Articles on Urban design

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Harvest Kitchen restaurant, on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, making use of New York City’s new policy of opening streets to walking, biking and dining. Ron Adar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

New York opens traffic-clogged streets to people during pandemic, the city’s latest redesign in times of dramatic change

First trains, then cars and, now, COVID-19 have all spurred New York to reimagine how its scarce space should be used – and what residents need to survive.
Access to the shoreline is great, but what about places not on the coast? Béju (Happy City, Street Plan, University of Virginia)

‘Blue’ space: Access to water features can boost city dwellers’ mental health

Research into public health benefits of integrating nature into cities has focused on green spaces. New studies suggest water features are just as useful and can piggyback on other infrastructure goals.
Dalian is an emerging city and tourist destination in China, but its urban spaces could be improved in many ways. Paul J Martin/Shutterstock

China can learn from Australian urban design, but it’s not all one-way traffic

Australia has well established urban design guidelines, whereas many Chinese cities don't have any – and it shows. But Australia can also learn from China.
The more comfortable women feel about breastfeeding in public, the better for both babies and society. Maxim Krivonos/Shutterstock

Here’s how to make our cities breastfeeding-friendly

Promoting the benefits of breastfeeding isn't enough when uncomfortable and uninviting public places deter mothers. Places that help them feel comfortable breastfeeding have several key features.
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.
Cairns Lagoon: as a good response to the tropical climate, it’s a very active place but with little business activity. Silvia Tavares

City temperatures and city economics, a hidden relationship between sun and wind and profits

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.
Bright light does not necessarily make a space feel safer, as seen here where there’s a sharp drop-off into dark shadows at the edge of the path. grafxart/Shutterstock

More lighting alone does not create safer cities. Look at what research with young women tells us

Bright lighting alone does not make a space feel safe. It can blind and disorientate and create dark shadows at the edges. Tellingly, 'unsafe' places had much higher illuminance than 'safe' places.

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