Blog

Regional cities beware – fast rail might lead to disadvantaged dormitories, not booming economies

17 July 2019

Governments are looking to fast rail services to regional cities to relieve population pressures in major cities, but will subsidising metropolitan workers to live in cheaper regional towns have a positive economic effect?

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From hospital to homeless: Victoria’s mental health system fails the most vulnerable

11 July 2019

People experiencing homelessness and poor mental health are among Australia’s most vulnerable citizens. Without secure housing and an accessible mental healthcare system, recovery from mental illness is seriously compromised.

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Walking and cycling to work makes commuters happier and more productive

04 July 2019

In Australia, more than 9 million people commute to work every weekday. The distance they travel and how they get there – car, public transport, cycling or walking – can influence their well-being and performance at work.

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Australia’s social housing policy needs stronger leadership and an investment overhaul

03 July 2019

Australia will need another 730,000 social housing dwellings in 20 years if it is to tackle homelessness and housing stress among low-income renters.

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Creating built environments to support active living

28 May 2019

More than 75% of the population of Australia’s largest cities continue to live in suburbs. The implications include reduced opportunities for physical activity, social interaction, access to public transport & high motor vehicle dependency.

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How should I vote if I care about preventing the extinction of nature?

17 May 2019

Some voters heading to the polls this weekend may be casting their ballot with biodiversity in mind, after a major UN report released last week highlighted the global extinction crisis facing more than a million species.

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Of all the problems our cities need to fix, lack of car parking isn’t one of them

Parking is a fiery issue in Australian cities. That’s because cars dominate our cities, supported by decades of unbalanced planning decisions favouring space for cars over other land uses or forms of transport

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Crowded trains? Planning focus on cars misses new apartment impacts

12 May 2019

Wondering why you can’t get a seat on the train? Perhaps it’s because we don’t actually know how many extra people will use public transport when new building developments are planned.

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Liveable urban environments: An opportunity or threat to reducing health inequities?

10 May 2019

Creating ‘liveable’ urban environments is seen as an important way of improving the health and wellbeing of the residents in our towns and cities.

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Indonesia isn’t the only country planning new cities. Why not Australia?

02 May 2019

The announcement that President Joko Widodo’s government will move Indonesia’s capital to another location, due to the severity of human-induced degradation in Jakarta, highlights a key tension for cities today.

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Mapping our urban forests

05 April 2019

How do we ensure we have thriving and extensive urban vegetation as our cities develop, consolidate and grow? This is one of the key urban challenges of Australian cities.

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Assessing the evolution of Victoria’s environment portfolio

20 March 2019

A new report by Dr Brian Coffey contributes to a better understanding of Victoria’s environment portfolio, how it has evolved, and how it might be improved.

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The terror of climate change is transforming young people’s identity

15 March 2019

Today, thousands of Australian students will join children from over 82 countries who are walking out of school to protest climate change inaction.

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Living ‘liveable’: this is what residents have to say about life on the urban fringe

20 February 2019

Recent studies show Melbourne’s and Sydney’s fast-growing outer suburbs lag behind other parts of the city in access to urban design, employment and amenities and services that foster liveability.

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Is social housing essential infrastructure? How we think about it does matter

06 February 2019

As house prices subside from recent record highs, Australians are struggling to obtain the housing they need to be as healthy, well and secure as they could be yet many Australians have no home at all.

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Australia is counting on cooking the books to meet its climate targets

31 January 2019

A new OECD report has warned that Australia risks falling short of its 2030 emissions target unless it implements “a major effort to move to a low-carbon model”.

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Labor’s housing pledge is welcome, but direct investment in social housing would improve it

18 December 2018

Despite recent falls in the housing market, housing costs and indebtedness bite deeply into household budgets, especially at Christmas time.

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The small patch of bush over your back fence might be key to a species’ survival

13 December 2018

It may not look like a pristine expanse of Amazon rainforest, but the patch of bush at the end of the street could be one of the only places on the planet that has a particular species of endangered animal or plant.

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Australia needs to triple its social housing by 2036. This is the best way to do it

18 November 2018

Australia needs to triple its small stock of social housing over the next 20 years to cover both the existing backlog and newly emerging need.

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Here’s how to design cities where people and nature can both flourish

24 October 2018

Aside from benefits for people, cities are often hotspots for threatened species and are justifiable locations for serious investment in nature conservation for its own sake.

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Working out what makes a good community where young children can thrive

23 October 2018

Stimulating and positive environments early in life provide optimal foundations for children’s ongoing development into adulthood. This in turn makes a difference to the productivity of society at large.

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One reason people install smart home tech is to show off to their friends

26 September 2018

Ever wondered what all the fuss is about when it comes to smart homes? You’re not alone.

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When falling home ownership and ageing baby boomers collide

25 September 2018

Until now, the majority of older people in Australia have achieved the goal of owning their own home outright. Hence, policymakers have typically shown little concern about the size and budget costs of rental housing assistance programs for seniors.

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Business as usual? The Sustainable Development Goals apply to Australian cities too

19 September 2018

We are still settling Australian cities on unceded Aboriginal lands. With the global agreement on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015, development has finally come home to the developed world.