London Underground - reimagined!

Alternates to the London Underground map

The Death and Life of...

Planning for our future (figuratively speaking)...

Urban greening in high density environments

Creating 'Vertical Forests' in high density residential developments

Hit the Wall II

Following on from our post last week 'Hit the Wall' by Jessica Guirand, we've been sent a great example of wall art contributing to the urban fabric in South Korean city of Busan and we felt the need to share it.To see more photos click on the link here.

Image source: Whudat
Image source: Whudat
Thanks to our readers for sending your examples.   

Predicting Coastal Flooding with Mapping

By Kathryn Cuddihy

Australians love to cycle to work, but what about a swim to work instead? Mapping data is enabling us to see how Australian cities may look in the not too distant future and the results are quite startling in some areas.

Climate Risk Australia has compiled their data with a series of Google Maps to show the effects of climate change on Australian cities and predicts where a rise in sea level could be felt the most through using a combination of tide and elevation data. This, as well as predictions for sea level rises under low, medium and high greenhouse gas emissions scenarios shows how our coast would change with each scenario.

Under a high emissions scenario you can see that Melbourne would look quite different:

Image source: The Guardian Australia
In Sydney, a high emissions scenario would see the world famous landmark, the Opera House submerged:

Image source: The Guardian Australia
Image source: The Guardian Australia

Click on the link below and simply type in your address to see how the different scenarios may affect you and your property.

Hit the wall

By Jessica Guirand

We have talked about walls in the past and the importance of their treatment in this forever changing environment.

We’ve seen innovative solutions being implemented in different parts of the world. Some of them might prove to be expensive, in particular from a building cost management perspective. Luckily, other interesting, contemporary and cheaper treatments can be used to spice things up. I came across this colourful mural completed by Artists Iker Muro and Louis Lambert (also known as 3ttman) on a building in Santa Cruz. (To be fair, I was not actually there to see it with my own eyes, but the images below speak for themselves.)

Image source:

Image source: 3ttman (Instagram)
Have you come across eye catching artistic murals on existing or new development? Please share with us.

Getting the most out of transport technology improvements

By Claire Whelan

Innovations in technology such as ride sharing and real time public transport information have rapidly changed travel options over recent years. The ease of access to information provides consumers the opportunity to make a more informed choice by weighing up the factors most important to each individual, for example price, comfort and time. 

The Institute for Sensible Transport have researched the implications on these changes and their report looks to future technology improvements, including autonomous vehicles which are anticipated to be the most significant change to travel experience since the invention of the car itself.

Image source: Mercedes-Benz

The report raises questions for policy makers in the City of Melbourne on how best to anticipate and respond to changes in travel behaviour and implications on parking demand, congestion levels and public transport patronage.

An A-Z of Urban Design Concepts (and their misuse)

New Urbanism - Image source: David Lock Associates
Mark Sheppard had compiled a series of articles around the A-Z of urban design concepts (and their misuse). They have been compiled to create a handy guide that covers everything from active frontages to character to zero setback.

To view the document, click on the link here.

Testing the Timeless Principles of Jane Jacobs

By Mark Sheppard

The massive upsurge of readily-available data on cities has begun to spawn a plethora of urban analyses, bringing the notion of evidence-based urban design and planning to life.

Image source: MIT Technology Review

A data scientist from the University of Trento (Marco de Nadai) and colleagues have used OpenStreetMap, census data, satellite image-based land use data, Foursquare and mobile phone records to test the key ideas promoted in Jane Jacob’s seminal book The Death and Life of Great American Cities - namely, that urban vitality is generated by mixed use, small blocks, diverse building ages and density (see

Their findings: that Jacobs was right, at least for the six Italian cities studied.

What other opportunities are there to improve urban design and planning through empirical evidence?