Articles on Sustainable cities

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Mural at Rockaway Brewing Company in Long Island City, Queens, New York, a longtime industrial and transportation hub that now is rapidly redeveloping. AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

What lies beneath: To manage toxic contamination in cities, study their industrial histories

Many homes, parks and businesses in US cities stand on former manufacturing sites that may have left legacy hazardous wastes behind. A new book calls for more research into our urban industrial past.
Australia’s sprawling cities present many challenges to sustainability, but planning innovations can help achieve at least half of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Nils Versemann/Shutterstock

Our cities fall short on sustainability, but planning innovations offer local solutions

Planning innovations around the world offer inspiration, but ultimately the innovations needed to make Australia's sprawling cities more sustainable must be shaped by local conditions.
Children’s travel needs are a big factor in private car use. Pablo Rogat/Shutterstock

Children in the car era: bad for them and the planet

The private car is the default transport option for many families. This reduces physical activity and increases greenhouse gas emissions, with unhealthy results for their children and the environment.
Conspicuous consumption is one of the main ways that China-born migrants come to mirror Australian society. Nils Versemann/Shutterstock

Chinese migrants follow and add to Australian city dwellers’ giant ecological footprints

Australian cities are world-leading – in the worst sense – for resource use and greenhouse emissions. China-born residents have embraced these consumption patterns, which is bad news for the planet.
Barangaroo is a development on Sydney Harbour with strong green credentials, but it’s overwhelmingly the well-off who enjoy the benefits. Brendan Esposito/AAP

Making developments green doesn’t help with inequality

Barangaroo is an example of a development with admirable green credentials, but it is also an exclusive precinct that has played a role in displacing the disadvantaged from this part of Sydney.
Australia is a long way from achieving responsible consumption and production – SDG 12 – and China exposed the reliance on shifting the problem elsewhere when it stopped accepting waste for recycling. Joe Castro/AAP

Business as usual? The Sustainable Development Goals apply to Australian cities too

Australia has yet to properly acknowledge that the Sustainable Development Goals aren't just an issue for other countries. The problems that demand our attention are much closer to home.
Street in Hangzhou, China, with trees separating a cycle track from road traffic and from the sidewalk. Xu Wen

Designing greener streets starts with finding room for bicycles and trees

Many US cities are investing in bike infrastructure and shade trees. Properly located, these additions can make streets cooler, cleaner and safer for all users – even those who drive.
Planning and design for healthy, liveable communities in the Australian tropics can involve quite different considerations from those that apply down south. Silvia Tavares

Making a global agenda work locally for healthy, sustainable living in tropical Australia

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.
For a megacity, Tokyo is rich in trees. gillyberlin/flickr

We calculated how much money trees save for your city

In an increasingly urban world, trees can make a major difference. One study found that, for every dollar invested in planting, megacities saw a $2.50 return on their investment.

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