City Futures Blog

News and research in housing and urban policy, from Australia’s leading urban policy research centre.

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Beyond the city – healthy built environments in regional and rural localities

September 18th, 2017 · No Comments · Government, Planning, Sustainability, Wellbeing

By Susan Thompson. This is an edited version of the ‘Healthy Built Environments’ column published in the September 2017 issue of New Planner. Healthy planning is about supporting the wellbeing of all people, no matter where they live, their age, physical and mental abilities, and irrespective of their socio-economic status.  In this ‘urban’ century, when more […]

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What’s equity got to do with health in a higher-density city?

August 24th, 2017 · No Comments · Cities, Planning, Public space, Wellbeing

Green space, easily accessible to everyone no matter what their income, should be a priority in designing high-density residential areas. Marcus Jaaske from www.shutterstock.com By Susan Thompson, UNSW and Gregory Paine, UNSW. This article is the last of a series of articles based on new research into the place of lower-income and disadvantaged households in a […]

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Why investor-driven urban density is inevitably linked to disadvantage

August 23rd, 2017 · No Comments · Affordability, Cities, Construction, Housing, Housing conditions, Housing supply, Planning, Sydney, urban renewal

By Bill Randolph, UNSW This article is the third in a series based on new research into the place of lower-income and disadvantaged households in a compact city. Originally published on The Conversation. The densification of Australian cities has been heralded as a boon for housing choice and diversity. The up-beat promotion of “the swing […]

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It’s not just the buildings, high-density neighbourhoods make life worse for the poor

August 22nd, 2017 · No Comments · Affordability, Cities, Demographics, Housing, Planning, Public space, Sydney, urban renewal

By Laurence Troy, UNSW; Hazel Easthope, UNSW, and Laura Crommelin, UNSW This article is the second in a series based on new research into the place of lower-income and disadvantaged households in a compact city. Originally published on The Conversation. Last year marked the first time that construction began on more higher-density housing in Australia […]

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This is why apartment living is different for the poor

August 21st, 2017 · No Comments · Affordability, Cities, Housing conditions, Strata, urban renewal

By Hazel Easthope, UNSW; Laura Crommelin, UNSW, and Laurence Troy, UNSW This article is the first in a series based on new research into the place of lower-income and disadvantaged households in a compact city. There’s been a lot of talk about apartment living of late. Whether it’s millennials who can’t afford to buy a […]

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The Conscious City

August 15th, 2017 · No Comments · Cities, Data, Planning, Wellbeing

Image credit: Emily Mitchell By Greg Paine and Susan Thompson, City Futures Research Centre, UNSW Sydney. The city is a complex place.  It is hard to unpack all of the components that make up the enormity of the city phenomenon.  To help make sense of it all, characterising the city in particular ways can assist. […]

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Harnessing Big Data in Challenging Urban Contexts

August 9th, 2017 · No Comments · Cities, Data, Guest appearance, Law, Migration, Sustainability, Transport

Harnessing big data in an urban context is the “grand challenge.” Image: AIG By Laura Bruce, Built Environment, UNSW Sydney. On July 21st 2017 academics and public sector representatives met to discuss the challenge of harnessing big data in the urban context in order to address the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The event was hosted […]

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Saving Sirius: why heritage protection should include social housing

July 28th, 2017 · No Comments · Government, Law, Social housing, Sydney, urban renewal

By Chris Martin, UNSW. Originally published on The Conversation. Campaigners to save Sydney’s landmark Sirius building from demolition had a significant legal win this week. Last year, the then state heritage minister, Mark Speakman, refused to list the Brutalist block of public housing apartments on the New South Wales Heritage Register. Doing so would reduce the […]

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Sydney must heed lessons of London affordable housing fiasco

July 20th, 2017 · No Comments · Affordable housing, Government, Housing supply, Planning, Social housing, Sydney, urban renewal

By Hal Pawson, Associate Director, City Futures Research Centre. A recent Sydney Morning Herald feature on urban renewal in London shone an interesting and quite revealing spotlight on a high profile project with a major Australian connection. Crucially, though this rather uncritical account completely missed the aspect of the story with the greatest direct relevance […]

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Taxing empty homes: a step towards affordable housing, but much more can be done

July 17th, 2017 · No Comments · Affordability, Housing, Housing supply, Tax

Vacant and unlit ‘ghost’ apartments are a source of public outrage in major cities around the world. leniners/flickr, CC BY-NC By Hal Pawson, UNSW. Originally published on The Conversation. Vacant housing rates are rising in our major cities. Across Australia on census night, 11.2% of housing was recorded as unoccupied – a total of 1,089,165 dwellings. […]

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