Done right, a plaza can bring life and a sense of identity to an area. So why has urban design in Australia neglected the town square in favour of green space, and what makes for a successful one?
For a public space to be seen as safe, welcoming and accessible, a diverse range of people need to actively use it. That's why any space-changing project needs to engage broadly with the community.
A new study shows major Australian cities are suffering an overall loss of green space –
although some areas are doing better than others.
Drains take up precious but inaccessible open space in our cities. Converting these to living streams running through the suburbs could make for healthier places in multiple ways.
With cities becoming more dense and housing more crowded, people rely more than ever on well-designed public spaces, so why hasn't the furniture changed with the times?
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.
New research shows many good intentions for creating urban environments that promote good health were not carried through. The solutions start with engaging more closely with residents themselves.