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As heatwaves and floods hit cities worldwide, these places are pioneering solutions

17 January 2023

Climate change is going just as badly for cities as we have been warned it would. Extreme weather is increasingly common and severe globally. Australian cities have endured a number of recent disastrous events. It’ll get worse, too. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) factsheet outlining impacts on human settlements is a very sobering […]

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Our laws fail nature. The government’s plan to overhaul them looks good, but crucial detail is yet to come

11 December 2022

Brendan Wintle, The University of Melbourne; Martine Maron, The University of Queensland, and Sarah Bekessy, RMIT University The Albanese government has just released its long-awaited response to a scathing independent review of Australia’s environment protection law. The 2020 review ultimately found the laws were flawed, outdated and, without fundamental reform, would continue to see plants […]

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Implementing nature-based solutions to reduce climate risks in informal settlements, Solomon Islands

06 December 2022

The Solomon Islands has been identified as one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change, with informal settlements and the urban poor particularly sensitive to weather-related extreme events. A multi-disciplinary scientific team from RMIT University, led by Prof. Darryn McEvoy, is engaged in several projects that aim to increase the climate resilience of marginalised communities in the capital city, Honiara.

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Melbourne revegetation plan calls for on-street parking to go undercover

29 November 2022

New research reveals up to half of Melbourne’s on-street parking spaces could be converted into hectares of new green space, without a net loss of parking for the public.

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How superblocks can free up and improve CBD space for the people of Melbourne – a step-by-step guide

18 November 2022

Marco Amati, RMIT University; Chris De Gruyter, RMIT University, and Salvador Rueda, Instituto de Arquitectura Avanzada de Cataluña (IAAC) For 185 years, Melbourne’s Hoddle Grid – the ordered layout of CBD streets and blocks designed in 1837 – has dictated the flow of people and vehicles in the city centre. But how well does the […]

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You are now one of 8 billion humans alive today. Let’s talk overpopulation – and why low income countries aren’t the issue

15 November 2022

There are now 8 billion people in the world. Do we have enough food? What does this mean for nature? Are more humans a catastrophe for climate change?

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‘Too hard to get to work’: climate change is making workers’ lives more difficult

20 September 2022

“Work” – broadly defined – is what allows society to function. Like other old certainties, it is under threat from climate change.

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Will 7-star housing really cost more? It depends, but you can keep costs down in a few simple ways

10 September 2022

Trivess Moore, RMIT University and Nicola Willand, RMIT University The required energy-efficiency rating of new housing in Australia will increase from 6 to 7 stars from October next year. Some claim this will greatly increase housing costs. But is this true? Costs for new home owners are the sum of three things: capital costs to […]

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RMIT joins Social Sciences Week

23 August 2022

This year the Centre for Urban Research, Urban Futures Enabling Capability Platforms and Social Change Enabling Capability Platform are presenting a number of events as part of Social Sciences Week. With online and in-person events, these sessions look at how social sciences help us make sense of an uncertain future. How to live in a […]

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Protecting 30% of Australia’s land and sea by 2030 sounds great – but it’s not what it seems

28 July 2022

Benjamin Cooke, RMIT University; Aidan Davison, University of Tasmania; Jamie Kirkpatrick, University of Tasmania, and Lilian Pearce, La Trobe University You would have heard Australia’s environment isn’t doing well. A grim story of “crisis and decline” was how Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek described the situation when she launched the State of the Environment Report last […]

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New project examines neighbourhood influence on early childhood development

08 July 2022

A new project led by the Centre’s Deputy Director Hannah Badland has just been awarded a VicHealth Impact Research Grant

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Melbourne ranked 10th most liveable city, but what does it mean?

24 June 2022

This year, Melbourne was the only Australian city to take a top-10 spot in the Economist Intelligence Unit liveable cities index, sharing tenth place with Osaka. But how meaningful are these rankings?

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THAT-Melbourne wins national PIA Award for Planning Research

18 May 2022

The Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) last night awarded the Planning Research award to the Centre for Urban Research project “Measuring the health impacts of transport modelling” and the Transport Health Assessment Tool for Melbourne (THAT-Melbourne), led by Dr Lucy Gunn. The award recognises an outstanding achievement in planning research. PIA noted that the research was an “innovative […]

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I want my vote to count for nature: how do the major parties stack up?

18 May 2022

The animals and plants at risk of extinction finally made it onto the political agenda last week, as Labor and the Greens launched biodiversity policies ahead of the federal election.

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Australian cities out of step on walkability, transport: study

13 May 2022

A new series, part of the Global Healthy and Sustainable City-Indicators Collaboration and led by Distinguished Professor Billie-Giles Corti, has been published in The Lancet Global Health. The ‘Urban Design, Transport and Health Series 2’ assesses city planning policies and the urban design and transport features of 25 cities across Australasia, Asia, Europe, USA, Central […]

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Five maps that show why free public transport benefits the affluent most

28 March 2022

As high global oil prices, spurred by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, drive up the price of fuel and many other things too, there’s pressure on Australian politicians to offer some relief.

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New IPCC report shows Australia is at real risk from climate change, with impacts worsening, future risks high, and wide-ranging adaptation needed

28 February 2022

Climatic trends, extreme conditions and sea level rise are already hitting many of Australia’s ecosystems, industries and cities hard.

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Everything is connected and climate change can unravel the lot

25 February 2022

Interconnected systems are what keep cities functioning. But climate change can undo one part, and unravel the whole system.

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ARC Discovery project takes a new approach to understanding precarious living situations

30 January 2022

An Australian Research Council Discovery grant has been awarded to Professor Libby Porter and Dr David Kelly.

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THAT-Melbourne wins PIA Victoria Award for Excellence in Planning Research

15 December 2021

Two projects out of the Centre for Urban Research were recognised at last week’s 2021 PIA Victoria Awards for Planning Excellence.

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Five big ideas: how Australia can tackle climate change while restoring nature, culture and communities

24 November 2021

Rachel Morgain, The University of Melbourne; Brendan Wintle, The University of Melbourne; Judy Bush, The University of Melbourne; Michael-Shawn Fletcher, The University of Melbourne, and Thami Croeser, RMIT University Originally published on The Conversation – 25 November 2021 Australia’s plan to reach net zero emissions by 2050 relies heavily on unproven technologies to sequester carbon from the […]

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Urban Futures 2021 Photo Competition

16 August 2021

Show us your photo of urban spaces near you where cities and nature collide and how it has benefitted your neighbourhood for a chance to win up to $500.

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Governments need to be bigger drivers of transport innovation: research

29 July 2021

Despite a host of disruptive new technologies entering Australia’s transport ecosystem, our planning, urban design, infrastructure and transport frameworks remain mired in a twentieth-century policy-making mindset.

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How do we make ethical cities?

23 July 2021

As cities around world transition to a low carbon future, how do we ensure our places and communities remain fair for all?​ Experts in Australia, Europe and the UK share their insights on how cities can approach a decarbonised future in an ethically informed way.