SILVIA TAVARES

City temperatures and city economics, a hidden relationship between sun and wind and profits

Cairns Lagoon: as a good response to the tropical climate, it’s a very active place but with little business activity. Silvia Tavares, Author provided

 

Silvia Tavares, James Cook University and Taha Chaiechi, James Cook University

Urban design undoubtedly influences the urban economy. A simple thing like designing an area to make it more walkable can boost local business profits. This can also increase real estate value, create more and better jobs and generate stronger local economies.

Street temperatures also determine their walkability. With climate change bringing longer and more frequent heatwaves, street temperatures will become even higher than at present. This will reduce walkability and, in turn, local business profitability. Read more…

Cities can grow without wrecking reefs and oceans. Here’s how

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Cairns has lots of hard grey infrastructure but much less green infrastructure that would reduce the impacts of the city’s growth.
Karine Dupré, Author provided

Silvia Tavares, James Cook University and Karine Dupré, Griffith University

What happens if the water temperature rises by a few degrees?” is the 2018 International Year of the Reef leading question. While the ocean is the focus, urbanisation is the main reason for the rising temperatures and water pollution. Yet it receives little attention in this discussion.

In turn, rising temperatures increase downpours and urban floods, adding to the pressures on urban infrastructure. Read more…

Thinkers in the Tropical Shade: Empowering Lessons for Livable Places

Cairns, Queensland, Australia: avoiding the humidity using active transport (Photo by Chuck Wolfe)

Last June, Chuck Wolfe, David Sellars and I published an article on Planetizen about the fundamental relationships at the heart of urban public health and livability, particularly in tropical Australia. In this article we discuss the importance of context, the relevance of the UN-Habitat New Urban Agenda, the Urban Thinkers Campuses recently hosted by JCU (Understanding Cairns and Townsville through the urban diary tool), place-based urban planning and design and the lessons learned so far.

Read more…

Online teaching and learning for practice-based disciplines

Last August I wrote about the blended learning challenges I’d embrance in the new Design Communication subject at JCU.

When I started working at JCU I was given the Design Communication subject with students both in Townsville and Cairns, both groups enrolled at the same time and part of the same subject, while I am based in Cairns only. It soon became clear to me that, with the resources JCU makes available – it has invested a lot in online technologies, from Blackboard platforms with Collaborate tools, to Mediasite capability, videoconference equipment, document cameras and so forth – blended learning was the way to go.  Read more…

Urban comfort in a compact city

Things have been quiet around here as I have been travelling for several weeks, and now I am trying slowly organising ‘normal life’. Even the ‘month in review’ posts, which are so important for me, my sanity and production, and which I hope you also like to read, haven’t been published since October. So I leave a promise here – for you and for me – that the next one, which will be published in the beginning of February, will have a full November, December and January summary. I can assure you some interesting things have happened so far.

Read more…