University researchers from the Built Environment and Design disciplines have consistently contributed to making our cities exceptional places to live. Under any OECD measure Australians are healthy, educated and safe but increasingly impacted by inequality and climate change.

However the COVID 19 crisis has seen that people have changed their behaviour. They are cycling more and driving less. They are shopping locally, walking in their neighbourhoods, and appreciating and getting to know their local parks. We have seen air quality improve, in response to less flying and driving. We have learnt that we can work from home, yet this has highlighted the importance of the way we design apartments and houses, and also the amenities available in local communities to support workers who choose to do so. People are cooking more and enjoying living in quieter neighbourhoods.

Could we use this opportunity in collaboration with community and industry to advocate for implementing the policy drivers necessary to creates opportunities for people to live in a healthier, more sustainable way?

Our researchers can deliver solutions to create healthier, more sustainable cities post-COVID19, and provide thought leadership that may influence policy makers to help us achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

This might include the role of density and the future of apartment standards, urban mobility and the role bicycles could play in making our cities more resilient (and healthy); the role for urban greening and how this could be achieved; the role of local living and its importance as we start to rethinking work and where it is undertaken; the implications for climate change and what we could take away from COVID19 that would support a more sustainable future; the inappropriateness of the way we are designing our housing including singular focused spaces; what infrastructure investments in critical and/or green infrastructure and/or in upgrading critical could we make the in post-COVID investment in infrastructure; what could the future look like if we took this opportunity build social housing.

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