Articles on Urban policy

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Under the El tracks, downtown Chicago. Franck Michel

Urban noise pollution is worst in poor and minority neighborhoods and segregated cities

New research shows that noise pollution in US cities is concentrated in poor and minority communities. Beyond regulating airplane noise, the US has done relatively little to curb noise pollution.
The first autonomous vehicles are already upon us, but once their use becomes widespread they will change cities as surely as the original cars did. AAP/nuTonomy

Driverless vehicles could bring out the best – or worst – in our cities by transforming land use

It's clear autonomous vehicles will disrupt our cities, their land use and planning. Whether they make urban life better or worse depends on how well we anticipate and adapt to their impacts.
Homeless residents of El Bronx embrace after a May 2016 raid that displaced thousands, sending some to shelters and others to streets elsewhere in the city. Fernando Vergara/AP

Who are the real targets of Bogota’s crackdown on crime?

Bogota's mayor wants to make the city 'better for all,' but repeated police crackdowns have displaced thousands of homeless Colombians. Are clean streets really more important than human rights?
The city of Vancouver is set among a beautiful background, but the scenic wonder masks other problems. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Vancouver’s urban conundrum: Let’s design better cities

Vancouver may be one of the most beautiful cities in the world, but the president of Emily Carr University says the city could benefit from the discipline of design.
Perth has long had many fine parks but is losing vegetation cover in a band of increasingly dense development across the city. Ruben Schade/flickr

We’re investing heavily in urban greening, so how are our cities doing?

A new study shows major Australian cities are suffering an overall loss of green space – although some areas are doing better than others.
Rail investments have brought Ballarat, Geelong and other regional centres closer in travel time to Melbourne than many outer suburbs. Tony & Wayne/flickr

This is how regional rail can help ease our big cities’ commuter crush

Victoria offers lessons in the benefits of integrating metropolitan and regional planning, using regional rail to shrink distance and ease the pressures of growth on our big capital cities.
Forty years on, there is still resistance to mixing with the ‘sort of people’ who were segregated in social housing tower blocks. David Jackmanson/flickr

Class divide defies social mixing and keeps public housing stigma alive

Even where communities are mixed, many inner-city families go to extraordinary financial and geographic lengths to ensure their children do not go to school with children from 'the flats'.
When public investment in a development like Sydney’s Northern Beaches Hospital boosts land values, who should reap those gains: the community or individual owners? NSW Premier's Office/AAP

Tax on ‘unearned gains’ is the missing piece of the affordable housing puzzle

Who is entitled to the increase in value created by planning approvals, new infrastructure, population growth or urban development? For John Stuart Mill, the answer would have been the community.
Must we become passive observers to the destruction of one of Melbourne’s most culturally diverse and socially rich suburbs?

When a suburb’s turn for gentrification comes …

Must the aggressive, homogeneous global pattern of development take its course in Melbourne's long-standing multicultural suburb of Footscray?
Brisbane cycle path signage: Slow! Michael Coghlan

We should create cities for slowing down

Smart cities are usually optimised like a business for speed and efficiency. Placemaking can slow down cities to improve health and wellbeing and promote more democratic engagement of citizens.
To meet the needs of lower-income households, housing should be both affordable and located near public transport and other services. Graeme Bartlett/Wikimedia

What a difference a month makes, but Victoria can still do more to get housing and planning right

Victoria has been lagging behind other states in developing an affordable housing strategy. Now that one has been released, how well does it meet the needs of households on lower incomes?
Empty field north of downtown Detroit, photographed nine months before the city declared bankruptcy in 2013. AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File

Detroit’s recovery: The glass is half-full at most

Less than four years after Detroit filed for bankruptcy, boosters say a revival is underway in the Motor City. But two scholars say new growth has not spread yet to neighborhoods that need it.
Wes Mountain/The Conversation

Eight podcasts to get between your ears this year

The Conversation asked eight authors from across its sections to tell us about their favourite podcasts – and why you should tune in.
The draft regional plan, ShapingSEQ, released by Queensland Deputy Premier Jackie Trad, has been influenced by ‘stakeholders’ rather than representative community input. Twitter

ShapingSEQ regional plan gives ‘stakeholders’ a bigger say than citizens

The draft plan for Southeast Queensland largely takes a 'provide land for the predicted demand' approach, which assumes regional planning is a type of technical process best left to the experts.

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