Articles on Cities

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Highton Shopping Village in Geelong. Leila Farahani

This is how to create social hubs that make 20-minute neighbourhoods work

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.
If more people live in the Adelaide Hills, they are more likely to be exposed to bushfires. David Mariuz/AAP

Natural hazard risk: is it just going to get worse or can we do something about it?

What decisions can we make today to reduce the future risk of hazards like floods and fire? Particularly in a time of climate change, modelling various plausible futures helps us plan for uncertainty.
Connections between people and between people and places help create vibrant neighbourhoods with a sense of human identity and belonging. Picture by Tommy Wong

A city that forgets about human connections has lost its way

The secret of creating attractive, liveable places sounds deceptively simple: connect people to places, people to transport and people to people.
A living room rented by the minute and another room shared for sleeping – the age of the ‘distributed’ home is upon us. Ziferblat

Living rooms for rent by the minute outsource the whole idea of home

So you're having to room share to live in the city. What if you need more than a place to sleep? Well, now you can rent a living room by the minute. Welcome to the world of distributed living.
The Ballarat Road project in Maidstone and Footscray, Melbourne, will transform vacant land into housing for people at risk of homelessness. Schored Architects

Portable units and temporary leases free up vacant land for urgent housing needs

An innovative collaboration between government, a non-profit group and philanthropists has found a way to provide urgently needed housing on land that would otherwise be left vacant for years.
Atlanta mayoral candidates Keisha Lance Bottoms (left) and Mary Norwood will face off in December. AP Photo/David Goldman

Could Atlanta be on track to elect a white mayor?

Atlanta is a black majority city that has elected black mayors since 1973. Two candidates now face a runoff in December.
Movies from the “neo-noir” genre offer a darker and bleaker vision of the city, in stark contrast to the world of the TV sit-com. Tan Zi Han/Shutterstock

Movies and TV choose to tell us different stories about the cities of today

Movies often portray the city as a dystopia, particularly in the 'neo-noir' genre, which explores postmodern themes. TV shows and ads present an altogether sunnier picture of life in the city.
Stony Creek drain: untidy and often slightly threatening, informal green space still has value for residents, which appropriate intervention can enhance.

How do we turn a drain into valued green space? First, ask the residents

Residents often have concerns about informal green space but some still use it. Work to enhance these areas should aim to resolve these concerns without destroying what residents do value.
The Thomson Dam, Melbourne’s largest water storage, dropped to only 16% of capacity in the last big drought. Melbourne Water/flickr

This is what Australia’s growing cities need to do to avoid running dry

Australian cities have turned to some very costly solutions when water is scarce. But as the world's second-highest users of water per person, more efficient use and recycling are key.
It’s now possible to experience virtual walks through nature – like this video, for example – but can that ever match the real thing? Video screenshot, sounds from the core/YouTube

Can virtual nature and poo transplants solve city dwellers’ health problems?

Faecal transplants and virtual nature are technological solutions to ‘nature deficit disorder’ from urban living. Such 'quick fixes' offer some benefits, but are no substitute for the real thing.
Including community members as participants and co-creators of the Dragon of Shandon is central to the festival’s success. OpenLens.ie/Dragon of Shandon

A dragon-led recovery: how a community is reaping the benefits of a spooky Halloween festival

Urban festivals built on community involvement can reinvigorate places and create a shared sense of place and purpose that lasts long after the event is over.
Lots of parking: the extraordinary amount of valuable land used to park cars in most cities could soon be freed up for other uses. Antonio Gravante/Shutterstock

Freeing up the huge areas set aside for parking can transform our cities

Cities around the world are starting to rethink the vast areas of land set aside for parking. The convergence of several trends likely will mean this space becomes available for other uses.

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