100 Presenters to Examine Healthy, Liveable and Sustainable Cities

Paula Drayton

Paula Drayton

Join us in Melbourne in June.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for professionals in the public and private sector to examine the challenges and solutions needed to develop the Liveable Cities of tomorrow. The Conference will also examine public policy and social/community outcomes and consider what actions we can take to positively influence the ongoing debate.

Many aspects of urban design and new approaches to city form are based on the concept of liveability. These approaches recognise that design and structure can be very influential in the life of a town or city and indeed to the building of community in and of itself. They also create novel contexts for a community to develop in a more sustainable way.

“Last year, Melbourne vaulted Vancouver to become the best city in the world to live, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Liveability Survey. What better City to host our conference.

We will be joined by the Sustainabilty in Business Association’s – Sustainable Transition Conference, offering delegates an extensive range of topics with 100 presentations over three days including Keynotes, Concurrent Sessions, Case Studies and Posters. ” Paula said.

I look forward to welcoming you to Melbourne.”
Paula Drayton – Conference Chair

6th Making Cities Liveable Conference will be held in conjunction with the Sustainability Conference “SustainableTransformation” bringing a new era of collaboration, information sharing and professional networking.

The conference is being held from the 17th – 19th June 2013 at Novotel Melbourne St Kilda.

Two Conferences! Three Days! One Location!

Advertisements

Build it and they will walk: the suburbs that foster good health

Jason Dowling  |  City Editor for The Age

If you design suburbs so walking to public transport, shops and parks is an easy option, people will walk – that is the simple and clear finding of long-term Australian research.

urban sprawl

Health and planning experts are urging governments to make health a feature of planning laws and city growth strategies.

Researchers monitored the amount of walking by more than 1400 people building homes in new developments in Perth. Readings were taken before moving in and about 12 months later.

The results, published in the journal Social Science & Medicine, showed transport-related walking declined and recreational walking increased.

Read the full story here

Made in Australia: The Future of Australian Cities

https://i0.wp.com/www.audrc.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/julian.jpgDr Julian Bolleter
Assistant Professor, Australian Urban Design Research Centre

WA, Australia

Abstract: The Australian Bureau of Statistics predicts that Australia’s current population of 22.3 million could grow to 62.2 million by 2101. Of course, many things could change between now and then but for the purposes of planning we think it is prudent to take this figure seriously. So what does this big number mean? It means we would need to house an extra 40 million Australians over the course of the next 87 years. This means building the equivalent of an extra 10 Sydneys – one every 9 years! There is currently no national plan for this growth. Even following consultation of Australia’s entire current city planning frameworks, we found that a sum total of only 5.5 million people are accounted for. This research aimed to address the resettling of the 34.5 million 21st century Australians which are simply missing from the collective intelligence of the nation’s planning. In order to address this lacuna, we initially consulted the ABS forecasts for the mid-century populations of Australia’s major cities. From the total 2100 projection of 62.2 million we subtracted these numbers and were left with 23,061,839 people. We then conducted an analysis of the national landscape to arrive at an answer as to where these people might live so that Australia remains ecologically resilient, socially amenable and economically productive. We don’t claim to have the right answer to the question of Australia’s settlement patterns but we do offer an ideologically neutral exploration of the matter – we offer an environmentally precautious approach but one that is nonetheless optimistic about the prospect of designing and constructing better cities as the century unfolds. The material presented reflects over two years of research work and is to be published in a major new book in 2013.

Biography: Dr Julian Bolleter is an Assistant Professor at the Australian Urban Design Research Centre (AUDRC) at the University of Western Australia. His role at the AUDRC includes teaching a master’s program in urban design and conducting urban design research and design projects. Since graduating in 1998 Dr Bolleter has practiced as a landscape architect in Australia and the Middle East on a diverse range of projects. In 2009 he completed a PhD that critically surveyed landscape architectural practice in Dubai and advanced scenarios for Dubai’s proposed public open space system. Julian and his colleague Richard Weller have recently completed a book entitled ‘Made in Australia: The Future of Australian Cities.’ The book scopes the urban implications of Australia’s population reaching 62.2 million by 2101.

Dr Julian Bolleter is an Assistant Professor at the Australian Urban Design Research Centre (AUDRC) at the University of Western Australia will speak at…

Two Conferences! Three Days! One Location in 2013

6th Making Cities Liveable Conference, in conjunction with the Sustainable Transformation Conference, is being held from the 17th – 19th June 2013 at Novotel Melbourne St Kilda. The collaboration brings together National, State and Regional delegates to explore, exchange ideas and network.

The joint conference will be a platform for Government, Industry sector professionals and Academics to discuss causes, effects and solutions. Delegates will have access to an extensive range of topics with over 90 presentations across three days including Keynotes, Concurrent Sessions, Case Studies and Posters. www.healthycities.com.au

Walk it out: urban design plays key role in creating healthy cities

Professor Billie Giles-Corti

Residents of new housing developments increased their exercise and their wellbeing when they had more access to shops and parks, a new University of Melbourne study reveals.

The ten year study found that the overall health of residents of new housing developments in Western Australia, improved when their daily walking increased as a result of more access to parks, public transport, shops and services.

Lead researcher Professor Billie Giles-Corti, Director of the McCaughey VicHealth Centre for Community Wellbeing at the University of Melbourne said the study provided long-term evidence that residents’ walking increased with greater availabi

“The study demonstrates the potential of local infrastructure to support health-enhancing behaviours,” she said.lity and diversity of local transport and recreational destinations.

The study examined the impact of urban planning on active living in metropolitan Perth, Western Australia. More than 1,400 participants building homes in new housing developments were surveyed before relocation to new homes and approximately 12 months later.

The study found that for every local shop, residents’ physical activity increased an extra 5-6 minutes of walking per week. For every recreational facility available such as a park or beach, residents’ physical activity increased by an extra 21 minutes per week.

“This means that where there is an environment that supports walking with access to multiple facilities residents walked much more,” Professor Giles-Corti said.

These findings could inform public health and urban design policy demonstrating that people respond to an environment that is supportive of physical activity.

“Given that being physically active reduces the risk of heart disease and diabetes, which are both huge costs to the health system, these results could have huge implications for government policy such as the Victorian State Government’s new Metropolitan Planning Strategy,” Professor Giles-Corti said.

The study was published in the journal Social Science & Medicine.

Two Conferences! Three Days! One Location in 2013

6th Making Cities Liveable Conference, in conjunction with the Sustainable Transformation Conference, is being held from the 17th – 19th June 2013 at Novotel Melbourne St Kilda. The collaboration brings together National, State and Regional delegates to explore, exchange ideas and network.

The joint conference will be a platform for Government, Industry sector professionals and Academics to discuss causes, effects and solutions. Delegates will have access to an extensive range of topics with over 90 presentations across three days including Keynotes, Concurrent Sessions, Case Studies and Posters. www.healthycities.com.au

Is there room for nature in our cities?

By Peter Fisher, RMIT University and D Trainham, RMIT University

Welcome to the CBD. Take a look at all the glass masonry and asphalt. The streets are canyons. Apart from a tree in the footpath, or a Peregrine Falcon way overhead, there’s little nature to be seen.

Nature is absent in these landscapes, or more correctly “hardscapes”. This runs counter to the trend to put urban people, and particularly children, back in touch with the natural world. Grass, flowers, birds, butterflies and worms are increasingly rare in a world of denser development. There’s no sense of season apart from flowers in street-side stalls.

As much as five-sixths of our CBDs are buildings: asphalt dotted with street trees. The ratio of biomass to hard mass in such environments is minute.

Trees help cool environments, while buildings increase heat absorption and reflection. This suggests cities are very poorly adapted to a projected 4-6°C global warming – a world where it may prove impractical to ever again grow large trees especially in hot pavements.

Greening the city

Cities like Kobe are returning nature to the streets. Peter Fisher

Research is revealing that, although we may have left the savanna, it’s still a part of our wiring. Hospital patients who have a view of some sort of nature recover faster and need less medication.

A recent article in Nature, “City living marks the brain”, points to a far higher incidence of mental illness in urban versus rural areas. Green exercise can act as a therapeutic intervention, which is doubly important in the hyper-dense environment envisaged by outspoken developers.

However it’s not like that everywhere. In places such as Vancouver, setbacks are mandatory for high rises and view corridors have been preserved.

Elsewhere, European and American cities have undertaken benchmark projects to soften the impact of roads. Hamburg and Madrid have roofed their inner autobahn/highway to create parklands. Portland tore down its waterfront freeway to do the same, as Seattle is currently doing.

Other North American cities inspired by Michael Hough’s evocative book “Cities and Natural Processes” have returned rivers, ravines, swamps, and parkland to their natural state. Then there’s New York City’s High-Line, a greenway for walking, running or simply sitting. San Francisco has its “parklets” and sidewalk gardens.

A Melbourne model?

In Melbourne virtually no public greenspace has been created within the grid proper since City Square in 1980, and even it has succumbed to the granite treatment and been chopped in half. Hardscape is on the rise with planning applications for more than 50,000 new apartments in 200 developments in and around the CBD.

Few have recognised the “green-shift” now underway globally and recently embraced by Perth.

New York’s High Line, a place for city-dwellers to escape to a little nature. Flickr/Ed Yourdon

It’s helpful for urban designers seeking a context to immerse themselves in the pre-white settlement setting. Proto-Melbourne would be unrecognisable: wattle in bloom, kangaroo grass, kookaburras and kingfishers along the river. Above where Queens Bridge now stands were The Falls, where clear freshwater cascaded; and to the west, amid a swamp with masses of water birds, lay a shimmering blue lagoon ringed by pigface.

Each city has its own tale of what followed. Take a look at these two images of The Falls – this one at foundation and this one in 1857 – that’s an awful lot of trashing in just 22 years.

Such squandered landscapes defy replication at their original scale but we can replicate them on a small scale. It is a matter of rethinking the user experience. Roof gardens (including food crops), green walls, plant-draped atriums, water features and borrowed scenery are ways of using interiors, walls, and ceilings.

Buildings have long been in the front line of fighting climate change through “green building” rating systems. It’s time they were enlisted to reforge our linkages with a landscape that people have all but forgotten.

The opportunities are highlighted by a design for a three sided hospital in Spain – one side is a green wall; another is solar panels in the colors of a butterfly about to go regionally extinct; and the third is a vertical farm that will feed people in the hospital. It is one example of the ways our cities can become truly green.

This article written in collaboration with Dr. Peter Fisher was done as an unpaid work and is not part of any sponsored research project. Some of the ideas expressed in this article may appear in a recently published article: Naturizing outside-in: Reconnecting buildings with the natural world through a design innovation metric in the January 2013 issue of the Singapore based journal, CITYGREEN.

Peter Fisher does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.

The Conversation

This article was originally published at The Conversation.
Read the original article.

Jason Roberts, Co-Founder, Better Block to speak at 2013 Liveable Cities Conference in Melbourne

Jason Roberts, Co-Founder, Better Block has been featured in the Washington Post and New York Times, and was recently awarded an American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Award. Team Better Block was showcased in the US Pavillion at the 2012 Venice Biennale (the ‘Architect’s Olympics’).

Jason has over fifteen years of experience in IT consulting and Communications. Before founding the Better Block project, Jason Roberts led multiple community non-profit organizations focused on alternative transportation including the Oak Cliff Transit Authority, and Bike Friendly Oak Cliff. In 2010, Jason spearheaded the City of Dallas’s effort in garnering a $23 Million dollar TIGER stimulus grant from the FTA to help reintroduce a modern streetcar system to the region. In the Spring of 2010, Jason organised a series of “Better Block” projects, taking blighted blocks with vacant properties in Southern Dallas and converting them into temporary walkable districts with pop-up businesses, bike lanes, cafe seating, and landscaping. The project is now being duplicated throughout the country.

You can watch Jason’s TEDx address here:

Two Conferences! Three Days! One Location in 2013

6th Making Cities Liveable Conference, in conjunction with the Sustainable Transformation Conference, is being held from the 17th – 19th June 2013 at Novotel Melbourne St Kilda. The collaboration brings together National, State and Regional delegates to explore, exchange ideas and network.

The joint conference will be a platform for Government, Industry sector professionals and Academics to discuss causes, effects and solutions. Delegates will have access to an extensive range of topics with over 90 presentations across three days including Keynotes, Concurrent Sessions, Case Studies and Posters. www.healthycities.com.au

Good planning plus affordable housing equals a liveable city

Carolyn Whitzman, Billie Giles-Corti
Appeared in The National Times – March 16, 2012
Opinion

We have to tackle the liveability challenges in all parts of Melbourne.

FOR the 80 per cent of us who are urban Australians, we live in confusing times. Our capital cities with their high-quality parks and public open space, good schools, relative community safety and rich options for cultural life rate highly against international counterparts for liveability.

On the other hand, Australian cities have unsustainable per capita environmental footprints compared with other developed cities around the world. We are more car dependent, our cities sprawl over a larger proportion of prime agricultural land, and we have higher rates of obesity than most countries in the world.

Health and wellbeing, liveability and environmental sustainability are all closely linked. All three imperatives call for good-quality affordable housing. But a constant supply of housing alone is not enough for our cities to be healthy, liveable and sustainable.

Read more