Articles on Urban planning

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When most inner-city apartment residents don’t use cars to get around, you can expect public transport to feel the impacts of new developments. Eric FIscher/Wikimedia

Crowded trains? Planning focus on cars misses new apartment impacts

Traffic impact assessments required of major building developments mainly focus on the movement of cars, but these account for only 30-40% of trips by inner-city apartment dwellers.
Walking accounts for about 90% of all travel in Melbourne city centre, yet pedestrians are allocated only 24% of street space. Adam Calaitzis/Shutterstock

Move away from a car-dominated city looks radical but it’s a sensible plan for a liveable future

A newly released ten-year plan for Melbourne aims for fewer cars, safer streets and more shared spaces. A significant amount of parking and road space would be reallocated to walking and cycling.
In an urban setting like central Footscray, where only 1% of the area is public space, the value of the humble footpath needs to be recognised. Yvonne Meng

Don’t forget the footpath – it’s vital public space

Footpaths are a valuable space for everyday social activity, but their role is often overlooked. In increasingly dense urban areas such as Footscray, footpaths are essential public spaces.
Podcasters can introduce new voices to the conversations about the cities we live in. Salim October/Shutterstock

Podcasts and cities: ‘you’re always commenting on power’

Podcasters are creating new conversations about who and what the city is for. But even in the podcasting world, powerful interests can make it hard for new and previously excluded voices to be heard.
A shade tree makes a big difference to the comfort of this couple. Nancie Lee/Shutterstock

How do we save ageing Australians from the heat? Greening our cities is a good start

Two trends in Australia, an ageing population and warming climate, are increasing the threat that heatwaves pose to our health. Increasing vegetation cover is one way every city can reduce the risk.
Many cities have plans in place to adapt to or mitigate the effects of climate change. But are they credible? An ongoing study looks into the question. David Blackwell/Flickr

Are our cities effectively planning for climate change?

In the fight against climate change, cities are now seen as having a major role to play. An ongoing study examines the effectiveness of the adaptation and mitigation plans of 126 coastal cities.
Residents of the outer suburbs like the green spaces and sense of community, but lament the lack of access to transport and other services. theskaman306/Shutterstock

Living ‘liveable’: this is what residents have to say about life on the urban fringe

Much of the growth in our cities is in the outer suburbs, now home to around 5 million people. And that creates problems like traffic that detract from the advantages residents see in living there.
A visualisation of a Refuge City street scene. Richard Weller/Julian Bolleter

Refuge City, a new kind of city for our times

By adapting the charter city model to create a new city on the northern coast, Australia could be the world’s great 21st-century refuge.
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.
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.

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