We commonly think of libraries as repositories of knowledge accumulated over centuries. But the public library also connects people in ways that can enable communities to plan for their future.
While governments focus on how to ease congestion and make affordable housing more accessible for workers in our biggest cities, fast rail could be a mixed blessing for regional cities.
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.
China has put the onus back on Australia to take responsibility for our waste, and Germany has shown us the way with extended producer responsibility for construction and demolition waste.
Cities must manage all the competing uses for limited roadside space to avoid congestion and maximise efficiency. And that begins with reliable data.
Australia requires a minimum six-star energy rating for new housing. New homes average just 6.2 stars, so builders are doing the bare minimum to comply, even as the costs of this approach are rising.
Promoting the benefits of breastfeeding isn't enough when uncomfortable and uninviting public places deter mothers. Places that help them feel comfortable breastfeeding have several key features.
The largest group of homeless women is between the ages of 25 and 34, and family violence is most often the cause. Their stories testify to the dangers and stresses of not having a place to call home.
Regulations that are meant to protect residents from building failures and fires have been found wanting. All governments must take responsibility for fixing the defective regime they created.
Faced with local planning changes like infill development people often fear they could lose the neighbourhood they love. But serious games are proving effective in giving locals a say in their future.
ParentsNext requires places like libraries and public pools to monitor parents' attendance at activities. This undermines their role as spaces of inclusion and support.
We now have a proven model for supporting self-determined building on Aboriginal homelands. The next question is how can its reach be extended?
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.
A project to protect producers from food fraud by verifying and promoting the provenance of the region's beef exports to China turned out to be a source of creative work in the region as well.
Increasing numbers of older Australians don't own their homes. Whether they are private renters or live in social housing can make a big difference to their risk of loneliness and anxiety.
More than half a century after the first high-speed trains began running overseas, Australia is still waiting for the long-promised service. Right now, faster rail is a better short-term prospect.
The brutal killing of a young homeless woman has led to calls for more crisis accommodation. This is a short-term fix. We have to move beyond crisis management to sustained housing for people at risk.
People on the minimum wage can afford only 2% of private rentals and only 1% if on the pension. Affordable housing requirements are often mandatory overseas, but Victoria is relying on negotiation.
Melbourne and Sydney are members of 100 Resilient CIties, which the Rockefeller Foundation has said it will no longer fund. So what has the global network achieved? And what can we learn from this?
Estimated costs for Victoria alone range from hundreds of millions to as much as $1.6 billion If work to rectify buildings fitted with combustible cladding isn't well handled.