Articles on Urban planning

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A Townsville City Deal was signed two years ago and the city is now one of Queensland’s ten leaders on smart city performance. Lukas Coch/AAP

Just how ‘city smart’ are local governments in Queensland?

How smart are our cities now? In Queensland, a study of all 78 local government areas reveals major gaps between the ten leading the way in becoming smart cities and the rest of the state.
In recent years, Detroit has demolished thousands of abandoned homes annually. AP Photo/Carlos Osorio

Domicology: A new way to fight blight before buildings are even constructed

By the time a building is abandoned and falls into disrepair, its community is already suffering. Michigan scholars suggest it's time to plan for structures' end of life before they even go up.
Significant investment in public transport is essential to ensure the Central City CBD can handle the predicted growth in commuting trips. Dean Lewins/AAP

Reimagining Sydney: this is what needs to be done to make a Central City CBD work

Central City 2048 proposes one new rail line, three metro lines and almost 300,000 extra jobs for the new CBD, one of three proposed for metropolitan Sydney. Clearly, the investment needed is massive.
Parramatta has been designated as the central CBD of three future city centres in the Greater Sydney region. haireena/Shutterstock

Reimagining Sydney with 3 CBDs: how far off is a Parramatta CBD?

The Greater Sydney metropolis is envisaged as having three CBDs by mid-century, but an assessment of the proposed Central City around Parramatta shows how much work is needed to make that a reality.
Traffic crosses over the Lions Gate Bridge from North Vancouver into Vancouver, B.C., in July 2015. Canada is increasingly becoming a suburban nation, with more people living in car-dependent suburbs.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Canadians increasingly live in the auto-dependent suburbs

It's easy to over-estimate crowding and traffic in highly visible downtown cores and underestimate the vast growth happening in the suburban edges of our metropolitan regions.
Electric scooters could solve the ‘last mile’ problem of urban transport if operators learn from the mistakes that plagued the introduction of dockless bikes. CrowdSpark/AAP

Can e-scooters solve the ‘last mile’ problem? They’ll need to avoid the fate of dockless bikes

Shared electric scooters appeal as a way to cover that awkward distance between public transport stops and your destination. But first e-scooter operators must solve the littering and dumping problem.
Street in Hangzhou, China, with trees separating a cycle track from road traffic and from the sidewalk. Xu Wen

Designing greener streets starts with finding room for bicycles and trees

Many US cities are investing in bike infrastructure and shade trees. Properly located, these additions can make streets cooler, cleaner and safer for all users – even those who drive.
Calgary beat out Vancouver on this year’s most livable city index issued by the Economist magazine. Flickr

Canada’s most livable city is not Vancouver…it’s Calgary

Vancouver lost out to Calgary as Canada's most livable city this year. Why? Is it the high cost of housing or is it the city's 'neighbourhood first' method that sometimes creates business instability?
In poorer communities, shared spaces tend to be poorly maintained and utilitarian. from shutterstock.com

Our urban environment doesn’t only reflect poverty, it amplifies it

We wear our surroundings like a cloak. Lower-income communities often live in environments that discourage healthy, outdoor activities. This perpetuates their poorer health and traps them in poverty.
If vintage city design used to trap women in suburbia, what’s the modern city looking like? from shutterstock.com

How far have we come since the ’80s vision of the ‘non-sexist city’?

In the 1970s, a young urban planning professor, Dolores Hayden, believed that city design was the key to unlocking patriarchal structures that trapped women in the home. How much has the city changed?
Cities were once considered a source of many problems. But that vision has changed over the last generation. Graeme Roy

Our changing views of the city: A new urban celebration

Our current celebration of cities is a big shift from the past generation when cities were seen to contain all of our problems. Should we believe the hype? Are the new ideas equally problematic?

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