Articles on Cities

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Chinese are starting to question government control of the terms of public debate, as conveyed by this propoganda banner in Hangzhou in 2010. Philip Roeland

Do moves against Hangzhou G20 ‘rumours’ help show China at its best or worst?

Hangzhou is hosting the G20 summit and China is anxious to present a positive picture of the country to the world, but the official attitude to non-compliant citizens isn't helping.
The rear of 30-32 Oxford Street, an area of Sydney affected by an outbreak of bubonic plague in 1900. Wikimedia/NSW State Archives

Why 100 years without slum housing in Australia is coming to an end

New research finds almost a million Australians are living in poor or very poor-quality housing, with more than 100,000 in dwellings regarded as very poor or derelict.
Nne-star-rated ‘Catalyst’ houses built to maximise passive solar principles were evaluated against seven control houses built to DHHS standards. Trivess Moore

Sustainable housing’s expensive, right? Not when you look at the whole equation

Emerging research challenges the idea that sustainable housing is unaffordable. It shows sustainability and good design can be affordable when analyses include social, health and wellbeing benefits.
Tracking what you stop to pay attention to and what you ‘don’t see’ can tell us a lot about what might be going on inside your mind.

The Panopticons are coming! And they’ll know when we think the grass is greener

Eye-tracking technology helps us understand how people interact with their environment. This can improve policy and design, but can also be a tool for surveillance and control.
City policymakers are realising creative workers don’t have to be permanently clustered together if they can collaborate as needed. Steve Purkiss/flickr

Gaming trends show cities need to rethink how they tap into creative economy

Cities seeking to attract creative industries have relied heavily on the cluster concept. New research suggests a technology-driven transformation of how the sector works calls for a new approach.
In countries where many if not most households have pets, ‘no pets’ rental policies are a serious obstacle to housing security. Mike Hoff/flickr

As pet owners suffer rental insecurity, perhaps landlords should think again

Landlords and property agents often apply 'no pets' rules even though many households see them as part of the family. Their difficulty in finding rental housing then becomes a source of great stress.
Urban planning was once an Olympic event, although the first gold medal – awarded to Germany’s Alfred Hensel for the Nuremberg stadium – turned out to be an unfortunate choice.

‘No More Hunger’ Games: if only we cared about the real-world Liveability Olympics

Imagine cities competed to eliminate hunger, poverty, unemployment, crime and greenhouse emissions, and to offer housing and transport for all. Don't scoff – urban planning was once an Olympic event.
A self-driving bus completes a demonstration drive in Tokyo in July. Toru Hanai/Reuters

Smart cities: does this mean more transport disruptions?

New technologies do not exist in a vacuum. To succeed, new transport technology needs to match the ways we want to move around cities and be accommodated by laws and regulations.
Renaissance master Andrea Palladio designed Villa La Rotonda with rooms of various characters, which at night served as viewing boxes for fireworks displays in the surrounding landscape. Bogna/Wikimedia Commons

Friday essay: why a building and its rooms should have a human character

Might we enjoy our homes more if their rooms were characterised by their sense of loftiness or intimacy or cheerfulness or melancholy rather than lifeless labels such as 'media room' or 'home office'?

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