Articles on Liveability

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Increasing heat in Sydney and other Australian cities highlights the urgent need to apply our knowledge of how to create liveable low-carbon cities. Taras Vyshnya/Shutterstock

We have the blueprint for liveable, low-carbon cities. We just need to use it

The research has been done. The evidence is in. We know how to create cities that are sustainable, liveable and affordable. But we have yet to apply that knowledge widely across Australian cities.
Urban greening is just one aspect of the transformation required to ensure our future cities are sustainable, liveable places. Matt Leane/Shutterstock

If we want liveable cities in 2060 we’ll have to work together to transform urban systems

Future Earth Australia is working to create a long-term national plan of transformation for our cities. As part of this, everyone in Australia is invited to have their say in a survey.
Dalian is an emerging city and tourist destination in China, but its urban spaces could be improved in many ways. Paul J Martin/Shutterstock

China can learn from Australian urban design, but it’s not all one-way traffic

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.
Residents of the outer suburbs like the green spaces and sense of community, but lament the lack of access to transport and other services. theskaman306/Shutterstock

Living ‘liveable’: this is what residents have to say about life on the urban fringe

Much of the growth in our cities is in the outer suburbs, now home to around 5 million people. And that creates problems like traffic that detract from the advantages residents see in living there.
Melbourne and Sydney have similar access to public transport overall, but this and other liveability indicators vary greatly across the cities. Julian Smith/AAP

Melbourne or Sydney? This is how our two biggest cities compare for liveability

Every year, our big cities vie for global liveability honours. But as well as differences between the cities, liveability varies widely within them, leaving plenty of work to be done.
Vienna knocked Melbourne out of its seven-year-long top spot as the ‘world’s most liveable city’. from shutterstock.com

The world’s ‘most liveable city’ title isn’t a measure of the things most of us actually care about

The world's "most liveable city" ranking is based on an index designed for companies sending their employees overseas. It's not relevant to the average person.
The same things tend to make people happy - such as nature and colour. (Jardin des Curiosités, Lyon, France) Léonard Cotte/Unsplash

Look up #happycity and here’s what you’ll find

We searched Instagram for city images people associated with happiness. And they consistently included similar features, such as water, nature and heritage buildings.
Shepparton residents are clearly disadvantaged by having far fewer daily train services to Melbourne than other regional centres. Alex1991/Wikimedia

Rail access improves liveability, but all regional centres are not equal

Regional areas are expanding, and yet not enough attention is being paid to improving rail access to capital cities. This affects the liveability of the areas.
Planning and design for healthy, liveable communities in the Australian tropics can involve quite different considerations from those that apply down south. Silvia Tavares

Making a global agenda work locally for healthy, sustainable living in tropical Australia

There's no such thing as a one-size-fits-all plan for sustainable, healthy urban living. Urban diaries help identify what works – and doesn't work – for tropical cities like Cairns or Townsville.
The White Night festival is an example of Melbourne’s efforts to promote itself as a convivial city. John Gollings/AAP supplied

The quest for the convivial city: how do ours fare?

Australian cities generally minimise negative attributes such as crime, segregation and violence, but developing positive attributes such as inclusivity appears more challenging.
It’s important to young Australians to be able to walk and feel safe while doing so. Victoria Walks ©

Young people want walkable neighbourhoods, but safety is a worry

The benefits of walking are widely promoted, but most Australian communities still aren't walker-friendly. Young people, who rely heavily on walking to get around, are clear about what has to change.
The old Pratt Street power plant in Baltimore in the US is now home to commercial uses. But the heritage preservation is compromised by advertising that is not sympathetic to the building style and design. Wikimedia Commons

Sustainable re-use and recycling work for heritage buildings and places too

Adaptively re-using buildings can preserve heritage while enabling new uses that help make cities more liveable and sustainable.
Connections between people and between people and places help create vibrant neighbourhoods with a sense of human identity and belonging. Picture by Tommy Wong

A city that forgets about human connections has lost its way

The secret of creating attractive, liveable places sounds deceptively simple: connect people to places, people to transport and people to people.

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