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Trend Watch February 2024

Children living near green spaces ‘have stronger bones’: The link between stronger bones and green space for children is likely to be the result of more physical activities, Damian Carrington writes for The Guardian. Carington says, “Scientists found that children living in places with 20-25% more natural areas had increased bone strength that was equivalent to half a year’s natural growth. The study, the first of its kind, also found that the risk of having very low bone density was about 65% lower for these children.” The study took place in Belgium with Professor Tim Nawrot at Hasselt University. Nawrot said, “So the real public health message from this study is that urban planners can make stronger bones of children, and that has long-lasting consequences.” Carington adds, “The researchers said …

  • 22 feb 2024
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Trend Watch January 2024

Image: Carroll Go-Sam. Are yarning circles the new decal? With requests for yarning circles becoming increasingly commonplace in design briefs, Carroll Go-Sam, Indigenous research fellow in the Aboriginal Environments Research Centre at the University of Queensland’s School of Architecture, writes on ArchitectureAU how they might be more meaningfully incorporated into projects. In the early stages of a project design, she writes, a yarning circle concept is often supported by Indigenous engagement. “But, after the initial meeting and discussion, human-centred design, iterative development, empathetic accommodation, questioning and dialogue all stop, with the result that poor built examples outnumber good ones,” she said. Go-Sam is concerned when yarning circles become “quasi-sacred zones of exclusion, set aside for one day a year during NAIDOC Week.” She outlines five recommendations for designing a yarning …

  • 23 jan 2024
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Western Sydney train stations kickstart prototype ‘Power Spots’

Street Furniture Australia has designed and built prototype charging stands as part of a Transport for NSW program to deliver free phone chargers at 15 Sydney train stations. Developed by Street Furniture Australia’s inhouse industrial designers in collaboration with Transport for NSW, the prototypes offer wireless, USB-A and USB-C charging, and can power 7 devices at once. They were built at the Street Furniture Australia factory in Western Sydney. Two Power Spots are now installed at Liverpool and Campbelltown stations. The $1 million Power Spots Project rollout to 15 transport hubs including Bankstown, Hurstville, Lidcombe, Penrith, Wynyard, Central, Town Hall and Bondi Junction will be completed by late 2024. NSW Transport Minister Jo Haylen said the Power Spots provide peace of mind: “In the modern world, our phones are our …

  • 18 jan 2024
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