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Planning future cities

Could your mobile phone help town planners design better cities? Data collected from our day-to-day interactions can now be collated and used to make our cities both more efficient and better places to live. See how it all works.

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Why plants are good for liveable cities

Central Park in Sydney was voted the world's best tall building. It is known for the plants in its beautiful vertical gardens which cover its surfaces, but did you know that the garden is not purely decorative? Watch this video to find out what other purpose the vertical garden has.

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Victorian Heritage Database

This is a rich, interactive resource that lists Victoria’s most significant heritage: places, objects, shipwrecks and archaeological sites. It has four main sections: Introduction; Explore heritage map; Recommended tours; and Timeline browser. The Explore heritage map searches for sites and provides information and images ...

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A smarter future car

Over about 125 years the automobile has only experienced minor changes, but now our cramped and clogged cities demand a smarter car. In this clip from 2010, see how the automobile is being adapted to make our cities more efficient.

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What is a mega-region?

Population growth is one of the problems facing Australians cities. Dr Julian Bolleter from the Urban Design Research Centre at the University of Western Australia says creating mega-regions could be a potential solution. What is a mega-region? In order to create a mega-region, what must happen first?

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Laptop wrap – improving liveability

A page with a focus on using geographical data to plan for future community needs, with supporting activities and links to resources.

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Light rail plan for western Sydney

Long lines of cars, frustrated drivers in peak traffic: familiar? As the population of Australia's major cities continues to rise and spread outwards, increased strain is placed on existing infrastructure such as roads. People often look to government to fix urban problems. Could a light rail system solve Sydney's western ...

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Are you connected to the bush?

Are those of us living in cities and towns in danger of losing our connection to the natural environment? In suburban Adelaide, some individuals and groups think so. They're taking action to create habitats and attract wildlife back to the city. What effect might this have on the urban environment and the people who live in it?

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Where's the best place to live?

This collection of media resources focuses on the liveability of places, particularly cities. But what makes one place ‘more liveable' than the next? Find out about the factors that influence the liveability of different places and what can be done to improve the liveability of our urban environments.

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Planning for growth in Sydney

Sydney is already Australia's largest city but the outlook is for an increasing population and continuous growth. Looking toward the planning horizon of 2031, a recent government plan has pleased some sections of the community, but it is not without its critics. In this clip from March 2013, see how the state government ...

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Archives ACT: find of the month

This topic-based collection of primary source material provides a rich and varied source of official documents, guides and background information on the civic history of Canberra and the Australian Capital Territory. Produced monthly, this eclectic collection covers topics including the history of monuments, architecture, ...

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What house is that?

This is an interactive streetscape of nine houses, each from a different era and of different styles. They represent the nine main housing styles in Victoria. Information about each of the houses includes: features and style; the Architect; designers; historical observations; house owners; and general social history of ...

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Renovate or detonate?

In this clip from 1992, we meet a group of architects pushing for Sydney to improve its liveability. But we also hear from a developer who might have a different idea about what should lie at the heart of the city. A key point of conflict emerges over what to do with Sydney's older buildings.

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A city without a heart?

Iconic but sterile. Nationally significant yet isolated. The city of Canberra regularly seems to divide opinion. Watch this clip and take an intriguing look at life in Canberra at the start of the 1970s. As you'll see, arguments about the liveability of Canberra are nothing new.

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In step with urban planning

Perth is reputed to be one of the world's most isolated cities. But it's also known for its urban sprawl. The demand for large blocks and low density has fuelled constant growth. Now one study has revealed that better-designed walkable suburbs might help to slow both urban and human sprawl.

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Homeowners going solar

With rising electricity bills, more homeowners have been installing solar panels. In this clip see why, in 2013, the Western Australian Government was considering changes to a situation where any surplus energy produced through the system was returned to the home owner as credit.

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Improving the energy efficiency of fibro homes

In the 1950s, 'fibro' homes prevented a looming housing crisis triggered by Australia's post-war baby boom and a spike in immigration. Millions of them remain in our suburbs, but energy-efficiency is not their strong point. In this clip, see how a team of students have found out how to retrofit these homes to revolutionise ...

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If you build it, they will come

It's been 'all systems go' in the Northern Territory, with a range of new development projects springing up. In this clip from 2013, see Territorians coming up with novel solutions to the age-old problem of housing. Could a shortage of affordable housing derail the good economic times?

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Where do we build next?

Like many Australian cities, Melbourne has been growing rapidly. This clip from 2012 investigates debates about where Melbourne's urban growth should occur. While inner city areas are slowly being redeveloped, the outer suburbs continue to sprawl and their residents battle some serious issues.

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Heritage Council Victoria: resources for teachers and students

This is a collection of resources exploring Victoria’s history and heritage. There are four main sections. The Victoria's Framework of Historical Themes section includes a downloadable teacher guide and lesson starters, it is organised in historical themes. The Vic-Heritage App section provides search functionality to find ...