Articles on Urban community

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Even without air conditioning, there are still many things you can do to prepare for extreme heat and stay comfortable on hot days. fizkes/Shutterstock

How to cope with extreme heat days without racking up the aircon bills

Air conditioning isn't the answer for everyone, especially for residents of the less affluent – and often hotter – suburbs of our big cities. But there are other ways to make hot days more bearable.
Greater Dandenong Civic Centre was completed in 2014 with new council chambers, a library and Harmony Square. Photo: Hayley Henderson

Comeback city? Lessons from revitalising a diverse place like Dandenong

A major investment in renewing the urban centre of Dandenong is starting to pay dividends. But while research has found three keys to success, the benefits haven't reached everyone.
One nine-year-old chose his local supermarket as a place he valued because he could “spend time with mum and help decide what goes in our trolley”. Shutterstock

Public places through kids’ eyes – what do they value?

When primary school children in a disadvantaged part of Sydney were asked to map what they valued in the area, their choices were revealing and sometimes surprising.
When neighbourhoods lose their corner stores, they also lose a place where people meet and feel like part of their local community. Susan Fitzgerald/Flickr

More than milk and bread: corner store revival can rebuild neighbourhood ties

As neighbourhoods lost their milk bars, they also lost a daily point of connection for locals. But all is not lost. In some areas, the humble corner store is making a comeback.
Public libraries can use their status as community hubs to engage the public in scenario planning for the future. Mosman Library/Flickr

How public libraries can help prepare us for the future

We commonly think of libraries as repositories of knowledge accumulated over centuries. But the public library also connects people in ways that can enable communities to plan for their future.
Residents play Pimp my Suburb, an exercise in engaging the community in achieving higher density while preserving what they love about their neighbourhood. Anthony Duckworth-Smith

Playing games? It’s a serious way to win community backing for change

Faced with local planning changes like infill development people often fear they could lose the neighbourhood they love. But serious games are proving effective in giving locals a say in their future.
New housing estates on the city fringes might be soulless, cookie-cutter developments, but communities can invest them with layers of meaning that create a sense of place. Lukas Coch/AAP

How to turn a housing development into a place where people feel they belong

A sense of place matters for people and communities. When a suburb is created from scratch, close attention needs to be paid to the cues from the landscape and meanings people attach to the area.
The ways in which older women maintain meaningful social connections are many and varied – in this case, they do volunteer work for a greyhound adoption service. Joe Castro/AAP

Vital conversations: older women have their say about the challenges of life in a city like Melbourne

What matters to women as they grow older, as the city's population changes and urban development continues apace? You don't know unless you ask them – and they have so much to contribute.

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