Articles on city planning

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Melbourne’s ambitions to be a ‘20-minute city’ aren’t likely to be achieved by its recently updated planning strategy. Nils Versemann / shutterstock.com

A 20-minute city sounds good, but becoming one is a huge challenge

While many talk about 30-minute cities, some aim for residents to be able to get to most services within 20 minutes. But cities like Melbourne have an awful lot of work to do to achieve their goal.
Night-time lighting – seen here in Chongqing, China – is one of many aspects of city living that can make us more stressed. Jason Byrne

Planners know depressingly little about a city’s impacts on our mental health

Research shows planners and built environment professionals have surprisingly poor knowledge about how cities might harm mental health. The good news is that simple steps can make a big difference.
Cities suffer the planning consequences of rapid population growth while the federal government reaps the revenue. Gilad Rom/Flickr

City planning suffers growth pains of Australia’s population boom

Financial benefits are behind the development industry’s push for a continuous rapid population growth. But our poorly planned cities are ill-prepared and already struggling.
We need to find new ways to deal with the complexity of modern cities and make them better. from www.shutterstock.com

Cities are complex systems – let’s start looking at them that way

There are very few approaches that examine all aspects of the complexity of urban design and development. Ergonomics, human factors and sociotechnical systems methods offer a way forward.
The original conflict between development and preservation of natural assets is broadening as the risks of climate change become ever more obvious. Crystal Ja/AAP

Contested spaces: conflict behind the sand dunes takes a new turn

Conflicts over coastal areas have largely been between development and preserving what makes these attractive places to live. Rising sea levels are now complicating our relationship with the coast.
A polarising election issue in Western Australia, the Roe 8 project illustrates the need for better and more democratic decision-making. Gregory Roberts/AAP

What would a wise democracy look like? We, the people, would matter

One reason Perth's Roe 8 project is the subject of passionate protests is that it's a case of a government asserting power over people rather than exercising power with local communities.
A quirk in the planning rules enabled the Primaries Warehouse in Fremantle to be redeveloped as a model of progressive higher-density design. Stuart Smith/Panoramio

Reinventing density: bending the rules can help stop urban sprawl

Exceptional projects can emerge when regulations are sensibly relaxed due to context. A Fremantle project is a model of progressive higher-density possibilities resulting from flexible planning rules.
Upper Coomera is one of those fast-growing fringe suburbs that are hotter because of tightly packed housing with less greenery. Daryl Jones/www.ozaerial.com.au/

Out in the heat: why poorer suburbs are more at risk in warming cities

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.

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