While politicians ignore calls to raise Newstart, alarming levels of financial stress among private renters, particularly in low-rent outer suburbs, show why current welfare payments are too low.
Average commuting times for Australians have increased by 23% in 15 years. And those with long commutes are less satisfied with their work, working hours, work-life balance and even pay.
The difficulties for people facing housing disadvantage don't end as soon as their situation improves. They are at higher risk of poorer mental health years or even decades later.
Cities around Australia have plans to increase their green space, but new research shows not all green spaces are equal. Good tree cover is better than grassed areas for residents' mental health.
Thirty tree species make up more than half of Australia's urban forests. Some won't survive climate change, so cities must plant a more diverse mix of the right species to preserve their tree cover.
The seemingly ad hoc collection of nine City Deals announced so far falls short of a national settlement strategy that finally gets to grips with where our growing population might live and live well.
The global trend is to free up valuable city space by reducing parking and promoting other forms of transport that don't clog roads and pollute the air. Australian cities are still putting cars first.
The delay in adopting a national approach to building industry reform, based on a report received more than a year ago, typifies official neglect of the impacts of uncertainty on the affected people.
A program aimed at getting people home safely has cost A$300 million but has had little impact, aside from increased intoxication in CBD venues. Rates of assaults and road crashes are much the same.
The construction industry crisis didn't happen overnight. Authorities have been on notice for years to fix the problems that now have the industry itself calling for better regulation.
We commonly think of libraries as repositories of knowledge accumulated over centuries. But the public library also connects people in ways that can enable communities to plan for their future.
While governments focus on how to ease congestion and make affordable housing more accessible for workers in our biggest cities, fast rail could be a mixed blessing for regional cities.
Australia has well established urban design guidelines, whereas many Chinese cities don't have any – and it shows. But Australia can also learn from China.
China has put the onus back on Australia to take responsibility for our waste, and Germany has shown us the way with extended producer responsibility for construction and demolition waste.
Cities must manage all the competing uses for limited roadside space to avoid congestion and maximise efficiency. And that begins with reliable data.
Australia requires a minimum six-star energy rating for new housing. New homes average just 6.2 stars, so builders are doing the bare minimum to comply, even as the costs of this approach are rising.
Promoting the benefits of breastfeeding isn't enough when uncomfortable and uninviting public places deter mothers. Places that help them feel comfortable breastfeeding have several key features.
The largest group of homeless women is between the ages of 25 and 34, and family violence is most often the cause. Their stories testify to the dangers and stresses of not having a place to call home.
Regulations that are meant to protect residents from building failures and fires have been found wanting. All governments must take responsibility for fixing the defective regime they created.
Faced with local planning changes like infill development people often fear they could lose the neighbourhood they love. But serious games are proving effective in giving locals a say in their future.