Urban Livability in Tropical Australia

by James Cook University



The Urban Thinkers Campus (UTC) model is an initiative of UN-Habitat’s World Urban Campaign, conceived as an open space for critical exchange between all stakeholders and partners involved in promoting sustainable urbanization.

Project implemented: January 2018

Project goal

Identify actions that will help achieve effective outcomes for local public health through urban planning and design locally.

delivering on

why is this project important?

Cairns and Townsville are unique cities in their landscape and climate. While these are expanding tropical cities, they are located far away from main urban centers, meaning they need attention in order to foster positive change that will produce good quality urban environments.

Key steps to make it happen

1Urban Diary Production

Participants will produce urban diaries prior to event, focused on active lifestyles, social inclusion and/or healthy eating

2Public workshops

The UTCs will be day-long action-focused events in Cairns and Townsville.

3Local authority meeting

Following up the event there will be focused meetings in local councils to find ways of implementing the proposed actions

4Report writing

After the event a report with the main findings and actions will be produced for the UN-Habitat World Urban Campaign.

James Cook University is holding an UTC entitled ‘Urban livability in tropical Australia through urban diaries and community engagement’, which will focus on the relationships between urban planning and design, and public health towards the implementation of the New Urban Agenda locally. The UTCs will be day-long workshops based upon discussions and the development of action plans for Cairns and Townsville with the input and active participation of multiple stakeholders including government, professionals, academics and community in general. The event will count on the participation of Mr Charles Wolfe through an awarded Fulbright Specialist Program grant by the United States of America Government. These UTCs will use urban diaries as tools consistent with the New Urban Agenda’s call to action and implementation of equitable framework. Results of the event will be presented to Cairns Regional Council and Townsville City Council and a final report for each city will be produced for the United Nations addressing prospective policy, planning and regulatory response.

The specific objectives of the proposed UTCs are:

  • Bring a wide range of key stakeholders together, including decision makers, policy makers, NGO’s, academics, community in general, and professionals in public health, urban planning, urban design, landscape architecture, and transport.
  • Discuss potential future approaches and opportunities to empower citizens to help achieve the City We Need.
  • Implement an innovative approach to community consultation through the use of urban diaries and action planning.
  • Identify actions that will help achieve effective outcomes for local public health

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