One of the most effective ways to reduce health inequalities across Australia is to design neighbourhoods that free residents from having to rely on cars for transport.
Traditionally, new communities first get hard infrastructure – schools, hospitals, transport – and 'soft' social infrastructure comes later. Liveability and public health suffer as a result.
Governments, developers and urban planners all aspire to create liveable cities. Yet when it comes to Australian cities, the rhetoric and reality don’t quite match.
The challenge of creating liveable communities across Australia's capital cities comes down to seven key factors. And assessed on this basis, parts of our cities don't fare so well.
Our ageing population presents several social and economic challenges, particularly for the health sector. Physical activity can tackle many of these.
New technology could make it practical to build skyscrapers far taller than even today's highest – and change how people live, work and play in tall buildings.
Developing principles to create cities that are good for all is not easy. Who decides what is good? And for whom? We desperately need a big and general public discussion about this.
Tokyo has experienced extraordinary population growth but is among the world's most liveable cities. Just how has it managed the pressures of growth?
Justifying Sydney’s ranking as a liveable city requires greater recognition of the inequality of Sydneysiders' access to jobs, wealth, transport and housing.
Greening cities that are becoming denser is a major challenge. City-dwellers' health benefits from both well-designed green spaces and urban density, so we must manage the tensions between them.
The increasing global focus on essential services and public space as a key combination for successful city-making is relevant to fast-growing Australian cities too.
Melbourne ranks as the World's Most Liveable City. But does that tell us what people really love? Lovability is a new approach to city metrics.
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.
Bringing significant benefits to an emergent middle class, Dhaka's cultural, economic, environmental and political landscapes are being rapidly but unevenly transformed.
Governance of metropolitan Melbourne is fragmented among 31 city councils. All levels of government need to work towards creating a metropolitan authority to meet the challenges of a growing city.
Parks are found in most neighbourhoods, generally free to use and are enjoyed by diverse groups. Although most visitors don't use parks for physical activity, modest improvements can change that.
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.
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.
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.
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.