Articles on Urban development

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Sidewalk Labs CEO Dan Doctoroff launch Sidewalk Toronto, a high-tech urban development project. Mark Blinch/Reuters

Can a tech company build a city? Ask Google

Toronto has entered a joint venture with a Google sister company to create a high-tech urban development area. The goal is to 're-imagine cities from the internet up' – Google's internet, of course.
Riders on San Francisco’s Muni light rail system. David Lytle

What public transit can learn from Uber and Lyft

Millions of Americans rely on public transit to get to school, work or stores, but many can't get the service they need. 'Uberizing' transit by offering more options on demand could fill the gaps.
In explaining the causes of wildfires, the media and policymakers typically point to environmental factors, but that’s not the whole story. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Don’t blame California wildfires on a ‘perfect storm’ of weather events

The media and policymakers often say a 'perfect storm' of environmental factors cause wildfires but that ignores the role of irresponsible urban planning and development in raising fire risks.
For suburbs like fast-growing Tarneit in the Wyndham area, ‘hard’ infrastructure gets priority, leaving ‘soft’ social infrastructure to catch up later. Chris Brown/flickr

Some suburbs are being short-changed on services and liveability – which ones and what’s the solution?

Traditionally, new communities first get hard infrastructure – schools, hospitals, transport – and 'soft' social infrastructure comes later. Liveability and public health suffer as a result.
#WeLiveHere2017 aims to turn inanimate buildings into metaphorical sentient structures, with ‘mood lights’ expressing the feelings of Matavai and Turanga Tower residents about their neighbourhood’s redevelopment. Nic Walker courtesy of #WeLiveHere2017

We Live Here: how do residents feel about public housing redevelopment?

Residents of two high-rise public housing blocks are being given 'mood lights' to express how they feel based on their experience of the process of redeveloping their neighbourhood.
At first glance, old industrial sites, like this one in Carrington Street, don’t look like much. But they provide vital spaces for creative precincts to flourish. Paul Jones

Can our cities’ thriving creative precincts be saved from ‘renewal’?

A new project documents who uses urban industrial lands slated for redevelopment. It reveals a vibrant but largely hidden sector at the interface between creative industries and small manufacturing.
Two people walk down a flooded section of Interstate 610 in Houston in floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017. AP Photo/David J. Phillip

Americans who live far from coasts should also be worried about flooding

As Hurricane Harvey shows, flooding can happen wherever large storms stall and dumps lots of rain. A new study finds that development is increasing in flood zones inland, where people may not think they are at risk.
Much of what is being built is straightforward ‘investor grade product’ – flats built to attract the burgeoning investment market. Bill Randolph

Why investor-driven urban density is inevitably linked to disadvantage

The inexorable logic of the market will create suburban concentrations of lower-income households on a scale hitherto only experienced in the legacy inner-city high-rise public housing estates.
Abandoned industrial buildings at San Francisco’s Pier 70, with a smokestack in the background. Lindsey Dillon

Cleaning up toxic sites shouldn’t clear out the neighbors

Cleaning up and reusing contaminated sites, known as brownfields, can create jobs and promote economic growth. But it also can drive gentrification that prices out low-income residents.
The uniquely weak regulation of high-rise, high-density development exemplifies the market-driven growth of Australian cities. Julian Smith/AAP

Market-driven compaction is no way to build an ecocity

Achieving the goal of sustainable cities depends on rolling back the market after decades of privatisation and deregulation.
Malcolm Turnbull has made clear his apparent enthusiasm for a rail line to Melbourne Airport – with or without state government support. AAP/Julian Smith

Airport rail link can open up new possibilities for the rest of Melbourne

A rail link is a big step towards transforming transport access and land use in ways that will enable a much bigger city to remain liveable. And Melbourne can learn from Sydney about this.
The closure of the Gatwick Hotel means those most in need of shelter have lost another place they could stay. Darkydoors from www.shutterstock.com

Goodbye to the Gatwick, and to so much of the old St Kilda

When wealth accumulation becomes the driver of urban regeneration, residents who already have little or no say in the future of our cities are further marginalised by gentrification.

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