Articles on Urban life

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For a megacity, Tokyo is rich in trees. gillyberlin/flickr

We calculated how much money trees save for your city

In an increasingly urban world, trees can make a major difference. One study found that, for every dollar invested in planting, megacities saw a $2.50 return on their investment.
Marvellous Melbourne, a city full of life, has been revived over several decades. This is Swanston Street in 2017. Andrew Curtis/City of Melbourne

How a three-decade remaking of the city revived the buzz of ‘Marvellous Melbourne’

The vitality that defines central Melbourne today did not emerge overnight. Rather than being born of one grand vision, it's the result of many astute, incremental changes that revitalised the city.
Highton Shopping Village in Geelong. Leila Farahani

This is how to create social hubs that make 20-minute neighbourhoods work

Low-density suburbs can cause social isolation that's harmful for individual and community well-being. But research confirms we can plan neighbourhood centres so they become vibrant social hubs.
Movies from the “neo-noir” genre offer a darker and bleaker vision of the city, in stark contrast to the world of the TV sit-com. Tan Zi Han/Shutterstock

Movies and TV choose to tell us different stories about the cities of today

Movies often portray the city as a dystopia, particularly in the 'neo-noir' genre, which explores postmodern themes. TV shows and ads present an altogether sunnier picture of life in the city.
Riders on San Francisco’s Muni light rail system. David Lytle

What public transit can learn from Uber and Lyft

Millions of Americans rely on public transit to get to school, work or stores, but many can't get the service they need. 'Uberizing' transit by offering more options on demand could fill the gaps.
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.
The High Line in New York City, a former elevated railroad trestle converted to a public park. Shinya Suzuki/Flickr

Urban nature: What kinds of plants and wildlife flourish in cities?

In an urbanizing world, people increasingly are seeking out nature in cities. Research shows that diverse species of animals, plants and insects can thrive in areas that humans have altered.
The closure of the Gatwick Hotel means those most in need of shelter have lost another place they could stay. Darkydoors from www.shutterstock.com

Goodbye to the Gatwick, and to so much of the old St Kilda

When wealth accumulation becomes the driver of urban regeneration, residents who already have little or no say in the future of our cities are further marginalised by gentrification.
Noise transformation and community-led design projects are reclaiming unwanted spaces that lay adjacent to motorways. rogiro/flickr

Let cities speak: reclaiming a place for community with sounds

Communities have an increasing desire to be informed and included in local art, design and infrastructure projects. This has inspired new ways of dealing with noise-afflicted areas.
Community murals can rekindle an area’s shared memories and sense of identity. Photo: Martin Purcell. Reproduced with permission

How murals helped turn a declining community around

Over the past 15 years, community groups in a rundown inner-city district have created public murals as part of a successful process of reversing decades of stagnation.

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