Articles on Urban planning

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Brisbane cycle path signage: Slow! Michael Coghlan

We should create cities for slowing down

Smart cities are usually optimised like a business for speed and efficiency. Placemaking can slow down cities to improve health and wellbeing and promote more democratic engagement of citizens.
We need to find new ways to deal with the complexity of modern cities and make them better. from www.shutterstock.com

Cities are complex systems – let’s start looking at them that way

There are very few approaches that examine all aspects of the complexity of urban design and development. Ergonomics, human factors and sociotechnical systems methods offer a way forward.
While many urban design guidelines include ambience as a required ‘city quality’, few provide ways to achieve it. Ayrcan/flickr

Unlocking the secrets of street ambience

Ambience is a result of a whole range of processes and physical objects. We can use a systems approach to examine and describe what needs to be done to achieve such a subjective quality in a street.
Both Donald Trump and his political opponents are on board the global infrastructure bandwagon. Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA

Making sense of the global infrastructure turn

The trillions of dollars spent on infrastructure demands democratic transparency and accountability. This applies to both the investment and to the effects on cities, societies and the environment.
To meet the needs of lower-income households, housing should be both affordable and located near public transport and other services. Graeme Bartlett/Wikimedia

What a difference a month makes, but Victoria can still do more to get housing and planning right

Victoria has been lagging behind other states in developing an affordable housing strategy. Now that one has been released, how well does it meet the needs of households on lower incomes?
It turns out cul-de-sacs may be better than we realised for creating a safe and inclusive community within a community. Wikipedia

Contested spaces: who belongs on the street where you live?

Understanding what makes a neighbourhood street a good place to live for adults with intellectual disability can help create places that are good for everyone.
The goal of healthy built environments has been missing from the NSW planning agenda for too long. from www.shutterstock.com

The mysterious disappearance of health from New South Wales planning laws

The health impacts of urban and regional planning are undisputed. So why did the NSW government adopt and then discard health objectives as part of state planning legislation?
A polarising election issue in Western Australia, the Roe 8 project illustrates the need for better and more democratic decision-making. Gregory Roberts/AAP

What would a wise democracy look like? We, the people, would matter

One reason Perth's Roe 8 project is the subject of passionate protests is that it's a case of a government asserting power over people rather than exercising power with local communities.
The scene of the fatal crash at Essendon Airport, where authorities allowed extensive development between the runways and surrounding housing. Joe Castro/AAP

Airport privatisations have put profit before public safety and good planning

Airport operators enjoy the privileged position in Australian planning law of being able to decide their own futures. Their exemption from state planning rules threatens orderly planning and safety.
This transit-oriented development in Oakland, California, combines residential housing with easy access to local transport options and amenities. Eric Fredericks/flickr

Make housing affordable and cut road congestion all at once? Here’s a way

A combination of transit-oriented centres, inclusionary zoning and a special rate on land instead of stamp duty could make housing more affordable by cutting congestion, development and travel costs.

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