a new guiding philosophy.
Dongguan Street in Dalian reflects both Chinese and colonial history, prompting increasing debate about how to manage this contested heritage.

China wrestles with contested heritage of conflict and colonial rule

The West, Russia and Japan all left their marks on China today. Urbanisation too is usurping the old China. This long, mixed heritage and what should be done with it remains contested.
Uninviting, car-dominated streets, like this one in Melbourne, reduce our experience menu by discouraging beneficial activities like walking and sharing places with other people. Daniel Bowen/Flickr

Is your ‘experience diet’ making you unwell?

If the menu of potential activities that do us good is made to look uninviting or challenging, we are more likely to choose the easier but less healthy option.
The vast amounts of data from more than 650 Earth observation satellites are transforming how we see and shape urban landscapes. Pitney Bowes Australia courtesy PSMA

Digital Earth: the paradigm now shaping our world’s data cities

The huge volume and high quality of data streaming down from Earth observation satellites are transforming how we see and shape our cities.
Residents of slums like Kamla Nehru Nagar, a kilometre away from Patna Junction, have yet to share in the promised benefits of smart cities. Sujeet Kumar

Indians promised benefits of 100 smart cities, but the poor are sidelined again

Indians were promised they would be included in planning 100 smart cities and that everyone would benefit. But many of the millions of slum residents have had no say in their homes being destroyed.
This playable tram generates different musical compositions at different speeds when viewed through a smartphone camera using an augmented reality app. James H.H. Morgan

Take the tram into a more playable city

Melbourne has its first playable art tram – a 32.5-metre-long musical score played via augmented reality. So what's the idea of playable trams and playable cities really about?
Old mine sites suffer many fates, which range from simply being abandoned to being incorporated into towns or turned into an open-air museum in the case of Gwalia, Western Australia.

Afterlife of the mine: lessons in how towns remake challenging sites

The industrial patterns of mining shaped many Australian towns, which found varied uses for disused mine sites. The mining boom ensures the challenges these sites present will be with us a long time.
Australia’s sprawling cities present many challenges to sustainability, but planning innovations can help achieve at least half of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Nils Versemann/Shutterstock

Our cities fall short on sustainability, but planning innovations offer local solutions

Planning innovations around the world offer inspiration, but ultimately the innovations needed to make Australia's sprawling cities more sustainable must be shaped by local conditions.
Cairns has lots of hard grey infrastructure but much less green infrastructure that would reduce the impacts of the city’s growth. Karine Dupré

Cities can grow without wrecking reefs and oceans. Here’s how

Urbanisation is the main reason for rising temperatures and water pollution, but receives little attention in discussions about the health of water streams, reefs and oceans.
Grey nomads are champions of a radical type of portable urbanism as they travel to far-flung places like Lake Ballard in Western Australia. Image courtesy of Tourism Western Australia

Grey nomad lifestyle provides a model for living remotely

Grey nomads travel Australia because they have the desire and the means to do so. Could future generations end up following in their footsteps because they can no longer work and stay in one place?

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