Planners understand the key elements of urban communities that will improve residents' health and well-being. They also need to be able to convince others to create such communities.
Young refugees are at high risk of being homeless in Australia. A five-year study has found re-establishing connections with their communities was the pathway out of homeless for most of them.
As neighbourhoods lost their milk bars, they also lost a daily point of connection for locals. But all is not lost. In some areas, the humble corner store is making a comeback.
Almost half of apartment residents in Australia are families, but few high-rise dwellings were built with them in mind. Many find these apartments present barriers to building social connections.
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.
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.
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.
Kebab vans symbolise the success of 'bottom-up' multiculturalism, providing a way for the non-European cultural ‘other’ to become part of our way of life.
What matters to women as they grow older, as the city's population changes and urban development continues apace? You don't know unless you ask them – and they have so much to contribute.
It's easy to scorn the gentrifying hipster stereotype, but many inner-city neighbourhoods benefit from the distinctive mix of businesses and activities they pursue. So why should the suburbs miss out?
The combination of higher-density living and increasing cultural diversity means we need to think about how to build social cohesion and make the most of the opportunities of apartment living.
The need for public cooking facilities has long been recognised, but why has the basic public barbecue failed to evolve along with Australians, their lifestyles and the foods they eat?
Young people need more protection while they're growing up.
Casual sport can help communities thrive. But for many of Australia's most marginal communities, it's becoming harder to find a place to play.
The Gold Coast is mostly relying on existing assets, and most refurbishments and extensions were completed long before the Games, meaning the community has been able to use these facilities.
Third places are shared spaces where people can informally socialise. As a potential antidote to the modern scourge of loneliness, it's worth asking what makes the best of these places tick.
Ruth and Maurie Crow were early advocates of the compact city. They also warned 50 years ago that a clear justice intent was needed to shape cities for their citizens rather than vested interests.
Only the national government can solve the housing crisis – but local authorities can make a big difference in their communities.
Low-density suburbs can cause social isolation that's harmful for individual and community well-being. But research confirms we can plan neighbourhood centres so they become vibrant social hubs.
The secret of creating attractive, liveable places sounds deceptively simple: connect people to places, people to transport and people to people.