Articles on Urban planning

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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.
Calgary beat out Vancouver on this year’s most livable city index issued by the Economist magazine. Flickr

Canada’s most livable city is not Vancouver…it’s Calgary

Vancouver lost out to Calgary as Canada's most livable city this year. Why? Is it the high cost of housing or is it the city's 'neighbourhood first' method that sometimes creates business instability?
In poorer communities, shared spaces tend to be poorly maintained and utilitarian. from shutterstock.com

Our urban environment doesn’t only reflect poverty, it amplifies it

We wear our surroundings like a cloak. Lower-income communities often live in environments that discourage healthy, outdoor activities. This perpetuates their poorer health and traps them in poverty.
If vintage city design used to trap women in suburbia, what’s the modern city looking like? from shutterstock.com

How far have we come since the ’80s vision of the ‘non-sexist city’?

In the 1970s, a young urban planning professor, Dolores Hayden, believed that city design was the key to unlocking patriarchal structures that trapped women in the home. How much has the city changed?
Cities were once considered a source of many problems. But that vision has changed over the last generation. Graeme Roy

Our changing views of the city: A new urban celebration

Our current celebration of cities is a big shift from the past generation when cities were seen to contain all of our problems. Should we believe the hype? Are the new ideas equally problematic?
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.
A car is set alight during the 2005 riots that prompted soul-searching in France about segregated and badly designed housing projects. A.J./Wikimedia

When neighbourhoods become dangerous, look to local strengths for a lifeline

Planning matters. The 2005 riots in France started in badly designed housing projects, while innovative planning helped Medellín, Colombia, shed its reputation as the most violent city in the world.
‘The Block’ in Redfern has been a site of struggle and activism for Indigenous inclusion in planning processes. AAP Image/Paul Miller

Indigenous communities are reworking urban planning, but planners need to accept their history

While planning policies and practices have contributed to marginalising Indigenous people, planners can now work with them to ensure they have their rightful say in shaping Australian communities.
Firefighters didn’t expect to find hundreds of homeless families squatting in a São Paulo building that caught fire. REUTERS/Leonardo Benassatto

Deadly highrise fire in Brazil spotlights city’s housing crisis and the squatter movement it spawned

Hundreds of squatters were living in a vacant police station in São Paulo when fire broke out on May 1, killing up to four people. The residents were part of Brazil's nationwide homeless movement.
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.
Originating in the Netherlands, the concept of ‘woonerfs’, areas designed to invite walking, playing, socialising and cycling while curbing motor vehicles, has spread to cities in other countries, including Berlin. Eric Sehr/Flickr

Designing the compassionate city to overcome built-in biases and help us live better

All around us, the places we inhabit send us physical and visual cues that influence our behaviour. Good design can tilt the balance so our surroundings help us act in ways that fulfil our needs.

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