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

A kangaroo finds refuge in a small patch of vegetation surrounded by a new housing estate. Georgia Garrard, Author provided It may not look like a pristine expanse of Amazon rainforest or an African savannah, but the patch of bush at the end of the street could be one of the only places on the planet that harbour a particular species...

Grey nomad lifestyle provides a model for living remotely

Grey nomads are champions of a radical type of portable urbanism as they travel to far-flung places like Lake Ballard in Western Australia. Image courtesy of Tourism Western Australia,Author provided Every other year, retired couple Jorg and Jan journey some 5,000 kilometres in their campervan from Port Fairy in southeastern Australia to Broome in the far northwest for a change...

Are the tech giants taking over as your city leaders?

Cities are the laboratories where the tech giants are exploring urban innovations. ShutterOK/Shutterstock Global tech players such as Amazon, Google, Apple, Facebook – the so-called Big 4, or GAFA – Airbnb and Tesla are redefining work, mobility, leisure and the everyday of how we live. Our cities are increasingly being used as laboratories for countless innovations. Cities are expected to be home...

For Mobility as a Service (MaaS) to solve our transport woes, some things need to change

The Whim app seamlessly connects users to multiple transport modes in Helsinki – public transport, taxis, car rental and car/bicycle sharing. Aleksandra Suzi/Shutterstock Mobility as a Service (MaaS) represents a new way of thinking about about transport. It has the potential to be the most significant innovation in transport since the advent of the automobile. In a move away from dependence...

The problem isn’t dockless share bikes. It’s the lack of bike parking

If cyclist-friendly cities like Copenhagen can offer abundant and conveniently sited parking space for bikes, why not Australian cities? Grey Geezer/Wikimedia, CC BY-SA It’s a local government truism that Australian city dwellers care about only three things – rates, rubbish and parking. They want lower rates, the freedom to turf out as much trash as they like, and convenient free car...

Can e-scooters solve the ‘last mile’ problem? They’ll need to avoid the fate of dockless bikes

Electric scooters could solve the ‘last mile’ problem of urban transport if operators learn from the mistakes that plagued the introduction of dockless bikes. CrowdSpark/AAP As urban planners, we have not been good at integrating land uses, such as homes, shops and offices, with our transport infrastructure. Thus many people find the nearest...

A community fix for the affordable housing crisis

Caggara House in Brisbane caters for low-income residents aged 55 and over who previously lived alone in state-owned houses that were too big for their needs. UDIA Qld/Facebook Jeannie loves her apartment. It has a separate bedroom, a small bathroom, and an open-plan kitchen, lounge and dining area. It’s compact, but sliding doors...

Melbourne or Sydney? This is how our two biggest cities compare for liveability

  Melbourne and Sydney have similar access to public transport overall, but this and other liveability indicators vary greatly across the cities. Julian Smith/AAP   The question of which city is the most liveable is an annual hot topic. Competition is fierce, especially between Melbourne and Sydney. We have previously highlighted the limitations of The Economist Intelligence Unit Global Liveability Index. In this article...

Cycle, walk, drive or train? Weighing up the healthiest (and safest) ways to get around the city

Riding your bike is by far the healthiest way of getting around. from shutterstock.com There are many ways to get around a city. You can drive a car or ride a motorcycle. In many cities you have the option of public transport. And of course if you live close enough to where you are heading you can get around in...

Here’s what a population policy for Australia could look like

Many are conflicted about whether the population should continue to grow and what the population of the future should look like. from shutterstock.com Australia is, apparently, in the midst of a population “crisis” – just this month, we passed the milestone of 25 million people. The nature of the crisis depends on the day and who you ask. Size...