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EDUCATION, JUSTICE, HEALTH |

A new high school for inner city Sydney – what can we learn?

The Member for the seat of Sydney is campaigning for a new high school in his electorate. Controversially, he’s proposing giving local students access to selective Sydney High

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EDUCATION, JUSTICE, HEALTH |

Would a McDonalds in this town be all downside?

Residents of ex-urban Tecoma are fiercely resisting a proposed McDonalds restaurant which they fear will destroy the character of their village. But would a McDonalds be all downside?

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EDUCATION, JUSTICE, HEALTH |

How big can a hospital get?

The Texas Medical Centre concentrates more than 15 hospitals and a range of medicine-related institutions in 1,000 acres. It’s a powerful example of the benefits of agglomeration and specialisation

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EDUCATION, JUSTICE, HEALTH |

Should smoking on streets be banned?

A Councillor’s proposal to ban smoking in public places could effectively make the city centre an unwelcome place for a significant proportion of the population

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EDUCATION, JUSTICE, HEALTH |

Which are the world’s best cities for students?

International study specialist, Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), released its 2012 World University Rankings this week. Four Australian universities are in the top 50: ANU (24), Melbourne (36), Sydney (39) and Queensland (46).

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EDUCATION, JUSTICE, HEALTH |

Does equality of opportunity produce…..equality?

Federal MP Andrew Leigh has a vivid metaphor for describing inequality in Australia. He asks us to imagine a ladder in which each rung represents $1 million of household wealth. Then: The typical Australian household is halfway to the first rung A household in the top 1% is at least 5 rungs from the ground [...]

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EDUCATION, JUSTICE, HEALTH |

Did students cycle to school back in the day?

As is often the case in any discussion about cycling in Australia, there are numerous references to “the good old days” when cycling rates were much higher than they are now. The trouble is reliable data on historical cycling levels is hard to find. I noted recently that only about two to three percent of [...]

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EDUCATION, JUSTICE, HEALTH |

How many students cycle to school?

It sounds shocking to those with rosy memories of their school days, but only a very small proportion of school children use a bicycle today as their main means of getting to school. In Melbourne, just 2.7% of primary school children and 2.7% of secondary school children ride to school. It’s as high as 5.8% [...]

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EDUCATION, JUSTICE, HEALTH |

Does sprawl make teenagers lazy?

We’re used to seeing lots of claims that suburban sprawl is a key cause of the obesity epidemic afflicting the nation’s children and youth. Here’s a new study that contradicts the received wisdom. While it would be premature to regard it as definitive, it suggests the relationship between sprawl and physical activity might be more [...]

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EDUCATION, JUSTICE, HEALTH |

Can urban designers limit diabetes?

I’ve argued before (e.g. here and here) that designing physical environments to encourage or force higher activity levels is neither an effective nor an efficient way to tackle serious health issues like obesity and diabetes. Here’s a surprising ripple in this debate. The EarlyBirds project in the UK has been monitoring insulin resistance in a randomly selected [...]

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