Australia’s sprawling cities present many challenges to sustainability, but planning innovations can help achieve at least half of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
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 kangaroo finds refuge in a small patch of vegetation surrounded by a new housing estate.
Expanding cities and farmland have created many small, often isolated patches of vegetation. Long seen as having limited ecological value, a new study shows these are vital for endangered species.
Cairns has lots of hard grey infrastructure but much less green infrastructure that would reduce the impacts of the city’s growth.
Urbanisation is the main reason for rising temperatures and water pollution, but receives little attention in discussions about the health of water streams, reefs and oceans.
Grey nomads are champions of a radical type of portable urbanism as they travel to far-flung places like Lake Ballard in Western Australia.
Image courtesy of Tourism Western Australia
Grey nomads travel Australia because they have the desire and the means to do so. Could future generations end up following in their footsteps because they can no longer work and stay in one place?
Cities are the laboratories where the tech giants are exploring urban innovations.
Companies like Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Airbnb and Tesla are redefining key aspects of daily life such as work, mobility and leisure, using our cities as laboratories for their innovations.
CRRC’s version of the optically guided bus, now operating in Zhuzhou, is more like light rail than its predecessors.
The autonomous rail rapid transit (ART) system developed in China might make buses sexy, but the technology alone won't resolve the issues of road space and right of way in Australia.
Flooding in Sydney last week was the latest example of Australian cities’ lack of resilience to a more extreme climate.
Australia's coastal settlements are highly exposed to the impacts of climate change. Climate-resilient urban landscapes that can cope with large amounts of water need to become the new normal.
Much of the public opposition to the WestConnex project is related to concerns about the impacts on health.
The health concerns that dominate public submissions to the parliamentary inquiry into WestConnex are a reminder that papering over such issues comes back to haunt governments.
Brisbane’s South Bank parkland isn’t exactly getting out in the wild, but experiences of urban nature are important for building people’s connection to all living things.
Moves to connect people with nature for both the conservation and health benefits point to the need for people to experience nature as they find it in the city, rather than only out in natural areas.
You can’t build housing without land, and developers typically control the rate of which it’s released to stop prices falling.
The thing about new housing is you need land to build it on. Developers are able to control its release at a rate that doesn't put downward pressure on prices.
A Townsville City Deal was signed two years ago and the city is now one of Queensland’s ten leaders on smart city performance.
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.
A race to dominate the emerging tech-driven mobility sector is happening in cities around the world.
Investment is pouring into urban technology, much of it into innovative ventures that aim to transform how we get around our cities.
Urgent and radical change in urban transport policies and practices will benefit the planet and future generations.
To cut emissions within the 12 years or so we have left to avoid disastrous global warming, we will need to change our old transport habits, using a combination of strategies to achieve this.
Loneliness has become a global epidemic, and urban design can be either part of the problem or the solution.
Melbourne School of Design
The cities we build in turn shape our society. So when so many of us feel lonely, we should aim to apply what we know about the social impacts of design to help people connect with each other.
A large majority of Asian Australians who make up an increasing proportion of the population, especially in big cities like Sydney, have experienced racism.
Asian Australians experience high levels of racism. Almost six in ten Asia-born Australians report having had experiences of discrimination when trying to rent or buy housing.
Transport promises stretching as far as the eye can see: Victorian Labor’s big one is a $A50 billion suburban rail loop.
Whichever party wins, Victoria's new government will have promised the biggest transport infrastructure project in Australian history. So what are the promises and are they backed by proper assessment?
Households in rural and regional areas are more likely to be insured than those in cities, possibly because rural residents are more attuned to environmental conditions and the risks to property.
The differences between owners and the growing number of renters, and between rural and urban areas, point to explanations other than affordability for the one-in-two Australians who are underinsured.
The Whim app seamlessly connects users to multiple transport modes in Helsinki – public transport, taxis, car rental and car/bicycle sharing.
Apps that seamlessly combine all our travel options could be the most significant transport innovation since the automobile, but early trials show government policy support is vital to make MaaS work.
Children’s travel needs are a big factor in private car use.
The private car is the default transport option for many families. This reduces physical activity and increases greenhouse gas emissions, with unhealthy results for their children and the environment.
The rainbow flag is no longer just flown at particular times – it’s now a fixture of our cities.
In the year since the resounding Yes vote in the same-sex marriage survey, the flag has clearly escaped the pole or the street bunting of pride festival times to become ever present in our cities.