The opera house is raised on a terraced platform, away from the shore like an island amphitheatre.
Terence Wong from www.shutterstock.com
Construction should have stopped once the roofs were erected. Any citizen could then have walked up to the terraced amphitheatre, sat down and gazed back at the country from this shrine to the nation.
How will it fit in? Every new development should consider the existing neighbourhood character.
The Melbourne suburb of Richmond is prime inner-city real estate, but the community is paying a price for redevelopment that jars with the existing neighbourhood.
Footpaths in Japan are built with bumpy guide-strips so vision impaired pedestrians can get around with ease.
From high chairs in public bathrooms to handbag baskets in cafes, Japan is a considerate place. Australia can learn from a society where material culture acts as a reminder to be aware of the needs of others.
A quirk in the planning rules enabled the Primaries Warehouse in Fremantle to be redeveloped as a model of progressive higher-density design.
Exceptional projects can emerge when regulations are sensibly relaxed due to context. A Fremantle project is a model of progressive higher-density possibilities resulting from flexible planning rules.
Apartment layouts at Ritter Strasse 50, initiated by ifau and Jesko Fezer with Heide and Von Beckerath, are highly individualised.
Citizens can switch from being consumers to pioneers who drive new designs for living. The German baugruppe model is a leading example.
More than cluster of people and buildings, urbanity is a concentration of encounters and connections.
We're still in the early days of understanding how cities work. But we do know that creative, healthy and productive cities have certain things in common – and it's all to do with their 'urban DMA'.
Connecting cities should serve all citizens, not just a few.
Illustration via shutterstock.com
Design will make the difference between smart city projects offering great promise or actually reinforcing or even widening the existing gaps in unequal ways their cities serve residents.
Modern life is stressful – here's how to make your local neighbourhood a haven.
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.
Place-making: a seasonal beach in Campus Martius Park, Detroit 2014.
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 closure of the Myer store would once have been a crippling blow for Fremantle, but now it is a site of new activity and possibilities.
City of Fremantle
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.
German developer Jörg Duske has built student accommodation out of recycled shipping containers.
Holzer Kobler Architekturen
The humble shipping container is sparking a revolution in architecture, plug and play infrastructure, portable labs and many other innovations.
Design for upgrades to the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall.
Courtesy Sydney Opera House
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.
Renaissance master Andrea Palladio designed Villa La Rotonda with rooms of various characters, which at night served as viewing boxes for fireworks displays in the surrounding landscape.
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 are in decline through increased urbanisation, but they can find a safe passage if one’s provided.
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”.
Since the 1960s, environmentalism in Australia has largely focused on defending "wilderness". However, protected areas in themselves are not stemming the destruction of biodiversity.
Jane Jacobs holds up documentary evidence at a 1961 press conference during the campaign to save the West Village.
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.
Mature gum trees will be important for visual amenity among the higher-density residences being built to house a population growing at 5.1% a year for the next two decades.
The Green Square urban renewal area – expected to be Sydney's most densely populated area by 2030 – represents a new paradigm of urban living.
Streetlife density in Florence – urban buzz or overcrowding?
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.