Opera Australia’s production, Aida, at the Arts Centre Melbourne.
AAP Image/Luis Ascui
Two reports — from think tank A New Approach and ex-Grattan Institute director John Daley — say Australian art and culture hasn’t advocated for itself effectively. But we need to try something new.
Auckland has risen to the top of a global liveable cities survey on the back of the country’s pandemic response. But that’s not the full picture.
Photo: Hao Wu
A global study of 117 cities finds Australian capitals have fairly poor access by car. Public transport, cycling and walking access is better than in the US, but not as good as in Europe and China.
Photo: Paul Tranter
Cities around the world are reducing traffic speeds and improving access to local services and activities by public transport, cycling and walking. They are now reaping the many ‘slow city’ benefits.
The push for 30km/h speed limits is not about revenue-raising or anti-cars. Even a seemingly small decrease from 40km/h to 30km/h makes a huge difference to the safety and liveability of local streets.
The pervasive impacts of infrastructure projects on public health are often overlooked. New research is teasing out the many ways Melbourne’s level-crossing removals will affect people’s health.
Walking all parts of Melbourne before and after the pandemic hit was eye-opening. It brought home just how much change is possible if we wish for a better, more sustainable way of living.
Image: Kathleen Brasher
If Australia created more age-friendly neighbourhoods — which really are more liveable for everyone — then we wouldn’t have to rely so heavily on underfunded, substandard aged-care homes.
The differences in sentiment in areas of high and low neighbourhood amenity have been clear under Melbourne’s tough COVID restrictions. It’s further evidence of the impacts of inequity on well-being.
Proposals to improve the capital’s urban design and density must also take account of the city’s unique streetscapes.
Australia lacks a coherent national approach to planning where settlement and growth happens. It’s time to take stock of our cities and regions and work together to improve outcomes across the nation.
Do we really want to go back to daily commuting as the default way of working?
The change in our behaviour in response to COVID-19 has created an opportunity to build on this moment and transform our local neighbourhoods into vibrant mixed-use centres of activity.
Abdul Razak Latif/Shutterstock
Before the pandemic, the country was making great strides towards creating more compact, sustainable and liveable cities.
We are all finding out about neighbourhood liveability as we stay home for the coronavirus lockdown. What we learn about local strengths and weaknesses can help us improve our communities in future.
The neighbourhoods of Paris, Barcelona and Amsterdam with densities 3-5 times those of Melbourne and Sydney offer an insight into how we could transform our cities for the better.
The benefits of ‘superblocks’ for Barcelona include better health, access to green space and other public space, and more transport-related physical activity.
The Spanish city is remaking urban neighbourhoods by limiting through traffic in superblocks that give priority to pedestrians and street activities, not cars.
Where’s the shade? Trees are not an immediate or whole answer to keeping cool.
Trees and the shade they provide are one of the best ways of cooling cities. But they also present challenges that are best resolved by managing this shared resource as part of an urban commons.
During a heatwave in late 2018, Cairns temperatures topped 35°C nine days in a row and sensors at some points in the CBD recorded 45°C.
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.
Increasing heat in Sydney and other Australian cities highlights the urgent need to apply our knowledge of how to create liveable low-carbon cities.
The research has been done. The evidence is in. We know how to create cities that are sustainable, liveable and affordable. But we have yet to apply that knowledge widely across Australian cities.
Urban greening is just one aspect of the transformation required to ensure our future cities are sustainable, liveable places.
Future Earth Australia is working to create a long-term national plan of transformation for our cities. As part of this, everyone in Australia is invited to have their say in a survey.