Articles on Urban policy

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The shimmer of a heat mirage shows how a hard road surface increases urban temperatures by radiating heat into the air. Wikimedia Commons/Brocken Inaglory

If planners understand it’s cool to green cities, what’s stopping them?

It seems like a 'no brainer' to use urban greening to help cities adapt to increasing heat, but the uptake of green infrastructure, such as trees and vegetated roofs, surfaces and walls, is slow. Why?
Mandurah is an example of built density without intensity: five-to-ten-storey buildings with generous public space but a population density less than your average suburb. Kim Dovey

How negative-gearing changes can bring life back to eerily quiet suburbs

Curbing negative gearing will help get empty housing onto the market. This could go some way to bringing life back to relatively dense urban centres that are oddly lacking intensity of public life.
There are always tensions, and sometimes outright hostility, between urban planners, the public and private sector developers. AAP/Newzulu/Peter Boyle

An uneasy marriage: planners, public and the market struggle to work well together

Tensions are mounting between the professional practices of government planners, processes of public participation and the private sector's increasing role in shaping Australian cities.
The cover that trees provide transforms cities into much more hospitable places, especially in hot weather. AAP/Joe Castro

In a heatwave, the leafy suburbs are even more advantaged

Six years after Black Saturday, it's worth remembering that heatwaves kill more people than bushfires do, so shade can be a life-saver. But tree cover and shade are not evenly distributed in cities.
Lucy and Malcolm Turnbull are a formidable double act capable of driving a Commonwealth-led transformation of urban policy. AAP/Carol Cho

Hopes of a new urban age survive minister’s fall

Cities have been called “orphans of public policy”, so Malcolm Turnbull's decisive entry into the fray is remarkable. He has the credibility, nous and drive to deliver a national urban policy agenda.
City residents are embracing the bike as the fastest, most convenient transport in areas like Brunswick, yet an apartment building has been blocked for not providing car parking. flickr/Takver

Nightingale’s sustainability song falls on deaf ears as car-centric planning rules hold sway

It's up to state governments to ensure urban planning rules properly reflect both the desires of residents in the 21st century and the principles of sustainability.
Cities are places of integration, intense population pressures, migration flows, cultural interactions and variations in socio-economic positioning and values. But what makes them liveable? Mick Tsikas/Reuters

Liveable cities: who decides what that means and how we achieve it?

A liveable city has become the highest form of praise we can give to a city space. But we need to discuss what that means and who gets to participate in the process of governing and shaping a city.
Federal governments have traditionally struggled to develop a coherent view for our cities. AAP Image/NewZulu/Thinking Media

Urban policy: could the federal government finally ‘get’ cities?

For the first time, both major parties have a cities portfolio in their front bench team. With a few more changes, the government could create a structure that will really get to grips with urban issues.
Many cities are starting to recognise that street art has both a cultural and economic value. SalTheColourGeek/Flickr

Speaking with: Cameron McAuliffe on graffiti, art and crime

Speaking with: Cameron McAuliffe on graffiti, art and crime. CC BY-ND21.2 MB (download)
Is graffiti art or crime? While many cities have adopted tough legal measures to prevent graffiti, they are also beginning to recognise the cultural and economic value of street art.
Community protests ensure urban planners pay attention to the politics of their work, while research evidence can more easily be neglected. AAP/Courtney Biggs

‘Not a lot of people read the stuff’: how planning defies good theory

Urban planners tend to be attuned to council and community politics. They are less well informed when it comes to applying the findings of research to improve the quality of their work.
Santana Row, located in San Jose, California, is one of many Lifestyle Centers cropping up around the country. Parading themselves as a Main Street from a bygone era, these new retail centers hope to recreate what was lost in the rush to cover America with large malls from the 1950s through the 1990s. Santana Row

Lifestyle centers: reinvented communities or dressed-up shopping malls?

Meet the indoor shopping mall's hipper, “New Urbanist” cousin.
Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore gives car-sharing a try. By 2016, one in ten of the city’s households will have joined a car-share scheme. AAP Image/Paul Miller

1,000 cars and no garage – why car-sharing works

Owning a car can be a hassle, especially if you live somewhere where driving is an occasional, rather than daily, necessity. This might help to explain why car-sharing schemes are going from strength to…
Fast-growing Tehran is at the heart of the economic and demographic pressures for change in Iran. EPA/Abedin Taherkenareh

Iran peeks from behind the veil

Iran is involved in P5+1 talks with the US and Europe ostensibly about nuclear capacities. But the real talk in Iran and around the world is that Iran’s government knows things have to change. As Egypt…

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