Traditionally, new communities first get hard infrastructure – schools, hospitals, transport – and 'soft' social infrastructure comes later. Liveability and public health suffer as a result.
Governments, developers and urban planners all aspire to create liveable cities. Yet when it comes to Australian cities, the rhetoric and reality don’t quite match.
The challenge of creating liveable communities across Australia's capital cities comes down to seven key factors. And assessed on this basis, parts of our cities don't fare so well.
Drains take up precious but inaccessible open space in our cities. Converting these to living streams running through the suburbs could make for healthier places in multiple ways.
While many talk about 30-minute cities, some aim for residents to be able to get to most services within 20 minutes. But cities like Melbourne have an awful lot of work to do to achieve their goal.
Australians are losing the backyards that once served as retreats from the stresses of city living. Our health is likely to suffer as cities become less green and much hotter.
Research shows planners and built environment professionals have surprisingly poor knowledge about how cities might harm mental health. The good news is that simple steps can make a big difference.
Developing principles to create cities that are good for all is not easy. Who decides what is good? And for whom? We desperately need a big and general public discussion about this.
Tokyo has experienced extraordinary population growth but is among the world's most liveable cities. Just how has it managed the pressures of growth?
When wealth accumulation becomes the driver of urban regeneration, residents who already have little or no say in the future of our cities are further marginalised by gentrification.
Justifying Sydney’s ranking as a liveable city requires greater recognition of the inequality of Sydneysiders' access to jobs, wealth, transport and housing.
Greening cities that are becoming denser is a major challenge. City-dwellers' health benefits from both well-designed green spaces and urban density, so we must manage the tensions between them.
The increasing global focus on essential services and public space as a key combination for successful city-making is relevant to fast-growing Australian cities too.
Melbourne ranks as the World's Most Liveable City. But does that tell us what people really love? Lovability is a new approach to city metrics.
As cities trumpet their liveability, creativity and greenness, many informal settlement activities are often relegated to the shadows.
Imagine cities competed to eliminate hunger, poverty, unemployment, crime and greenhouse emissions, and to offer housing and transport for all. Don't scoff – urban planning was once an Olympic event.
Bringing significant benefits to an emergent middle class, Dhaka's cultural, economic, environmental and political landscapes are being rapidly but unevenly transformed.
Governance of metropolitan Melbourne is fragmented among 31 city councils. All levels of government need to work towards creating a metropolitan authority to meet the challenges of a growing city.
Parks are found in most neighbourhoods, generally free to use and are enjoyed by diverse groups. Although most visitors don't use parks for physical activity, modest improvements can change that.
Urban planning aims to create cities that support healthy and productive communities, and the success in putting health on the NSW planning agenda offers lessons in achieving better integrated policy.