The world’s fastest-growing cities are in the tropics. They are highly exposed to climate change, especially as urban heat island effects and humidity magnify the impacts of increasing heatwaves.
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.
When we plan a better future for an increasingly urbanised world, we need to be aware that more than half of all children now live in the tropics. That calls for solutions with a tropical character.
Urbanisation is the main reason for rising temperatures and water pollution, but receives little attention in discussions about the health of water streams, reefs and oceans.
Darwin’s climate is getting even hotter and it’s one of the main reasons people leave the city. A lot more can be done, though, to make our tropical cities safe, cool and enjoyable.
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.