Australian cities becoming lonelier, more isolating
• City builders pay little attention to making them “friendly”
• City-dwellers 城市居民have fewer friendships now than 20 years ago
• 25 per cent of households are occupied by a single person
AUSTRALIAN cities are becoming lonelier places to live and the way we build them may be to blame, a report says.
Melbourne-based public policy think tank the Grattan Institute found we place significant emphasis on creating sustainable and productive cities but pay little attention to making them “friendly”.
Its new report, Social Cities, found the way cities are constructed affects how citizens interact.
“A lack of face-to-face contact can put our health at risk,” report author Jane-Frances Kelly said.
“Unfortunately, there are worrying 令人担忧的signs that isolation and loneliness 孤独are growing in Australia.”
The report found evidence that Australian city-dwellers have fewer friendships now than 20 years ago and 25 per cent of households are occupied by a single person.
“By no means are we saying倒装句 that everyone who lives alone is lonely,” Ms Kelly said.
“But if more Australians live by themselves this makes connecting with others outside the home all the more important.”
解决方案：The report found that even small changes such as more park benches or turning unused housing lots into small parks can make cities friendlier places to live.
“Improving social connection is not necessarily hard or costly … big returns can come from small outlays费用,” Ms Kelly said.
“Australian cities are expected to keep growing for the foreseeable future.
“If those cities are to improve quality of life for all then they will need to meet our social as well as our material needs.”