Articles on Urban policy

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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.
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, right, and California Governor Jerry Brown, left, discuss drought and water restrictions on August 11, 2015. Faulconer has championed renewable energy, water recycling and other climate-friendly policies. AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi

Many Republican mayors are advancing climate-friendly policies without saying so

They may not say 'climate change,' but many Republican US mayors support clean energy, jobs in renewable industries, and other climate-friendly policies. And so do majorities of their constituents.
Benjamen Gussen’s proposal for a ‘charter city’ in the Pilbara stimulated this imaginary depiction. Justin Bolleter

New cities? It’s an idea worth thinking about for Australia

Business-as-usual projections assume our four biggest cities must absorb three-quarters of Australia's population growth over the next 30 years. Might new cities be a better way to deal with it?
The Urban Planning Exhibition Centre in Shanghai – good planning is immensely valuable. Jordiferrer/Wikimedia Commons

Australian cities are crying out for better planning, but the research funding is missing

Given the challenges Australian cities face, the need for urban planning based on solid research is greater than ever. Sadly, when it comes to research funding, planning is at the back of the queue.
The right side of the ‘latte line’ in Sydney, looking across Paddington towards Bondi Junction and the eastern suburbs. R. Freestone

Australian cities and their metropolitan plans still seem to be parallel universes

The State of Australian Cities Conference begins in Adelaide today. In major cities across the nation, there's a stark contrast between lofty planning goals and the sprawling reality on the ground.
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.
Under the El tracks, downtown Chicago. Franck Michel

Urban noise pollution is worst in poor and minority neighborhoods and segregated cities

New research shows that noise pollution in US cities is concentrated in poor and minority communities. Beyond regulating airplane noise, the US has done relatively little to curb noise pollution.
The first autonomous vehicles are already upon us, but once their use becomes widespread they will change cities as surely as the original cars did. AAP/nuTonomy

Driverless vehicles could bring out the best – or worst – in our cities by transforming land use

It's clear autonomous vehicles will disrupt our cities, their land use and planning. Whether they make urban life better or worse depends on how well we anticipate and adapt to their impacts.
Homeless residents of El Bronx embrace after a May 2016 raid that displaced thousands, sending some to shelters and others to streets elsewhere in the city. Fernando Vergara/AP

Who are the real targets of Bogota’s crackdown on crime?

Bogota's mayor wants to make the city 'better for all,' but repeated police crackdowns have displaced thousands of homeless Colombians. Are clean streets really more important than human rights?
The city of Vancouver is set among a beautiful background, but the scenic wonder masks other problems. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Vancouver’s urban conundrum: Let’s design better cities

Vancouver may be one of the most beautiful cities in the world, but the president of Emily Carr University says the city could benefit from the discipline of design.
Perth has long had many fine parks but is losing vegetation cover in a band of increasingly dense development across the city. Ruben Schade/flickr

We’re investing heavily in urban greening, so how are our cities doing?

A new study shows major Australian cities are suffering an overall loss of green space – although some areas are doing better than others.

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