Articles on Cities & Policy

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The 20-metre-long Paris Navigating Gym is propelled along the Seine by human power. Carlo Ratti Associati

How wearable devices are reinventing our cities as open-air gyms

Physical exercise was once primarily an open-air activity, until gym training and monitoring took hold. Digital devices and augmented reality now offer the freedom to head out into the city again.
Cyclone Oswald caused flooding that forced the evacuation of more than 100 patients from Bundaberg Hospital to Brisbane in January 2013. Dave Hunt/AAP

Hospitals feel the heat too from extreme weather and its health impacts

Most of our hospitals were not designed to cope with the health impacts of future extreme weather. And hospital infrastructure has not been adapted to secure health care during such events.
Most of the major cemeteries in Australian cities, including Sydney’s Waverley Cemetery, date back to the 1800s. Kate Ryan

Housing the dead: what happens when a city runs out of space?

Most big city cemeteries in Australia date back to the 1800s, so we need to consider our burial options before we reach the point when the number of deaths exceeds the available cemetery plots.
The increasing proportion of children living in housing-related poverty confronts us with the question: what will we do about it? Ollyy/shutterstock.com

Rental housing policies trap children in poverty, so how low will we go?

Many children are living in low-income families that struggle to pay the rent to keep a roof over their heads. Unaffordable housing is fuelling childhood poverty, so where is the policy response?
Blockchain looms as the second generation of the internet by transforming it from an internet of information to an internet of value. Sergey Nivens from www.shutterstock.com

How blockchain will transform our cities

If you think the internet has changed your life, brace yourself for the next digital innovation that's set to transform our world.
The growing numbers of pensioners in private rental accommodation use much of their income to pay for housing. Alan Porritt/AAP

Why secure and affordable housing is an increasing worry for age pensioners

For the increasing proportion of people living in private rental accommodation who can expect to be dependent on the age pension, the prospects of financial and housing insecurity are grim.
Meeting the challenges of informal settlements, such as this one in Caracas, Venezuela, calls for integrated approaches that cut across urban scales and disciplines. Hesam Kamalipour

When planning falls short: the challenges of informal settlements

Informal settlements are often undocumented or hidden on official maps, but they house about a billion people worldwide. Their existence demands a more sophisticated approach to urban development.
The draft regional plan, ShapingSEQ, released by Queensland Deputy Premier Jackie Trad, has been influenced by ‘stakeholders’ rather than representative community input. Twitter

ShapingSEQ regional plan gives ‘stakeholders’ a bigger say than citizens

The draft plan for Southeast Queensland largely takes a 'provide land for the predicted demand' approach, which assumes regional planning is a type of technical process best left to the experts.
Think of all the resources needed to transform Shenzhen, a fishing town 35 years ago, into a megacity of more than 10 million people. Wikimedia Commons

Our cities need to go on a resource diet

Our cities need to become much more efficient not just to conserve precious resources but to improve the economy, wellbeing and resilience to environmental change and disasters.

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