Articles on Cities & Policy

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Green space, easily accessible to everyone no matter what their income, should be a priority in designing high-density residential areas. Marcus Jaaske from www.shutterstock.com

What’s equity got to do with health in a higher-density city?

Being crowded into poor-quality high-density units harms residents' health, but design features that are known to promote wellbeing can make a big difference to the lives of low-income households.
Much of what is being built is straightforward ‘investor grade product’ – flats built to attract the burgeoning investment market. Bill Randolph

Why investor-driven urban density is inevitably linked to disadvantage

The inexorable logic of the market will create suburban concentrations of lower-income households on a scale hitherto only experienced in the legacy inner-city high-rise public housing estates
Adelaide’s aims in becoming a smart city include better traffic flows and highly co-ordinated transport networks. moisseyev/iStock by Getty Images

Lessons from Adelaide in how a smart city can work to benefit everyone

Smart city thinking makes good use of rapidly developing technology to help make cities work better, easier-to-navigate, safer, healthier and more enjoyable places to live.
The relationship between drivers and cyclists is highly unequal, both physically and culturally. Photographee.eu from www.shutterstock.com

Cars, bicycles and the fatal myth of equal reciprocity

The primacy given to the car has shaped our cities, the roads that serve them and our very thinking about the place of driving in our lives. And it's a mindset that leaves cyclists highly vulnerable.
While state investment decreases on average with distance from the CBD, Melbourne’s neediest suburbs aren’t forgotten. ymgerman from www.shutterstock.com

Melbourne shows up Sydney in funding the most disadvantaged suburbs

The neediest suburbs get a much poorer deal in Sydney than in Melbourne. A new study provides a suburb-by-suburb breakdown of state investment, including what facilities and services have been funded.
Celebrity cows: Southern Girl and Iceberg enjoy a ‘hay cocktail’ at the Commodore Hotel in New York. Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center, contact for re-use

Cows in Antarctica? How one expedition milked them for all their worth

What would possess an Antarctic expedition to take dairy cows to the icy continent? Back in 1933, Admiral Byrd did so for reasons of image-making, publicity and territorial ambition.
Due to a fear of being harassed or assaulted, many women go out of their way to avoid travelling through parts of the city where sexual entertainment venues are concentrated. Blemished Paradise/flickr

No harm done? ‘Sexual entertainment districts’ make the city a more threatening place for women

Despite the rise of feminism, strip clubs and other 'sexual entertainment' businesses have proliferated in our cities. And women are feeling the harmful impacts of the industry's presence.
Early intervention via education and training is a proven way to stop unemployed youth becoming unemployable adults. Tom Sodoge/Unsplash

A closer look at jobless youth in Western Sydney points us to the solutions

Early intervention via education and training will cost money straight up. But it makes no sense to watch young people drift through unemployment and disengagement and turn into unemployable adults.
Rail investments have brought Ballarat, Geelong and other regional centres closer in travel time to Melbourne than many outer suburbs. Tony & Wayne/flickr

This is how regional rail can help ease our big cities’ commuter crush

Victoria offers lessons in the benefits of integrating metropolitan and regional planning, using regional rail to shrink distance and ease the pressures of growth on our big capital cities.
Melbourne’s ambitions to be a ‘20-minute city’ aren’t likely to be achieved by its recently updated planning strategy. Nils Versemann / shutterstock.com

A 20-minute city sounds good, but becoming one is a huge challenge

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.
Forty years on, there is still resistance to mixing with the ‘sort of people’ who were segregated in social housing tower blocks. David Jackmanson/flickr

Class divide defies social mixing and keeps public housing stigma alive

Even where communities are mixed, many inner-city families go to extraordinary financial and geographic lengths to ensure their children do not go to school with children from 'the flats'.
Around one in seven Australia households either cannot get into housing at market rates or are struggling to pay the rent. shutterstock

Affordable housing shortfall leaves 1.3m households in need and rising – study

One in seven Australian households is in a state of housing need. A shortfall in social housing supply means some are locked out of the market and others pay much more for rent than they can afford.

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