Before the pandemic, the country was making great strides towards creating more compact, sustainable and liveable cities.
We are all finding out about neighbourhood liveability as we stay home for the coronavirus lockdown. What we learn about local strengths and weaknesses can help us improve our communities in future.
The neighbourhoods of Paris, Barcelona and Amsterdam with densities 3-5 times those of Melbourne and Sydney offer an insight into how we could transform our cities for the better.
The foundations of orderliness for any city are planning and management. Lagos had this in place in the early days.
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.
City rankings have become big business – but this expert thinks it's best to ignore them.
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.
The performance of Melbourne and Sydney on this international platform speaks volumes for the position of the country as a study destination.
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.
New South Wales now has a minister for public spaces, a nod to their importance to the life of a city. But not all is well with public spaces and some issues demand the minister's attention.
When a city scores badly on "liveability", it can put serious pressure on city leaders – but do these rankings really help improve life for local people?
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.
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.
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.
We searched Instagram for city images people associated with happiness. And they consistently included similar features, such as water, nature and heritage buildings.
Community proposals for public swimming pools are popping up all over the country. But individuals need to work with governments to ensure these projects actually get off the ground.
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.
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.
We spend on average about an hour a day travelling. Given this is unlikely to change, how can we make this time more productive and enjoyable?
Australian cities generally minimise negative attributes such as crime, segregation and violence, but developing positive attributes such as inclusivity appears more challenging.