Articles on Cities & Policy

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The Sirius building and the Heritage Act are both products of a significant part of Sydney’s history: the Green Bans movement. Dean Lewins/AAP

Saving Sirius: why heritage protection should include social housing

Social housing can certainly have heritage significance. Over more than 100 years, it has been shaped by contemporary architectural and political ideas, sometimes in an exemplary way.
Sydney has the brightest prospects of the 25 Australian cities assessed in the new Knowledge City Index. pisaphotography from www.shutterstock.com

The Knowledge City Index: Sydney takes top spot but Canberra punches above its weight

The changing nature of work means the knowledge capabilities of cities are more important than ever. Here's what the new Knowledge City Index tells us about 25 Australian cities.
Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle explains the revised Queen Victoria Market redevelopment, flanked by Planning Minister Richard Wynne and Premier Daniel Andrews. Joe Castro/AAP

Social mix in housing? One size doesn’t fit all, as new projects show

Mixing public and private housing in urban renewal projects can be a contentious business. But public good and optimal use of public resources, not developer interests, should guide such decisions.
Why is it easier to imagine a green ecocity than a just city where everyone belongs? the yes man/flickr

Why the ecocity needs to be a just city

What is an economy for? And how do we build a community where everyone belongs? We need to answer questions like these to create good, sustainable cities.
Many people in culturally diverse populations in Western Sydney have lived in Australia for many years, if not several generations. Shutterstock

Blaming migrants won’t solve Western Sydney’s growing pains

Reasoned debates on sustainable migration intake levels are important. But transport and health infrastructure shortfalls in Western Sydney won't be solved by reactive anti-immigration attitudes.
Property is under threat, physically and conceptually, from climate change. .Martin./flickr

Can property survive the great climate transition?

To create property systems that are as dynamic as the landscapes we occupy, we might need to start thinking about ourselves as belonging to and answerable to the land, not the other way around.
Soft Landing recycles the materials of mattresses that otherwise get dumped in landfill. Alan Stanton/flickr

What ethical business can do to help make ecocities a reality

City dwellers are individually starting to do their bit to live sustainably. Now pioneering businesses are aiming to make ecological and social sustainability part of their bottom line.
Increasing access to health data and more readily available analytical tools offer some opportunities to tackle the ever-growing rates of obesity. AAP/Dave Hunt

With better data access, urban planners could help ease our weight problems

Enshrining the need for planning healthy built environments in legislation will help ensure the fundamental role planners have to play in facilitating healthy lifestyles.
Our national wellbeing probably peaked with Australia’s population at roughly 15 million in the 1970s, when this photo was taken in Hunters Hill, Sydney. John Ward/flickr

Why a population of, say, 15 million makes sense for Australia

Australia's GPI, a broad measure of national wellbeing, has stalled since 1974. So what has been the point of huge population and GDP growth since then if we and our environment are no better off?

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