Articles on Cities & Policy

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The freedom of the space outside can be a seductive distraction. from www.shutterstock.com.au

Why the million-dollar view is bad for our body and our soul

Had the Romans, Chinese and English of old seen our buildings, built around views that distract from the interior and our interior lives, they would not have been surprised by modern discontent.
Lucy and Malcolm Turnbull are a formidable double act capable of driving a Commonwealth-led transformation of urban policy. AAP/Carol Cho

Hopes of a new urban age survive minister’s fall

Cities have been called “orphans of public policy”, so Malcolm Turnbull's decisive entry into the fray is remarkable. He has the credibility, nous and drive to deliver a national urban policy agenda.
What challenges and transformations will disrupting mobility bring to cities? from www.shutterstock.com

Growing challenges are disrupting our old ways of getting around cities

Cities are complex systems. One visible artery of the city is traffic – the cluster of moving people and flowing goods – and that mobility is critical for a city's life.
It’s much cheaper and easier to build better access into homes instead of doing it later. AAP/Paul Miller

Australia’s housing standards are failing its ageing population

Community and housing industry leaders agreed a national guideline and a plan to provide basic access features in all new housing by 2020. But this voluntary approach is failing.
Housing affordability, especially in Sydney, is now a source of political protests and the NSW government has announced a funding scheme with the potential to ease the pressure. AAP/Teresa Parker

Are we seeing a new dawn for affordable housing?

In what looks to be a landmark policy announcement with possible national ramifications, the NSW government has outlined the first phase of a $1 billion fund to develop social and affordable housing.
Almost four years since the process of restructuring local government began, the Baird government faces many challenges in finalising its plans. AAP/Lukas Coch

NSW councils shake-up: is the endgame near?

Wherever governments have merged local councils, they have faced a political backlash. New South Wales is no exception and, nearly four years into the process, many challenges lie ahead.
Urban plans that consider health and well-being must be part of integrative planning policies. Jason Wesley Upton/flickr

A healthy approach: how to turn what we know about liveable cities into public policy

Urban planning aims to create cities that support healthy and productive communities, and the success in putting health on the NSW planning agenda offers lessons in achieving better integrated policy.
Good access to people, services and other essential ingredients of wellbeing is a defining feature of liveable communities. flickr/US Department of Agriculture

How do we create liveable cities? First, we must work out the key ingredients

Communities that rate highly for liveability share certain essential features. We can identify and build these key ingredients into our cities to create thriving places where people want to live.
City residents are embracing the bike as the fastest, most convenient transport in areas like Brunswick, yet an apartment building has been blocked for not providing car parking. flickr/Takver

Nightingale’s sustainability song falls on deaf ears as car-centric planning rules hold sway

It's up to state governments to ensure urban planning rules properly reflect both the desires of residents in the 21st century and the principles of sustainability.
The rapid rise of connectivity is transforming the interactions between people and all the elements that make up a city. Rae Allen/flickr

A city thrives on connectedness but access all hours makes privacy a problem

City dwellers have better access to more information about the people and places around them than ever before, but it has never been more difficult to preserve privacy as a result.
Green space and infrastructure are consistently high on the public’s list of priorities, but urban planning has struggled to incorporate their value. Wang Song/from www.shutterstock.com

How green is our infrastructure? Helping cities assess its value for long-term liveability

When communities are surveyed, green infrastructure is usually high on their list of urban planning priorities. But until now planners have lacked tools to quantify the long-term benefits.
As a product of the Melbourne music scene, Nick Cave’s global reputation has benefits for the city. Reuters/Claudio Bresciani

What are the secrets to being a ‘superstar music city’?

While Melbourne has claims to be the music capital of Australia, competition to join the ranks of the world's 'superstar music cities' is fierce.
Cities are places of integration, intense population pressures, migration flows, cultural interactions and variations in socio-economic positioning and values. But what makes them liveable? Mick Tsikas/Reuters

Liveable cities: who decides what that means and how we achieve it?

A liveable city has become the highest form of praise we can give to a city space. But we need to discuss what that means and who gets to participate in the process of governing and shaping a city.

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