Articles on Urban planning

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A shade tree makes a big difference to the comfort of this couple. Nancie Lee/Shutterstock

How do we save ageing Australians from the heat? Greening our cities is a good start

Two trends in Australia, an ageing population and warming climate, are increasing the threat that heatwaves pose to our health. Increasing vegetation cover is one way every city can reduce the risk.
Many cities have plans in place to adapt to or mitigate the effects of climate change. But are they credible? An ongoing study looks into the question. David Blackwell/Flickr

Are our cities effectively planning for climate change?

In the fight against climate change, cities are now seen as having a major role to play. An ongoing study examines the effectiveness of the adaptation and mitigation plans of 126 coastal cities.
Residents of the outer suburbs like the green spaces and sense of community, but lament the lack of access to transport and other services. theskaman306/Shutterstock

Living ‘liveable’: this is what residents have to say about life on the urban fringe

Much of the growth in our cities is in the outer suburbs, now home to around 5 million people. And that creates problems like traffic that detract from the advantages residents see in living there.
A visualisation of a Refuge City street scene. Richard Weller/Julian Bolleter

Refuge City, a new kind of city for our times

By adapting the charter city model to create a new city on the northern coast, Australia could be the world’s great 21st-century refuge.
When it comes to urban planning, the question is not so much how to physically plan our cities differently. Rather, the question is how to convince both the public and our politicians to implement change. Patrick Tomasso /Unsplash

Existentialism: A guiding philosophy for tackling climate change in cities?

City planners and politicians have pitched carbon emission reduction as an individual choice but this leads to green gentrification and fails to make broad changes. We need a new guiding philosophy.
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. Daniel Bowen/Flickr

Is your ‘experience diet’ making you unwell?

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.
Australia’s sprawling cities present many challenges to sustainability, but planning innovations can help achieve at least half of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Nils Versemann/Shutterstock

Our cities fall short on sustainability, but planning innovations offer local solutions

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.
A Townsville City Deal was signed two years ago and the city is now one of Queensland’s ten leaders on smart city performance. Lukas Coch/AAP

Just how ‘city smart’ are local governments in Queensland?

How smart are our cities now? In Queensland, a study of all 78 local government areas reveals major gaps between the ten leading the way in becoming smart cities and the rest of the state.
In recent years, Detroit has demolished thousands of abandoned homes annually. AP Photo/Carlos Osorio

Domicology: A new way to fight blight before buildings are even constructed

By the time a building is abandoned and falls into disrepair, its community is already suffering. Michigan scholars suggest it's time to plan for structures' end of life before they even go up.
Significant investment in public transport is essential to ensure the Central City CBD can handle the predicted growth in commuting trips. Dean Lewins/AAP

Reimagining Sydney: this is what needs to be done to make a Central City CBD work

Central City 2048 proposes one new rail line, three metro lines and almost 300,000 extra jobs for the new CBD, one of three proposed for metropolitan Sydney. Clearly, the investment needed is massive.

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