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The ‘Bicycle Snake’ in Copenhagen separates pedestrians and cyclists, allowing both to navigate the city more safely. Cycling Embassy of Denmark/DISSING+WEITLING

Cycling and walking are short-changed when it comes to transport funding in Australia

New analysis reveals just how little is spent on cycling and walking projects around Australia. No state's spending on cycling is more than 1.5% of its road funding.
Jakarta’s traffic system is one of many facets of the city that could be improved by smart cities technologies, but at what cost? Vasenka Photography/Flickr

Three scenarios show we have to think carefully about ethics in designing smart cities

Governments are using Big Data to design improvements and upgrades of cities. But ethical questions need to be considered, lest we end up jeopardising citizens' privacy or deepen social inequalities.
In both Indian and Australian cities, cyclists who deliver goods and services have to take it slow. Malini Sur

Slow cycling isn’t just for fun – it’s essential for many city workers

Cycling is a low-cost and non-polluting way to make deliveries in congested cities. Slow cyclists should be recognised as good for the economy and environment, not treated like second-class citizens.
Benjamen Gussen’s proposal for a ‘charter city’ in the Pilbara stimulated this imaginary depiction. Justin Bolleter

New cities? It’s an idea worth thinking about for Australia

Business-as-usual projections assume our four biggest cities must absorb three-quarters of Australia's population growth over the next 30 years. Might new cities be a better way to deal with it?
The argument that stronger supply will deliver more affordable housing isn’t borne out in areas where new unit and apartment construction is booming. Joel Carrett/AAP

Affordable housing policy failure still being fuelled by flawed analysis

The clichés about housing supply and regulatory restraints are distractions from the need to focus on expanding the affordable housing sector to directly meet the needs of low-income households.
The IPCC’s first cities conference revealed the challenges in bridging the gaps between scientific knowledge and policy practice, and between cities in developed and developing nations. Cities IPCC/Twitter

IPCC cities conference tackles gaps between science and climate action on the ground

The first IPCC conference on cities has highlighted the challenges of reconciling science, urban practices and politics. But it was an important recognition of cities' leading role in climate action.
The Hawkesbury’s waters look beautifully natural but treated sewage makes up to 20% of the river flow where the North Richmond Filtration Plant draws its water. Karl Baron/flickr

More of us are drinking recycled sewage water than most people realise

Perth is looking at recycling all its sewage in the city's future water supply. But many Australians' drinking water already contains indirectly recycled treated sewage.
Ruth and Maurie Crow with a plan of their linear city. Image courtesy of SEARCH Foundation

There’s more to the compact city than getting dense

Ruth and Maurie Crow were early advocates of the compact city. They also warned 50 years ago that a clear justice intent was needed to shape cities for their citizens rather than vested interests.
When an ageing person is forced to move out of their family home, that can trigger a host of problems that policy is doing little to prevent. Diego Cervo/Shutterstock

For Australians to have the choice of growing old at home, here is what needs to change

Millions of older Australians live in houses that don't safely meet their needs, but they're not ready for a nursing home. Lack of suitable housing and the moving costs leave them with nowhere to go.
The old pathways to home ownership have been displaced by more uncertain routes that waver between owning and renting. Glenn Hunt/AAP

Home ownership foundations are being shaken, and the impacts will be felt far and wide

Increasingly insecure pathways to home ownership are not just a problem for property markets. The fallout is likely to hit retirement incomes, the welfare base, gender equity and the broader economy.
In the past, house building matched high immigration. Construction has increased, particularly in Sydney, but needs to make up the backlog of a decade of undersupply. Dan Himbrechts/AAP

How migration affects housing affordability

Australian governments are faced with a choice: make the difficult decisions to fix planning systems so more houses can be built, or tap the brakes on Australia's migrant intake.

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