This global conference will set out how cities should develop over the next 20 years, tackling some of humankind's toughest issues.
Here's how social and political power can come together in cities, to counteract the focus on short-term profit.
Big ideas and big dollars have been invested in making 'memorable' places. Paradoxically, as similar solutions are adapted in diverse settings worldwide, this can lead to an uneasy new placelessness.
The rise in temporary use of urban space requires a looser planning vision that can draw on this new type of city-making to inform longer-term developments.
The humble shipping container is sparking a revolution in architecture, plug and play infrastructure, portable labs and many other innovations.
The Sydney Opera House is getting an A $200 million upgrade. It's a chance to rectify some glaring faults, but in our risk-averse times, the outcome will be decided by committees.
Might we enjoy our homes more if their rooms were characterised by their sense of loftiness or intimacy or cheerfulness or melancholy rather than lifeless labels such as 'media room' or 'home office'?
Koala numbers in parts of Australia are in decline as they move from development of their land. But they can learn to take safer routes if they are built as part of the urban design.
Since the 1960s, environmentalism in Australia has largely focused on defending "wilderness". However, protected areas in themselves are not stemming the destruction of biodiversity.
In an age of data-driven urban science, we need to remember how Jane Jacobs gave voice to the multiple languages, meanings, experiences and knowledge systems of a vibrant city.
The Green Square urban renewal area – expected to be Sydney's most densely populated area by 2030 – represents a new paradigm of urban living.
One person's high density may be another's sprawl; the same tall building may be experienced as oppressive or exhilarating; a "good crowd" for one can be "overcrowded" for another.
A proliferation of concrete is increasing the risk of urban flooding. The solution? More gardens.
Hot spots occur at the scale of where people live – the building, the street, the block – which means urban design and building materials have profound implications for our health and well-being.
If smart cities run on big data and algorithms that channel only 'relevant' information and opinions to us, how do we maintain the diversity of ideas and possibilities that drives truly smart cities?
The concept of living heritage can help us make decisions that go beyond preserving historical facades to protect and add to, rather than freeze, the stories and layers of the past.
The city of light has found a way to draw on the resources of the private sector, while looking after the interests of its citizens.
As summer rolls on once again you're despairing at a brown lawn. Perhaps you should embrace a shabbier backyard.
Planting more trees in our cities is a good idea, but we need to remember to plan ahead for conditions those trees might encounter when they mature in half a century's time.
It's up to state governments to ensure urban planning rules properly reflect both the desires of residents in the 21st century and the principles of sustainability.