Articles on Built environment

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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.
In poorer communities, shared spaces tend to be poorly maintained and utilitarian. from shutterstock.com

Our urban environment doesn’t only reflect poverty, it amplifies it

We wear our surroundings like a cloak. Lower-income communities often live in environments that discourage healthy, outdoor activities. This perpetuates their poorer health and traps them in poverty.
The author, second from left, is seen in this photo in a designed leadership dialogue session. The techniques of designers can help make us better leaders. (UBC School of Public Policy and Global Affairs)

How the mindset of designers can make us better leaders

The mindset, tools and techniques of designers can make us better leaders. Here's how.
The presence of sidewalks, green space, healthy food outlets, and trustworthy neighbours can all play a part in minimizing your risks of heart disease. (Shutterstock)

How your community impacts the health of your heart

As 'Heart Month' kicks off across North America, a cardiovascular researcher explains how the neighbourhood you live in can affect your risks of heart disease.
A 3D model of a development scenario in Brisbane’s West End produced using ESRI’s CityEngine program. Author supplied

How virtual 3D modelling and simulation can help us create better cities

3D urban modelling is a transformative technology for designing cities. But incorporating new technologies into planning practice has its challenges.
An outstanding example of sustainable residential building, Breathe Architecture’s The Commons apartments in Melbourne won a 2014 National Architecture Award. Image courtesy of Australian Institute of Architects

Sustainable cities? Australia’s building and planning rules stand in the way of getting there

New South Wales is the only state that has made meaningful progress on legislation and enforcement of standards capable of creating a sustainable built environment.
Increasing access to health data and more readily available analytical tools offer some opportunities to tackle the ever-growing rates of obesity. AAP/Dave Hunt

With better data access, urban planners could help ease our weight problems

Enshrining the need for planning healthy built environments in legislation will help ensure the fundamental role planners have to play in facilitating healthy lifestyles.
The goal of healthy built environments has been missing from the NSW planning agenda for too long. from www.shutterstock.com

The mysterious disappearance of health from New South Wales planning laws

The health impacts of urban and regional planning are undisputed. So why did the NSW government adopt and then discard health objectives as part of state planning legislation?
Grim, single sex workers’ hostels are still common in South Africa’s economic capital Johannesburg. Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

What architects must learn from South African student protests

Architects and those working on the built environment can learn valuable lessons about their discipline – how it's taught, and how it's carried out – from the 2015 student protests.

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