It took Melbourne a very long time to create a civic square that served the citizens rather than commerce. Now an Apple store is to be built there, unless parliament supports a disallowance motion.
Public toilets are an essential amenity, but most of them aren't places we'd want to go to unless we have to. What does the failure to provide more restful and inviting places say about us?
Done right, a plaza can bring life and a sense of identity to an area. So why has urban design in Australia neglected the town square in favour of green space, and what makes for a successful one?
For a public space to be seen as safe, welcoming and accessible, a diverse range of people need to actively use it. That's why any space-changing project needs to engage broadly with the community.
Apple’s interest in Federation Square, and in co-opting the idea of the public square in general, goes beyond the quest for profit.
The benefits of walking are widely promoted, but most Australian communities still aren't walker-friendly. Young people, who rely heavily on walking to get around, are clear about what has to change.
Public spaces have become more, not less, important to our experience of cities in the digital era. These technologies can be used to confound and enlarge our experiences of and connections to place.
European ideas of the campus as a place apart shaped Australia's "sandstone" universities. Now universities are adopting urban regeneration strategies, bringing the city to the campus and vice versa.
Many parklets are privately funded, but these projects often allow for more public participation than more traditional public spaces.
Residents often have concerns about informal green space but some still use it. Work to enhance these areas should aim to resolve these concerns without destroying what residents do value.
Australian children were once free to play on the streets, but today the urban space is less friendly to children and their imaginations.
In the country's wealthiest cities, gentrification is a dirty word. But it's all relative – just ask Hartford and Columbus.
A new study shows major Australian cities are suffering an overall loss of green space –
although some areas are doing better than others.
Drains take up precious but inaccessible open space in our cities. Converting these to living streams running through the suburbs could make for healthier places in multiple ways.
With cities becoming more dense and housing more crowded, people rely more than ever on well-designed public spaces, so why hasn't the furniture changed with the times?
By putting the users of buildings – people – at the centre of the process of designing buildings and infrastructure, we can create healthier, more human-centred spaces.
We live in dangerous times, but how we react to the risk of terrorism will have impacts on our public realm for many years.
Should reality stars be warned that everything they say can and will be used against them in a court of law? Turns out, it's complicated.
Because physical security can only do so much, communities have a role to play.
Local and national authorities are curtailing civil liberties in the name of 'security'.