Recent extreme events in Australia, with torrential rain and floods following devastating bushfires, have focused the World Urban Forum's attention on the urgency of climate action.
The lure of suburbia clearly remains strong. To deal with sprawl, planners need to increase urban density in a way that resonates with the leafy green qualities of suburbia that residents value.
Residents of the 'leafy suburbs' will continue to fear what they might lose to increasing urban density without an explicit planning approach that enhances green space in affected neighbourhoods.
Endless growth is not a sustainable option for fast-growing Australian cities like Melbourne.
The demands on land and resources from our fast-growing cities are unsustainable, as are the wastes they produce. Yet still our leaders act as if unlimited growth is possible.
Ecological economics focuses on sustainability and development, rather than the traditional economic concerts of efficiency and growth.
Ecological economics focuses on sustainability and development rather than efficiency and growth. Cities, as home to 70-80% of economic activity, are at the heart of the challenge of being sustainable.
The costs of keeping a roof over our heads create a dependence on market growth that puts low-consumption, sustainable living out of reach for many of us.
The cost of land and, in turn, housing forces people to buy into the rules of market capitalism, making it very hard to 'downshift' from consumer lifestyles. But what if we rethink public housing?
Urban greening is just one aspect of the transformation required to ensure our future cities are sustainable, liveable places.
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.
E-scooters ready for action in Santiago, Chile.
Shared e-scooter programs may seem like a green way to get around, but these small vehicles can have big environmental footprints.
Keeping cool in Brooklyn.
Hot weather kills more Americans yearly on average than floods, tornadoes or hurricanes. Three scholars explain how cities can prepare and help residents stay cool.
Landcorp’s WGV residential development in Fremantle is demonstrating the benefits of making the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
Josh Byrne & Associates
The debate about the transition away from fossil fuels has focused on costs, but right here in Australia we have examples of the benefits of sustainable new energy sources for our cities.
Ferrara, Italy bears some resemblance to da Vinci’s design.
Leonardo da Vinci's ideal city contained design features and engineering works not realised until hundreds of years after he died.
Just off Washington Square in New York City.
Trees clean urban air, store carbon, slow floodwaters and can be used to design safer streets. Scholars are starting to calculate what these services are worth – a fitting topic for Arbor Day.
The main concern when talking about the liveability of a city like Melbourne should be sustaining the health and well-being of residents.
Rather than mourn the end of a seven-year reign as 'world's most liveable city', Melbourne could raise its sights to become more liveable, healthy and sustainable for all who live in the city.
Traffic flows into Manhattan from Brooklyn over the Williamsburg Bridge.
AP Photo/Mary Altaffer
Starting in 2021, drivers will pay a fee to enter midtown and lower Manhattan during busy times of day. Will this clear New York's air and streets?
Cycling advocates set up ‘ghost bikes,’ like this one in Brooklyn, in memory of bikers killed in traffic.
US cities were designed and engineered around cars. Now some are working to increase walking and biking, but the shift isn't easy.
City Farm is a working sustainable farm that has operated in Chicago for over 30 years.
Linda from Chicago/Wikimedia
Urban farming can make it easier for city residents to obtain healthy, affordable food. But to raise big yields from small pieces of land, farmers need training and support.
This narrow street, lined with parked cars but devoid of people, is both unwelcoming and unsafe for cyclists.
Minorities are driving the bicycling boom, but bike infrastructure investments often neglect their needs. A new study explores what riders in low-income and minority neighborhoods want.
Mural at Rockaway Brewing Company in Long Island City, Queens, New York, a longtime industrial and transportation hub that now is rapidly redeveloping.
AP Photo/Mark Lennihan
Many homes, parks and businesses in US cities stand on former manufacturing sites that may have left legacy hazardous wastes behind. A new book calls for more research into our urban industrial past.
Australia’s sprawling cities present many challenges to sustainability, but planning innovations can help achieve at least half of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Planning innovations around the world offer inspiration, but ultimately the innovations needed to make Australia's sprawling cities more sustainable must be shaped by local conditions.
Unloading packages and arranging them for delivery in New York City.
AP Photo/Mark Lennihan
Rising e-commerce means more delivery trucks and urban gridlock. Lockers at transit centers, where carriers can leave packages for people who live or work nearby, are a potential solution.
Children’s travel needs are a big factor in private car use.
The private car is the default transport option for many families. This reduces physical activity and increases greenhouse gas emissions, with unhealthy results for their children and the environment.