SILVIA TAVARES

Building a climate-proof future

This article was originally published on 28th June on JCU’s Brighter website.

As climate change continues to wreak its path through tropical communities, architects and urban planners are combatting the potentially disastrous effects with innovative design solutions.

Dr. Silvia Tavares “designs cities with an eye on the climate”. A leading urban designer and senior lecturer at James Cook University, Dr. Tavares has a passion for creating places that foster connection and wellbeing, while being sustainable for the future. Read more…

‘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…

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.

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