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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.
Koala numbers are in decline through increased urbanisation, but they can find a safe passage if one’s provided. Shutterstock/dirkr

Safe passage: we can help save koalas through urban design

Koala numbers in parts of Australia are in decline as they move from development of their land. But they can learn to take safer routes if they are built as part of the urban design.
Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, is one of the fastest-growing cities in the world despite its ranking as one of the ‘least liveable’. mariusz kluzniak/flickr

Signals from the noise of urban innovation in the world’s ‘second-least-liveable’ city

Bringing significant benefits to an emergent middle class, Dhaka's cultural, economic, environmental and political landscapes are being rapidly but unevenly transformed.
Much of the ‘smart cities’ rhetoric is dominated by the economic, with little reference to the natural world and its plight. Ase from www.shutterstock.com

Taking the city’s pulse: we need to link urban vitality back to the planet

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.
City residents are embracing the bike as the fastest, most convenient transport in areas like Brunswick, yet an apartment building has been blocked for not providing car parking. flickr/Takver

Nightingale’s sustainability song falls on deaf ears as car-centric planning rules hold sway

It's up to state governments to ensure urban planning rules properly reflect both the desires of residents in the 21st century and the principles of sustainability.
Want to be happy? It’s all about the green. epSos.de/Flickr

It’s official: city parks make us happy

Spending time with nature in our cities’ parks and gardens can improve individual satisfaction in life and make us less aggressive, anxious and stressed. So isn’t it time we placed access to nature alongside…
Facing tough questions: NSW’s planning review must grapple with competing visions of development. Flickr/Askew One

Under review: rival visions for people and communities

Later this year Brad Hazzard, NSW Minister for Planning and Infrastructure, faces a difficult decision. Will he prepare new state planning legislation that prioritises a desired outcome: healthy, functional…

Child hunger level underreported

A new study has shown that addressing child hunger at an individual and family level may not be enough, with only 70% of…

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