Author(s): Gregor H. Mews
Australia is one of the most urbanised countries in the world. At the same time, it is one of the highest per-capita emitters of global greenhouse gas emissions. Despite its material wealth, evidence in relation to the state of children health indicates that growing up in cities is of deep concern to ensure long term prosperity on societal level. The present generation is the least fit and the fattest they have ever been. Spatial fragmentation, social marginalisation, mental health issues and serious cardio-metabolic disorders have been on the rise in adolescence and early adulthood. As it stands, future generations will be off for worse.
The problem that Australia finds itself in is created in part by our own actions. Currently, we are still operating either in institutional regulatory silos, within technological harsh market competition, ecological unsustainable development patterns, and under enormous fiscal constraints within academia and organisations operating in the civil/societal fields. In the absence of a national urban policy and political resistance on cohesive climate change policy, the argument for change within an individualistic society requires a reframing. For example, a design-dividend provides benefits to positive financial uplift for development interests resulting from human-centred urban design to ensure liveable and healthy urban future for all. Good design generates a range of public benefits. The capitalisation of a design-dividend starts by addressing the needs of children and young people in the design process.
The contribution will introduce some of Urban Synergies Group global key initiatives and collaborative thought leadership with the University of Canberra, Health Research Institute in the nexus of improving health outcomes for children and young people in urban systems. Critical reflection on the applied systems approach in relation to safe independent childhood mobility (walking and cycling), encounters with nature in public spaces and designing connected play spaces for all will open up space for an engaging discourse on the need for a paradigm shift in the way we continue to shape healthy communities. About Urban Synergies Group Urban Synergies Group to date have been working in the global arena, particularly in contributing to the New Urban Agenda and advocacy of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 3- Good Health and Wellbeing, 11- Sustainable cities and Communities, SDG- 13 Climate action and SDG 17- Partnerships for the goals. We believe that now is the time to engage in international goals and to realise the potential of a paradigm shift from urban liveability to urban lovability that leaves no one behind.
Case study: 55th ISOCARP Congress Presentations