Articles on Liveable cities

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It’s important to young Australians to be able to walk and feel safe while doing so. Victoria Walks ©

Young people want walkable neighbourhoods, but safety is a worry

The benefits of walking are widely promoted, but most Australian communities still aren't walker-friendly. Young people, who rely heavily on walking to get around, are clear about what has to change.
The old Pratt Street power plant in Baltimore in the US is now home to commercial uses. But the heritage preservation is compromised by advertising that is not sympathetic to the building style and design. Wikimedia Commons

Sustainable re-use and recycling work for heritage buildings and places too

Adaptively re-using buildings can preserve heritage while enabling new uses that help make cities more liveable and sustainable.
The right side of the ‘latte line’ in Sydney, looking across Paddington towards Bondi Junction and the eastern suburbs. R. Freestone

Australian cities and their metropolitan plans still seem to be parallel universes

The State of Australian Cities Conference begins in Adelaide today. In major cities across the nation, there's a stark contrast between lofty planning goals and the sprawling reality on the ground.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Sidewalk Labs CEO Dan Doctoroff launch Sidewalk Toronto, a high-tech urban development project. Mark Blinch/Reuters

Can a tech company build a city? Ask Google

Toronto has entered a joint venture with a Google sister company to create a high-tech urban development area. The goal is to 're-imagine cities from the internet up' – Google's internet, of course.
Connections between people and between people and places help create vibrant neighbourhoods with a sense of human identity and belonging. Picture by Tommy Wong

A city that forgets about human connections has lost its way

The secret of creating attractive, liveable places sounds deceptively simple: connect people to places, people to transport and people to people.
Stony Creek drain: untidy and often slightly threatening, informal green space still has value for residents, which appropriate intervention can enhance.

How do we turn a drain into valued green space? First, ask the residents

Residents often have concerns about informal green space but some still use it. Work to enhance these areas should aim to resolve these concerns without destroying what residents do value.
Having to own multiple cars comes at a cost to the finances and health of residents in the sprawling outer suburbs. David Crosling/AAP

Designing suburbs to cut car use closes gaps in health and wealth

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. Chris Brown/flickr

Some suburbs are being short-changed on services and liveability – which ones and what’s the solution?

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. Angela Brkic/AAP

City-by-city analysis shows our capitals aren’t liveable for many residents

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.
While parts of Australian capital cities are highly liveable, access to the features that underpin liveability is highly unequal. kittis/shutterstock

This is what our cities need to do to be truly liveable for all

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. Maylat/shutterstock

Eight simple changes to our neighbourhoods can help us age well

Our ageing population presents several social and economic challenges, particularly for the health sector. Physical activity can tackle many of these.
It’s hard to see how a city can be good for all its people unless they are involved in its creation. Paul James

What actually is a good city?

Developing principles to create cities that are good for all is not easy. Who decides what is good? And for whom? We desperately need a big and general public discussion about this.
Sydneysiders’ view of their city’s liveability is very different depending on whether they live in the east or west. Sam Mooy/AAP

‘Liveable’ Sydney has clear winners and losers

Justifying Sydney’s ranking as a liveable city requires greater recognition of the inequality of Sydneysiders' access to jobs, wealth, transport and housing.
Whether it’s pressures of space or a warmer climate, which is affecting Melbourne’s elms, urban greening must respond to the challenges of 21st-century urban living. Joe Castro/AAP

Higher-density cities need greening to stay healthy and liveable

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.

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