The Comfort Pursuit

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.

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“They will be spacious, park-like, and uncrowded. They will feature long green vistas. They will be stable and symmetrical and orderly. They will be clean, impressive and monumental. They will have all the attributes of a well-kept dignified cemetery.”

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Sustainability and higher density vs cultural identity in New Zealand

Photo by P Stalder, sourced from Wikipedia
Christchurch seen from the Port Hills. (Photo by P Stalder, sourced from Wikipedia)

Density has been seen as a good solution for cities. We know higher density saves distances. More people living in the same place implies more environmental, social and economic sustainability. There is also the need to preserve land, and therefore save space. The more the cities grow horizontally, the larger the impact on natural systems. But does this also take into account cultural sustainability? And what is the importance of urban culture after all? Read more…