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The ageing population is one factor in increasing numbers of people living alone, and innovative and inclusive responses are needed. shutterstock

We are living alone together in today’s cities – and that calls for smart and ‘bolshie’ moves

Living and dying alone presents many challenges for cities, and we'll need more than technology to meet these. Only an inclusive, innovative response can deliver the essential element of human care.
Play activates cities and engages people, and by appropriating urban spaces it changes what these mean to people.

Bringing back an old idea for smart cities – playing on the street

As adults we often trivialise the value of play. But playing games lets us play with possibilities, see how they play out – and exploring alternative realities helps us see the familiar in new ways.
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.
Vital Signs takes stock of all the key elements of a city’s successes and challenges, and the Melbourne Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation uses this data to guide its grant-making. Lord Mayor's Charitable Foundation

Taking the pulse of a city: Melbourne’s Vital Signs

A decade after Toronto produced the first Vitals Signs report, community foundations in Melbourne and other cities are using these reports' up-to-date data to inform their decisions.
The Greening the Pipeline 100-metre pilot park at Williams Landing is the first step in transforming 27 kilometres of the heritage-listed main outfall sewer into a linear park and bike track. Greening the Pipeline, courtesy of Melbourne Water

How Melbourne’s west was greened

Tree plantings are making a visible difference to Melbourne’s west. It's the result of a collaborative model of greening, one that Australian cities need to apply more widely.
Mass evacuations in response to natural disasters like Hurricane Maria are a logistical challenge, but also face psychological barriers to residents being willing and able to leave. EPA

Psychology holds key to getting people out before disaster strikes

Promoting individual resilience will contribute to reductions in disaster threats for at-risk communities globally.
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.
Tourists play slot machines at the Paris Las Vegas hotel and casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Jae C. Hong/AP Photo

In Las Vegas, excess and fantasy bleed into tragedy

Excessive indulgence is the city’s unifying theme. It’s also a way to end your life. Just ask Stephen Paddock.
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.
Cash-strapped Hartford is one of a number American cities that have missed out on the nation’s urban renaissance. Jessica Hill/AP Photo

Gentrification? Bring it

In the country's wealthiest cities, gentrification is a dirty word. But it's all relative – just ask Hartford and Columbus.

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