Creating healthy cities: vibrant and vital for a better future

Several European cities have have banned vehicles from their city centres in an attempt to create a more active, healthy community. The world’s great cities are exciting and dynamic places rich in experience, opportunity and potential. They are hubs of social interaction, commerce and culture, boasting exceptional places that we love to experience. As the […]

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A greener city is a healthier city

The reports are in: Urban greenery has a measurably positive effect on physical and mental wellbeing. Greenery from tree-lined streets to trails and verdant parks and plazas abet physical exercise, a key factor in the fight against obesity and heart disease. Greenery also helps prevent heat strokes by affording cooling shade and improved ventilation, and […]

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Improving urban wellbeing: as easy as riding a bike

The landscape of post-earthquake Christchurch, New Zealand is changing rapidly. When there is change, there will be innovation. Cycling in Christchurch is like much of the rest of the world: the media features it frequently, people talk about it on the street, local councils promote it and the politicians discuss it at meetings. But this topic in Christchurch […]

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Discussing ‘edible infrastructure’ in Brisbane

AECOM’s Brisbane studio recently hosted the first of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) ‘Come back to my place’ events, as part of the inaugural Forecast Festival of Landscape Architecture. The event was called ‘Edible Infrastructure: Taking small bites out of big places’ and was conceived as a way to start a bigger conversation […]

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Clear messages from the 7th International Urban Design Conference

Photo: copyright AECOM / Robb Williamson. The reality of going to most conferences is that you listen for 80 percent of the time to things that you are already aware of (which might be interesting, but aren’t necessarily teaching you anything), 10 percent of the time feeling really bored and/or irritated by someone who just […]

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Putting people first: “Building Healthy Places”

Ayala Triangle, Manila. Copyright AECOM photo by Robb Williamson. There is clear evidence that developers, planners, engineers and designers have contributed to the global health and obesity crisis since the inception of the mass-produced affordable automobile. Seemingly inexplicable decisions were made during the 1950s in cities such as Sydney, to tear up extensive light rail […]

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Organisms, not mechanisms

Kunshan Civic Plaza, China. Copyright AECOM, photo by Dixi Carrillo. Alastair Leighton, an associate director of AECOM’s Design + Planning practice in Fortitude Valley, Australia, points out that “We break urban complexity down into manageable component parts, with transport networks managed by transport specialists as just one example, but we sometimes forget to reintegrate these […]

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What is climate change action doing for cities?

Kaixuan New World L13 District, Guangzhou, China. ©AECOM photo by Robb Williamson. Cities may be getting wealthier, but a lot of that wealth is going to be washed away if climate change continues unabated.  How are cities rising to the task of analyzing the co-benefits of protecting their cities from more frequent storms, for example? […]

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Climate action: What can cities teach countries?

A new report from CDP links climate action with economic and social benefits. With the release of a proposed climate action plan for the U.S., President Obama brings renewed national focus to an issue that, frankly, many of the world’s leading cities long since moved beyond debating and began addressing. Specifically, how do we reduce […]

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