Articles on Town planning

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Cairns Lagoon: as a good response to the tropical climate, it’s a very active place but with little business activity. Silvia Tavares

City temperatures and city economics, a hidden relationship between sun and wind and profits

Good urban design and walkability boost local economic activity by increasing public activity, but cities need to pay more attention to the effects of microclimates on streets and public spaces.
New housing estates on the city fringes might be soulless, cookie-cutter developments, but communities can invest them with layers of meaning that create a sense of place. Lukas Coch/AAP

How to turn a housing development into a place where people feel they belong

A sense of place matters for people and communities. When a suburb is created from scratch, close attention needs to be paid to the cues from the landscape and meanings people attach to the area.
When most inner-city apartment residents don’t use cars to get around, you can expect public transport to feel the impacts of new developments. Eric FIscher/Wikimedia

Crowded trains? Planning focus on cars misses new apartment impacts

Traffic impact assessments required of major building developments mainly focus on the movement of cars, but these account for only 30-40% of trips by inner-city apartment dwellers.
In an urban setting like central Footscray, where only 1% of the area is public space, the value of the humble footpath needs to be recognised. Yvonne Meng

Don’t forget the footpath – it’s vital public space

Footpaths are a valuable space for everyday social activity, but their role is often overlooked. In increasingly dense urban areas such as Footscray, footpaths are essential public spaces.
Old mine sites suffer many fates, which range from simply being abandoned to being incorporated into towns or turned into an open-air museum in the case of Gwalia, Western Australia.

Afterlife of the mine: lessons in how towns remake challenging sites

The industrial patterns of mining shaped many Australian towns, which found varied uses for disused mine sites. The mining boom ensures the challenges these sites present will be with us a long time.
Australia’s sprawling cities present many challenges to sustainability, but planning innovations can help achieve at least half of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Nils Versemann/Shutterstock

Our cities fall short on sustainability, but planning innovations offer local solutions

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.
A storm caused flooding in the CBD as it swept through Hobart. Patrick Gee/The Mercury. Used with permission

Lessons in resilience: what city planners can learn from Hobart’s floods

Managing flood risk is not just 'good planning'; it requires commitment to resilient cities by land developers, politicians and communities. Effective response means learning from mistakes.
We’re used to hearing cries of “NIMBYism” and “money-hungry developers” on both sides of planning debates, but there’s actually more subtlety to interactions around urban planning that are worth exploring and understanding. Joel Carrett/AAP

Speaking with: Cameron McAuliffe on NIMBYs, urban planning and making community consultation work

Speaking with: Cameron McAuliffe on NIMBYs, urban planning and making community consultation work.
Dallas Rogers speaks with Western Sydney University's Cameron McAuliffe about leveraging conflict and informal processes in the urban planning process.
The Urban Planning Exhibition Centre in Shanghai – good planning is immensely valuable. Jordiferrer/Wikimedia Commons

Australian cities are crying out for better planning, but the research funding is missing

Given the challenges Australian cities face, the need for urban planning based on solid research is greater than ever. Sadly, when it comes to research funding, planning is at the back of the queue.
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.
The Tower of London has altered greatly in its 900-year history as a castle, home, museum, prison and tourist attraction. Claudio Divizia/Shutterstock

Heritage building preservation vs sustainability? Conflict isn’t inevitable

When talking about heritage, we need to be clear about our definitions and our objectives for each building. Then we can work on achieving the optimum balance of heritage and sustainability.

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