Articles on Urban policy

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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signs legislation lowering the default speed limit from 30 to 25 miles per hour, Oct. 27, 2014. NYC Department of Transportation/Flickr

Urban nation: What’s at stake for cities in the 2016 elections

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have painted starkly different views of U.S. cities during the campaign. Will the next president deliver the funding and political support mayors are seeking?
Connecting cities should serve all citizens, not just a few. Illustration via shutterstock.com

How to ensure smart cities benefit everyone

Design will make the difference between smart city projects offering great promise or actually reinforcing or even widening the existing gaps in unequal ways their cities serve residents.
Brazil’s favelas are famous, but so are its ambitious efforts to bring roads, water, electricity, and land rights to its informal urban settlements. eflon/flickr

Is this the end of slum upgrading in Brazil?

For decades, Brazil has worked to improve conditions in its poorest neighbourhoods: building roads, drainage, lighting, and safer housing. Will budget cuts end its ambitious slum-upgrading efforts?
The Tent Embassy in Canberra has for decades been symbolic of the tensions in Australian cities about recognition, reconciliation and land justice. Dylan Wood/AAP

How can we meaningfully recognise cities as Indigenous places?

Imagine if we did urban development in a way that honours Indigenous histories, knowledge and relationships with those places.
At Tolhuistuin, the government provides the land, old building stock and a maintenance budget for a fixed period while the creatives develop the precinct themselves. Maurice Mikkers/flickr

Create to regenerate: cities tap into talent for urban renewal

When municipal or state governments join forces with smaller creative communities to shape urban regeneration the results can be far-reaching.
Melbourne is being transformed by high-rise apartments, with some even being purpose-built for the Airbnb market. Jorge Láscar/flickr

How Airbnb is reshaping our cities

If the sharing economy is here to stay, planners and designers must respond with imagination to spread the positive effects of the tourism economy for the benefit of residents as well as tourists.
PARKing Day in Montreal, 2015. Amelia Thorpe

A day for turning parking spaces into pop-up parks

This Friday is the 11th PARKing Day, when people pay a parking meter, then turn the space into a pop-up parklet. It's a day that invites citizens to rethink the city and their place in it.
Public protests forced a backdown on a proposed merger of university art schools, but their value to cities is still being underestimated. Joel Carrett/AAP

Why arts schools matter, not just for art’s sake but for urban renewal in Sydney and other cities

Art schools are emerging globally as very powerful instruments of urban renewal. In a time of transformation, Sydney must learn to tap into the value of having multiple art colleges.
By persuading some drivers to travel a different route or at a different time, congestion charges can dramatically improve the flow of traffic. AAP/Andrew Brownbill

How to make cities work better – here’s what the government needs to do

Bigger cities increase wages, output and innovation, but also problems of congestion and pollution. Congestion charges can minimise these problems by dramatically improving traffic flows.
In addition to a shortage of public toilets, current innovations in their design may not be suitable for an ageing population. AAP/City of Sydney

Caught short: we need to talk about public toilets

Millions of people need to be confident that suitable public toilets will be available when they leave their homes. A shortage of such facilities is a serious problem for an ageing population.
Melbourne is powered by the coal-fired stations of Gippsland, which illustrates the problems with any urban strategy that neglects regional roles and interests. AAP/Julian Smith

‘The urban’: a concept under stress in an interconnected world

City-centric thinking arguably obscures connections between 'humans' and 'nature', and 'urban' and 'rural' or 'wild'. Growing evidence of the depths of these links is testing the concept of 'urban'.
Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, is one of the fastest-growing cities in the world despite its ranking as one of the ‘least liveable’. mariusz kluzniak/flickr

Signals from the noise of urban innovation in the world’s ‘second-least-liveable’ city

Bringing significant benefits to an emergent middle class, Dhaka's cultural, economic, environmental and political landscapes are being rapidly but unevenly transformed.
Much of the ‘smart cities’ rhetoric is dominated by the economic, with little reference to the natural world and its plight. Ase from www.shutterstock.com

Taking the city’s pulse: we need to link urban vitality back to the planet

The rhetoric of 'smart cities' is dominated by the economic, with little reference to the natural world and its plight. Truly smart and resilient cities need to be more in tune with the planet.

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