Australians are losing the backyards that once served as retreats from the stresses of city living. Our health is likely to suffer as cities become less green and much hotter.
Extreme heat divides people from the environment and from each other. So with the rapid densification of our cities, what kind of legacies are we building for future generations?
Greening cities that are becoming denser is a major challenge. City-dwellers' health benefits from both well-designed green spaces and urban density, so we must manage the tensions between them.
Do you ever feel that the weather is worse on the weekend? Well you might be right!
Recently published research has found that the concentration of poorer people in hotter places is a real problem for cities' capacity to cope with climate change.
The rhetoric of 'smart cities' is dominated by the economic, with little reference to the natural world and its plight. Truly smart and resilient cities need to be more in tune with the planet.
Hot spots occur at the scale of where people live – the building, the street, the block – which means urban design and building materials have profound implications for our health and well-being.
Achieving green cities will require more than just canopy cover targets and central city strategies. It will need new approaches to urban planning and development.
If planning decisions properly considered the value of trees in a city, we could have a modern transport system and tree-lined views to enhance the journey.
It seems like a 'no brainer' to use urban greening to help cities adapt to increasing heat, but the uptake of green infrastructure, such as trees and vegetated roofs, surfaces and walls, is slow. Why?