Articles on Cities

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Heatwaves are set to become the norm – better get used to them. AAP/Joe Castro

With more heatwaves to come, how will our cities hold up?

Australia’s south east is currently sweltering under an intense heatwave, one that is likely to become the second longest heatwave on record in the region. So what have we learnt from the heatwave of 2009…
The Field Day music festival, held annually in The Domain in Sydney, is among a growing number of private or ticketed events held in public parks. jo3hug

Private events help fund public parks, but there’s a cost too

Privatisation of the public realm is increasingly seen by governments as a relatively painless user-pays way of addressing their budget problems and parks have not escaped the trend. Public spaces such…
Have catalytic converters changed the cost-pollution-benefit in petrol’s favour? Mike Egerton/PA

Failure to test for the real world has left a polluting diesel legacy

Which is the better option for cars in cities, diesel or petrol-driven engines? As a report reveals the new fleet of green, hybrid electric-diesel buses in London produce less CO2 but more harmful pollutants…
Things could be looking up for urban planning if Greg Hunt has his way. Michelle Robinson

The new government has a plan for Australia’s cities

The new Coalition Government has been elected with a mandate to reduce the national debt and make Australia “open for business”. Does this mean fixing Australia’s cities will be left to market forces…
Solar is taking off in Australia’s suburbs, but what are inner-city livers to do? Duncan Rawlinson

How will your energy get greener? Depends where you live

In Australia’s middle and outer suburbs, rooftop solar technology provides a clear way to reduce the emissions from the energy our houses use. But higher density housing types (apartments and medium density…
More than 2 million people live in Pacific cities, many of them in squats and informal settlements. eGuide Travel

Aid to PNG and the Pacific should focus on fixing cities

The Pacific Islands Forum, the peak regional body of Pacific Island states, met in Majuro, Marshall Islands, last week. A major outcome of the meeting was the Forum Communiqué. This is the blueprint for…
The ‘most liveable city’ accolade should be viewed with scepticism. Image from shutterstock.com

Melbourne, the world’s most liveable city? Not exactly

For the third year in a row, Melbourne has been named as the world’s most liveable city by the The Economist Intelligence Unit Survey. From the Lord Mayor to Molly Meldrum, it seems that almost everybody…
Our cities may be booming, but what about our regions and suburbs? Flickr/Takver

A more sustainable Australia: from suburbia to newburbia

**A more sustainable Australia.* As the 2013 election campaign continues, we’ve asked academics to look at some of the long-term issues affecting Australia – the issues that will shape our future.* Australia’s…
Wrexham, like this driver, is ill-prepared for floods and other climate change-related problems. Matt Price/Flickr

How ready for climate change is your town or city?

More than half the world’s population now lives in cities or urban areas, which means our vulnerability to the impacts of climate change is tied up with cities’ ability to cope. Responsible for more than…
The urban civilisation drawn to cities innovates and enriches. Even in Melbourne. melburnian/Flickr

In search of a formula with which to build better cities

When Isaac Newton produced his Laws of Motion in 1687, it led to speculation that his new gravitational force could explain the social forces between people. Thinkers put forward various arguments for…
Want to be happy? It’s all about the green. epSos.de/Flickr

It’s official: city parks make us happy

Spending time with nature in our cities’ parks and gardens can improve individual satisfaction in life and make us less aggressive, anxious and stressed. So isn’t it time we placed access to nature alongside…
Britain’s woeful road infrastructure for cyclists is dragging us down. Tim Ireland/PA

Who put the brakes on cycling in Britain?

Making a city more bicycle-friendly is not simply a matter of painting a few lines and installing parking spaces. It requires cities to work with cyclists as participants in redesigning the city. Ensuring…
Rail has been a part of Federal “knitting” since, well, Federation. Annie Mole

It’s not in the knitting? Urban rail’s growing significance

Tony Abbott has created a new phrase that wonderfully describes a political tradition or paradigm: “not in our knitting”. “We have no history of funding urban rail and I think it’s important that we stick…
Many apartment dwellers would like to know how to make their home more sustainable. But where to start? Chris Kreussling

Untangling the steps to a more sustainable apartment life

Apartment owners beware – your asset could be under threat! If we don’t improve the sustainability of our city apartment blocks their value will fall. Australian cities are increasingly embracing apartment…

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