Mapping floods on every street in the world

Accurate, street-level data on flooding risk is tremendously useful when preparing for natural disasters. But this data can be very hard to come by, especially in poorer nations. Enter the World Flood Mapping Tool, a new site developed by the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH). The tool contains detailed 3D … Continue reading Mapping floods on every street in the world

Satellite mapping is preparing Australian cities for a warming earth | Cosmos Weekly Taster

This article on Satellite mapping for future cities first appeared in Cosmos Weekly on 17 September 2021. For more stories like this, subscribe to Cosmos Weekly. Imagine you’re an urban planner, worried about your city’s resilience in the face of the growing threat of climate change. You’ve seen research that shows urban environments – particularly neighbourhoods without … Continue reading Satellite mapping is preparing Australian cities for a warming earth | Cosmos Weekly Taster

How important is the big Aussie backyard?

Yard size doesn’t affect children’s physical activity levels, so kids might be okay if cities and backyards shrink, according to a new study, published in Public Health. The study, led by Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) and the University of Melbourne, found that neither sedentary behaviours nor exercise increased with backyard size in Melbourne. Regardless, … Continue reading How important is the big Aussie backyard?

Linear equation: Barry Jones charts a different path for urban growth

Surprise! Former science minister Barry Jones has some novel ideas for spending the federal government’s $15 billion infrastructure fund. Barry Jones believes any serious infrastructure spending in Australia has to begin with changing the way we think. “Complexity repels,” he argues, pointing out that governments are always looking for short-term outcomes. His ideas about securing … Continue reading Linear equation: Barry Jones charts a different path for urban growth

Linear equation: Barry Jones charts a different path for urban growth

Barry Jones believes any serious infrastructure spending in Australia has to begin with changing the way we think. “Complexity repels,” he argues, pointing out that governments are always looking for short-term outcomes. His ideas about securing Australia’s future, not surprisingly, are anything but short term. Given $15 billion to spend, Jones would specifically invest in … Continue reading Linear equation: Barry Jones charts a different path for urban growth

New universal law of human mobility

How people move around cities follows a predictable and universal pattern, scientists say, which will be crucial not only for urban planning but also controlling pandemics. By analysing mobile-phone tracking data from across four continents, the team confirmed that people visit places more often when they don’t have to travel far to get there. “We … Continue reading New universal law of human mobility

Busted: 5 myths about 30km/h speed limits in Australia

Matthew Mclaughlin, University of Newcastle; Ben Beck, Monash University; Julie Brown, George Institute for Global Health, and Megan Sharkey, UNSW Five Australian states and territories are trialling or planning 30km/h speed limits and zones. However, some people question if 30km/h speed limits are actually urgent and necessary, or are instead a so-called “nanny state” policy … Continue reading Busted: 5 myths about 30km/h speed limits in Australia

Making cities more liveable

Imagine living in a city where you can ride or walk to essential services, where the air is cleaner and travel costs are cut in half. That’s the vision of scientists who have developed a framework for urban planners they say could dramatically reduce the average travel distance to key facilities such as hospitals, schools, … Continue reading Making cities more liveable

Driverless cars could reduce traffic by 80%

Shared driverless cars could make roads safer, transport cheaper, and reduce vehicle numbers dramatically, according to a transport expert. Work by Professor Hussein Dia from the Swinburne University Smart Cities Research Institute has suggested that more than 80% of cars could come off the road if fleets of shared, self-driving, electric vehicles become reality. Dia is … Continue reading Driverless cars could reduce traffic by 80%