SILVIA TAVARES

JCU postgraduate scholarships

Applications for postgraduate research scholarships at James Cook University are now open and I’d love to hear from candidates interested in urban design, planning, urban microclimates, sensing cities, climate responsive urban design, architecture design and performance and any related topics.

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‘Streetfight’

“Every community has excuses for why changing the way they use their streets is impossible, impractical, or just insane. I learned firsthand that there is no end to the reasons for inaction. But inaction is inexcusable. As our cities grow, leaders and the people they serve cannot accept dysfunctional streets; they must fight to change them. The fight for these changes—well, that’s just part of the job.”

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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…

Healthy, happy and tropical – world’s fastest-growing cities demand our attention

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Marine Drive in Mumbai, viewed here from across Chowpatty Beach, is an ‘accidental’ planning legacy that’s now one of the most popular places in the city. Dirk Ott/Shutterstock

Karine Dupré, Griffith University; Jane Coulon, École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture Montpellier, and Silvia Tavares, James Cook University

What does it take to be a happy and healthy city? In any city, myriad factors go into the mix – and of course we are not dealing with just one kind of city. But, due to the world history of colonisation, models are still too often European-centric. In particular, we need to adjust how we think about cities in the tropics. 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.

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Making a global agenda work locally for healthy, sustainable living in tropical Australia

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Planning and design for healthy, liveable communities in the Australian tropics can involve quite different considerations from those that apply down south. Silvia Tavares, Author provided

Silvia Tavares, James Cook University and David Sellars, James Cook University

Life in the tropics is often seen as “living in paradise”, a place where everything grows and flourishes. This picture-postcard environment is not the year-round reality. At certain times of year, intense heat, humidity and the wet season affect liveability, making outdoor activity unattractive and thereby reducing social cohesion. Read more…

Urban Thinkers Campus – Cairns and Townsville, Australia

James Cook University‘s College of Science and Engineering and College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences, through myself and David Sellars, with the full support of Nikki Huddy from Planz, have been organising an Urban Thinkers Campus (UTC) framed around the topic of urban planning and design and public health. The UTC entitled ‘Urban Health and Livability in Tropical Australia through urban diaries and community engagement’ will take place on the 8th June in Cairns and 15th June in Townsville, and they are both day-long events (see preliminary schedule here). Read more…