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While state and territory leaders will be partners, Malcolm Turnbull’s government intends to be the driver of a national policy for Australia’s cities. AAP/Lukas Coch

New name, new look for latest national urban policy, but same old problem

The Turnbull government's cities policy is the latest incarnation of 'the-Commonwealth-knows-best' approach, with little regard for whether urban issues are best resolved at the metropolitan level.
In one Melbourne case study, half-a-dozen bikes occupying the same space as a parked car generated, on average, nearly four times as much retail spending. flickr/Richard Drdul

Do the sums: bicycle-friendly changes are good business

Pro-bike policies can boost local business. In one Melbourne case study, the average hourly retail spending from six bikes was $97.20 compared to $27 from one car occupying an equivalent space.
Many things go into making a healthy community, so the earlier services and infrastructure become available, the better. Cecily Maller

Build in good services from day one for healthier communities: lessons from Selandra Rise

Early residents in new communities are known as 'pioneers' – they arrive before many services are in place. A five-year study points to the many benefits of putting in good services early on.
While Melbourne City Council is responsible for the CBD, governance of the vast area of metropolitan Melbourne is poorly co-ordinated between 31 councils in all. Alex Proimos/Flickr

Towards a collaborative city: the case for a Melbourne Metropolitan Commission

Governance of metropolitan Melbourne is fragmented among 31 city councils. All levels of government need to work towards creating a metropolitan authority to meet the challenges of a growing city.
The budget doesn’t provide either the infrastructure investment or financing details needed to flesh out the Smart Cities Plan. AAP/Mal Fairclough

City Deals still no more than a pamphlet after Budget 2016

The budget paints a picture of higher debt, little relief for growing cities crying out for infrastructure investment, and no detail of how City Deals might work to fix this.
Living in supported smart technology homes is liberating for young people with disability who would otherwise be trapped in unsuitable nursing homes. Fred Kroh/Summer Foundation

To get young people out of nursing homes, we need to back up the NDIS with housing – here’s how

Thousands of young people with disability who end up in nursing homes lead lives of isolation and boredom. Better and smarter housing finance and support options are at last being developed.
Homeless young people have a significantly higher prevalence of adverse health issues and greater levels of contact with the justice system. AAP/Mick Tsikas

New homelessness report shows the cost of waiting for early intervention

A new report’s findings provide a strong economic rationale for investing in early intervention to stem the flow of young people into homelessness.
Malcolm Turnbull outlines his vision of ‘City Deals’ that enable ‘smart cities’ to drive growth in the new economy. AAP/Lukas Coch

Will Budget 2016 deliver a new deal for Australian cities?

The Turnbull government sees the 'City Deal' as a way for 'smart cities' to drive innovation and growth. But what is the value proposition behind this UK concept and how might it work in Australia?
As machinery demolishes houses behind them, Jakarta police evict residents from the settlement of Luar Batang in April. Reuters/Beawiharta Beawiharta

Will Habitat III defend the human right to the city?

The world's informal settlements are growing at an unprecedented rate, with about one in four urban dwellers living in slums. We need to rethink how we view and deal with these people and places.
The EVA Lanxmeer development in the Netherlands provides a model for how to incorporate green infrastructure in all aspects of the planning process. Tony Matthews

Here’s how green infrastructure can easily be added to the urban planning toolkit

Green infrastructure can be delivered relatively easily using existing planning processes. The main obstacle could be psychological: planners are wary of disruption to embedded practices.
People enjoy the green space of parks, but often their activities are of a fairly passive nature. AAP/Bimal Sharma

Most people just park themselves, so how do we promote more healthy activity in public parks?

Parks are found in most neighbourhoods, generally free to use and are enjoyed by diverse groups. Although most visitors don't use parks for physical activity, modest improvements can change that.

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