Australia’s sprawling cities present many challenges to sustainability, but planning innovations can help achieve at least half of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Planning innovations around the world offer inspiration, but ultimately the innovations needed to make Australia's sprawling cities more sustainable must be shaped by local conditions.
The beauty of our federation is that each state can learn from each other.
Ahead of two state elections, the Grattan Institute Orange Book examines the state of each state and how each can do things better. The good news is that if each copied the best in each field they would do very well indeed.
A storm caused flooding in the CBD as it swept through Hobart.
Patrick Gee/The Mercury. Used with permission
Managing flood risk is not just 'good planning'; it requires commitment to resilient cities by land developers, politicians and communities. Effective response means learning from mistakes.
You can see koalas at Dreamworld on the Gold Coast, but the city council has won a planning battle to preserve their wild population too.
Local planning rules have prevailed in a long-running dispute over a proposed Gold Coast quarry that threatened the amenity of nearby residents and koalas.
Bilingual and trilingual shop signs are a feature of Strathfield.
Australia has no policy designating English as the official language, but an explicit 'English first' policy for shop signs would treat speakers of every other language as second-class citizens.
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.
Inclusionary planning has increased the share of affordable housing in San Francisco, even in areas which are gentrifying.
Inclusionary planning schemes can reduce land costs and ensure that affordable homes are well located near jobs and services.
As planning minister, Jackie Trad said legislative changes would make the planning system more open and accountable.
Changes under Queensland's recently instituted Planning Act give councils much more leeway in their decision-making, which makes it harder for appeals against decisions to succeed.
The city of Vancouver is set among a beautiful background, but the scenic wonder masks other problems.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver may be one of the most beautiful cities in the world, but the president of Emily Carr University says the city could benefit from the discipline of design.
BreezyInt / shutterstock
Autonomous vehicles have many benefits, but they may be bad news for nature conservation.
The BedZED eco-housing development in the UK challenged planning regulations.
Traditional urban planning is being stretched by the pace at which renewable energy systems are being installed. New codes and guidelines are needed to manage emerging conflicts over land use.
Bottleshops affect the health and well-being of people across the suburb, not just the health of people who buy the alcohol.
There's growing evidence the location and density of bottleshops influences the health and well-being of locals, particularly in disadvantaged areas.
The traditional backyard provides a retreat from the pressures of city life.
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.
People look out over an ornamental lake from behind a wrought iron fence at the Carlton Gardens.
State Library of Victoria
Melbourne is a product of British colonial planning policies to control public access and movement in Australian cities. This legacy still influences the use of public spaces today.
The goal of healthy built environments has been missing from the NSW planning agenda for too long.
The health impacts of urban and regional planning are undisputed. So why did the NSW government adopt and then discard health objectives as part of state planning legislation?
When can I pencil you in?
'Clock' via www.shutterstock.com
Maybe you shouldn’t meet at that time and place? Research shows that the clock and the calendar can be a drag on leisurely activities.
It starts by making a plan.
As Election Day approaches, candidates in races across the country will be doing everything they can to get out the vote – including turning to behavioral science.
Research shows people don't trust planning decisions if it seems central government or energy companies have had too much influence.
The closure of the Myer store would once have been a crippling blow for Fremantle, but now it is a site of new activity and possibilities.
City of Fremantle
The rise in temporary use of urban space requires a looser planning vision that can draw on this new type of city-making to inform longer-term developments.
The time savings calculated in road project planning are based on incorrect assumptions about driver behaviour.
Projects like Sydney’s WestConnex and Melbourne’s Western Distributor don't account for real world evidence of driver behaviour in estimating travel time savings.