News

Rethinking ‘place’ in more-than-human cities

Connecting people with place is a popular and appealing pursuit in Australian cities. Design and planning professionals use place-focused and placemaking strategies and initiatives to reconnect human communities, enliven streets and revitalise neighbourhoods to be more socially and environmentally sustainable.

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Creating healthy cities for all needs collaborACTION

There is over 30 years of research on how aspects of the built environment can be shaped to support health and wellbeing. Despite knowing better, we are still building neighbourhoods without public transport, good parks and footpaths.

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Why public Wi-Fi? The rise of public networks in Australia

Investment in public Wi-Fi provision by Australian local government authorities (LGAs) has surged in recent years. But why do LGAs choose to operate public networks, and what are these networks used for?

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Informal greenspaces: Values, perceptions and use

Apart from formal parks and gardens, street verges and other planned greenspaces, most cities have pockets of unplanned vegetation and leftover open spaces, including vacant lots, railway verges and drainage channels.

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Filling the space between trams and place

How is movement and place represented across Melbourne’s tram network?

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Implementing sustainability in the built environment

Why we should be challenging the status quo to increase the role and effectiveness of the building and planning system in delivering sustainable cities

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Ask not what nature can do for you

In our recent paper, we ponder whether the increasingly prevalent trend for framing nature in terms of ecosystem services is actually helping to build public engagement in conservation.

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August 2018 edition of The Urban Observer out now

With Australia’s population reaching 25 million this month, the liveability of our cities has become critically important for our national prosperity and sustainability.

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Blog

How many people make a good city? It’s not the size that matters, but how you use it

Australia’s population clock is, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, steadily ticking away at an overall total population increase of one person every 1 minute and 23 seconds.

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Embracing the chaos

By transcending disciplinary boundaries researchers can reconceptualise human-nature relations. Issues of the scale of mass species extinctions or climate change are never going to be solved by a single discipline acting alone. 

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Media

Sydney liveability scorecard reveals urban wins and fails

A new report measuring Sydney’s liveability progress has found that the city is struggling to meet its public transport targets, but other Australian capitals should aim to replicate its ambitious policies.

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Blog

Empty car parks everywhere, but nowhere to park. How cities can do better

It’s a familiar story in Australian cities: a new apartment building is proposed, and debate soon follows about whether the new residents will have enough public transport or coffee shops. Just kidding.

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Urban researcher wins Graduate Women Victoria scholarship

RMIT PhD student Ani Landau-Ward has been awarded the prestigious William and Elizabeth Fisher Scholarship for her research on property registration for marginalised communities.

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Why Australia’s homelessness problem is getting worse, despite a rise in housing stock

New housing supply is simply not expanding affordable housing opportunities for the poor in a way that reduces the homelessness count.

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As power prices soar, we need a concerted effort to tackle energy poverty

Energy pricing is complicated and confusing, as a forthcoming report from the Australian consumer watchdog makes clear.

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New study probes links between apartment design and mental health

Researchers are investigating how to improve apartment design policy to enhance the mental health of residents.

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New book calls for policy to branch out to nature for healthier cities

Dr Cecily Maller’s new book challenges how we create healthy liveable cities and calls for planners and urban policymakers to integrate ways for humans to live better with nature and other life forms.

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New research puts the brakes on city car parking glut

New research by an RMIT urban academic has revealed that up to 40 per cent of apartment parking in central areas of Melbourne are going unused.

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Rail access improves liveability, but all regional centres are not equal

Our research on the liveability of regional cities in Victoria has identified an important element: liveability in these areas requires fast, reliable and frequent rail connections to capital cities.

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Urban researcher wins new Thinker in Residence award

Dr Hannah Badland from RMIT Centre for Urban Research has been awarded the prestigious Thinker in Residence by the Australian Health Promotion Association for her contributions to health promotion.

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Media

One in three Australian kids exposed to disadvantage

Almost a third of Australian children experience some form of disadvantage that can have a lasting impact on their development, a new study of more than 5,000 children released today has found.

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Remaking Cities: 14th Urban History Planning History Conference Proceedings

Remaking Cities was the theme of the 14th Urban History Planning History conference, a biennial and multi-disciplinary gathering of scholars and practitioners with interests in the histories of cities and urban planning.

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Food sharing with a 21st-century twist – and Melbourne’s a world leader

Food sharing is experiencing a renaissance in cities around the world. By food sharing, we mean the collaborative growing, cooking, eating and distributing of food as well as sharing food-related skills, spaces and tools.

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Blog

Decolonising Settler Cities

Decolonising Settler Cities was a series of events held throughout 2017 bringing together Indigenous and non-Indigenous activists, scholars, communities and practitioners to share their questions and critiques, experience and knowledge of cities as settler-colonial modes of power, and the possibilities and obstacles they present for Indigenous land justice.

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