Articles on Cities

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When cars, trucks, bikes and pedestrians come together at an intersection, design makes the difference between collisions and safety. pxhere

We can design better intersections that are safer for all users

Collisions at intersections between motor vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians cause many deaths and injuries. Design that considers how each group approaches intersections improves everyone's safety.
Ant colonies direct traffic flows of millions of individuals along the best routes – army ants even manage inbound and outbound lanes – but how? Geoff Gallice/Wikimedia

Nature’s traffic engineers have come up with many simple but effective solutions

Insects aren't known for having big brains, and slime moulds and fungi don't have any. So how do they solve challenges that test the ingenuity of human transport engineers?
Businesses are weighing up the costs of queuing and using innovative ways to do away with queues, or at least make the perceptions of waiting less painful. Michal Parzuchowski/Unsplash

Fed up with always being in the slow queue? That’s why queues are being ‘designed out’

Businesses are weighing up the costs of queuing and using innovative ways to minimise these costs by doing away with queues.
Cities are growing vertically as well as horizontally, so infrastructure needs to ensure people can move up and down as well as across the city. Alpha/Flickr

Growing cities face challenges of keeping the masses moving up, down and across

Cities are expanding upwards and downwards, as well as outwards. With urban density also increasing, moving people efficiently around the city, often using ageing infrastructure, is quite a challenge.
A public barbecue in Lyndhurst, New South Wales, does the job but could be so much better. Mattinbgn/Wikimedia

The public barbie, an Aussie icon frozen in time

The need for public cooking facilities has long been recognised, but why has the basic public barbecue failed to evolve along with Australians, their lifestyles and the foods they eat?
A car is set alight during the 2005 riots that prompted soul-searching in France about segregated and badly designed housing projects. A.J./Wikimedia

When neighbourhoods become dangerous, look to local strengths for a lifeline

Planning matters. The 2005 riots in France started in badly designed housing projects, while innovative planning helped Medellín, Colombia, shed its reputation as the most violent city in the world.
Xiong’an represents Xi Jinping’s plan to outdo even the extraordinary rise of Shenzhen (above) from small market town to mega-city in just a few decades. Jerome Favre/EPA/AAP

Xiong'an, Xi Jinping’s new city-making machine turned on

Xiong’an is called China’s No.1 urban project. Orchestrated by President Xi Jinping, the mega-city to be built just over 100 kilometres south of Beijing is also very much a political project.
Housing is just one of the essentials in household budgets and it’s when there’s no way to manage all these costs that financial stress really sets in. Emma Baker

Housing affordability stress affects one in nine households, but which ones are really struggling?

Housing affordability is one of Australia’s great unsolved problems. Some households can make adjustments to cover high housing costs, but the ones deprived of essentials are under real stress.
People are alarmed about Airbnb’s impacts, but these are far from uniform across the city. Justin Lane/EPA

Airbnb: who’s in, who’s out, and what this tells us about rental impacts in Sydney and Melbourne

The patterns of Airbnb listings in Australia's biggest cities suggest impacts on rental housing are likely to be biggest in high-end areas that appeal to tourists. Low-income areas are less affected.
A storm caused flooding in the CBD as it swept through Hobart. Patrick Gee/The Mercury. Used with permission

Lessons in resilience: what city planners can learn from Hobart’s floods

Managing flood risk is not just 'good planning'; it requires commitment to resilient cities by land developers, politicians and communities. Effective response means learning from mistakes.

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