The benefits of ‘superblocks’ for Barcelona include better health, access to green space and other public space, and more transport-related physical activity.
The Spanish city is remaking urban neighbourhoods by limiting through traffic in superblocks that give priority to pedestrians and street activities, not cars.
Increasing heat in Sydney and other Australian cities highlights the urgent need to apply our knowledge of how to create liveable low-carbon cities.
The research has been done. The evidence is in. We know how to create cities that are sustainable, liveable and affordable. But we have yet to apply that knowledge widely across Australian cities.
Urban greening is just one aspect of the transformation required to ensure our future cities are sustainable, liveable places.
Future Earth Australia is working to create a long-term national plan of transformation for our cities. As part of this, everyone in Australia is invited to have their say in a survey.
Dalian is an emerging city and tourist destination in China, but its urban spaces could be improved in many ways.
Paul J Martin/Shutterstock
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.
Vienna often scores highly in the rankings.
When a city scores badly on "liveability", it can put serious pressure on city leaders – but do these rankings really help improve life for local people?
The main concern when talking about the liveability of a city like Melbourne should be sustaining the health and well-being of residents.
Rather than mourn the end of a seven-year reign as 'world's most liveable city', Melbourne could raise its sights to become more liveable, healthy and sustainable for all who live in the city.
Marine Drive in Mumbai, viewed here from across Chowpatty Beach, is an ‘accidental’ planning legacy that’s now one of the most popular places in the city.
When we plan a better future for an increasingly urbanised world, we need to be aware that more than half of all children now live in the tropics. That calls for solutions with a tropical character.
Uninviting, car-dominated streets, like this one in Melbourne, reduce our experience menu by discouraging beneficial activities like walking and sharing places with other people.
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.
Shepparton residents are clearly disadvantaged by having far fewer daily train services to Melbourne than other regional centres.
Regional areas are expanding, and yet not enough attention is being paid to improving rail access to capital cities. This affects the liveability of the areas.
Originating in the Netherlands, the concept of ‘woonerfs’, areas designed to invite walking, playing, socialising and cycling while curbing motor vehicles, has spread to cities in other countries, including Berlin.
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.
Health objectives are at last being integrated into all levels of planning in New South Wales, from cities and towns to local places and buildings.
The connections between city planning and health are many and varied, but getting health objectives integrated into all aspects of planning in New South Wales has been a long struggle.
Having to own multiple cars comes at a cost to the finances and health of residents in the sprawling outer suburbs.
One of the most effective ways to reduce health inequalities across Australia is to design neighbourhoods that free residents from having to rely on cars for transport.
For suburbs like fast-growing Tarneit in the Wyndham area, ‘hard’ infrastructure gets priority, leaving ‘soft’ social infrastructure to catch up later.
Traditionally, new communities first get hard infrastructure – schools, hospitals, transport – and 'soft' social infrastructure comes later. Liveability and public health suffer as a result.
In Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney, just over a third of dwellings are within 400 metres of a public transport stop with services every 30 minutes, but the proportions are much lower in other cities.
Governments, developers and urban planners all aspire to create liveable cities. Yet when it comes to Australian cities, the rhetoric and reality don’t quite match.
The Greening the Pipeline 100-metre pilot park at Williams Landing is the first step in transforming 27 kilometres of the heritage-listed main outfall sewer into a linear park and bike track.
Greening the Pipeline, courtesy of Melbourne Water
Tree plantings are making a visible difference to Melbourne’s west. It's the result of a collaborative model of greening, one that Australian cities need to apply more widely.
While parts of Australian capital cities are highly liveable, access to the features that underpin liveability is highly unequal.
The challenge of creating liveable communities across Australia's capital cities comes down to seven key factors. And assessed on this basis, parts of our cities don't fare so well.
Staying physically active can play a big part in ageing well – and a well-designed neighbourhood helps with that.
Our ageing population presents several social and economic challenges, particularly for the health sector. Physical activity can tackle many of these.