Australia has well established urban design guidelines, whereas many Chinese cities don't have any – and it shows. But Australia can also learn from China.
Bright lighting alone does not make a space feel safe. It can blind and disorientate and create dark shadows at the edges. Tellingly, 'unsafe' places had much higher illuminance than 'safe' places.
A sense of place matters for people and communities. When a suburb is created from scratch, close attention needs to be paid to the cues from the landscape and meanings people attach to the area.
Segregation is not just a problem in London – it's happening in cities all over the world.
Both Melbourne and Sydney have been embroiled in controversy over advertising that dominates public space, but the debate isn't new. In fact, it's almost as old as our cities.
Footpaths are a valuable space for everyday social activity, but their role is often overlooked. In increasingly dense urban areas such as Footscray, footpaths are essential public spaces.
New South Wales now has a minister for public spaces, a nod to their importance to the life of a city. But not all is well with public spaces and some issues demand the minister's attention.
Muslims need places where they feel safe from Islamophobia. And being made to feel unwelcome has lasting impacts – Muslims still avoid Cronulla beach, the scene of anti-Muslim riots in 2005.
If the menu of potential activities that do us good is made to look uninviting or challenging, we are more likely to choose the easier but less healthy option.
Today’s urban public spaces tend to represent governments and cities rather than people and citizens. Architects and urban designers should contribute to shaping spaces for freedom and interaction.
If you disagree with the political slant of the network, it might color your views of others in the room – and change your behavior.
There are thousands of empty parking spots in cities. So what can we do to make better use of this space?
How data is changing the shape of our personal 'bubble' – in pictures.
The need for public cooking facilities has long been recognised, but why has the basic public barbecue failed to evolve along with Australians, their lifestyles and the foods they eat?
Littering in protest is indicative of a discordant society, and a culture of littering can tell us a lot about a society's ethos.
The positive mood of tweets varies with time of day and season, but it's consistently higher in parks than in built-up areas, where people are more likely to express anger and fears.
Security in cities can make some people feel safe while excluding others. New ways of planning and policing public space are needed to ensure cities are safe and accessible for all.
Casual sport can help communities thrive. But for many of Australia's most marginal communities, it's becoming harder to find a place to play.
Expo 88 helped to create Brisbane's South Bank Parklands by raising expectations of what the city could be like.
All around us, the places we inhabit send us physical and visual cues that influence our behaviour. Good design can tilt the balance so our surroundings help us act in ways that fulfil our needs.