Articles on Cities & Policy

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‘The Block’ in Redfern has been a site of struggle and activism for Indigenous inclusion in planning processes. AAP Image/Paul Miller

Indigenous communities are reworking urban planning, but planners need to accept their history

While planning policies and practices have contributed to marginalising Indigenous people, planners can now work with them to ensure they have their rightful say in shaping Australian communities.
Being in a park tends to make people feel more positive, although the time of day and the season also affect their moods. leungchopan/Shutterstock

Tweet all about it – people in parks feel more positive

The positive mood of tweets varies with time of day and season, but it's consistently higher in parks than in built-up areas, where people are more likely to express anger and fears.

We can’t just leave it to the NDIS to create cities that work to include people with disability

The NDIS is set to reshape Australian cities. But to achieve meaningful participation of people with disabilities, urban communities and services will also need to take action.
A homeless man sleeps on a tram shelter bench on Batman Avenue, Melbourne, 1990s. William Bowers/Museums Victoria

Melbourne’s ‘doughnut city’ housed its homeless

When the city centre was revitalised in the 1990s, homeless people were pushed out. With homelessness rising today, it's important to recognise the links between urban development and displacement.
Smart bus use can transform public transport in cities, as EMBARQ is doing in Brazil. EMBARQ Brasil/Flickr

Don’t forget buses: six rules for improving city bus services

Trains and trams get most attention, but 'tweaking' bus transit can transform cities. Buses can be more cost-effective and deliver better service, especially for small to mid-sized cities.
A group of young Asian men play basketball in the evening at Prince Alfred Park, Sydney. icsnaps/Shutterstock

Pushing casual sport to the margins threatens cities’ social cohesion

Casual sport can help communities thrive. But for many of Australia's most marginal communities, it's becoming harder to find a place to play.
Originating in the Netherlands, the concept of ‘woonerfs’, areas designed to invite walking, playing, socialising and cycling while curbing motor vehicles, has spread to cities in other countries, including Berlin. Eric Sehr/Flickr

Designing the compassionate city to overcome built-in biases and help us live better

All around us, the places we inhabit send us physical and visual cues that influence our behaviour. Good design can tilt the balance so our surroundings help us act in ways that fulfil our needs.
In contrast to most big airports where public transport provides a large proportion of passenger access, 86% of access to Melbourne Airport is by car. David Crosling/AAP

Melbourne Airport is going to be as busy as Heathrow, so why the argument about one train line?

Good public access for Melbourne Airport and others like it depends on not fixating on one solution, like a single rail line, but instead developing multiple options integrated with the city's needs.
Being a property investor or house hunter appears to make Sydneysiders more supportive of foreign investment in residential real estate. Tracey Nearmy/AAP

Being a property investor or house hunter makes Sydneysiders more supportive of foreign investment

You'd perhaps expect property investors not to mind foreign investors who might push up prices. More surprisingly, house hunters are also more supportive than those who are not looking to buy.
Tel Aviv has a reputation as a “non-stop city” but is also known for its local government’s use of smart technology to listen to and respond to residents’ needs and concerns. Alexandra Lande/Shutterstock

How does a city get to be ‘smart’? This is how Tel Aviv did it

To be a smart city is to know what your people want and need. And smart city leaders make sure residents can tell them by using technology to maintain a constant two-way flow of information.
Sydney’s WestConnex is being constructed as a “high priority” project, despite its business case failing to meet Infrastructure Australia’s stated requirements. Ben Rushton/AAP

A closer look at business cases raises questions about ‘priority’ national infrastructure projects

Analysis of the business cases for three of the biggest projects deemed "high priority" by Infrastructure Australia raises questions about the process.
Torre Glòries in Barcelona is an obvious example of statement architecture, but much of the gender bias built into cities is more insidious and pervasive. Wikimedia Commons

Sexism and the city: how urban planning has failed women

Women encounter many difficulties in cities that are products of male design and planning. We need to move past the practice of one group shaping our world on behalf of everyone else.
Health objectives are at last being integrated into all levels of planning in New South Wales, from cities and towns to local places and buildings. pisaphotography/Shutterstock

With health assuming its rightful place in planning, here are 3 key lessons from NSW

The connections between city planning and health are many and varied, but getting health objectives integrated into all aspects of planning in New South Wales has been a long struggle.
Good Shepherd Chapel (c.1969, architect: A. Ian Ferrier) in Mitchelton, Brisbane, was demolished in 2004. Ferrier Slide Collection, used with permission

Uneasy heritage: Australia’s modern church buildings are disappearing

Of the thousands of churches erected to serve the fast-growing communities of post-war Australia, very few are protected. Are we happy to lose buildings that are so much part of our modern heritage?
The familiar images of high-rise development, looking north here from Surfers Paradise, tell only one part of the story of the Gold Coast. Andrew Leach

Looking past the Gold Coast the world sees today

Behind the built-up glitz of Surfers Paradise lies a deep history that has been written and overwritten in successive layers that have become thinner and thinner as time goes on.
Will Gwynne walks through one of the nine Melbourne estates that is being sold in the public housing ‘renewal’ program. David Kelly

Voices of residents missing in a time of crisis for public housing

The problem with most public housing 'renewal' programs is that the residents have the least say in what happens to the places they call home. The evidence of housing research is also being ignored.

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