Sure, our garages are one of the most used spaces in our homes, but they’re commonly the most cluttered and disorganised as well.  And for many, the space has become such a significant dumping space that cars can no longer be parked in there.

1. Be a man (or woman) with a plan
Set aside a weekend and have a clear goal of what tasks you want to accomplish over these two days.  We suggest a simple check list, particularly if you are including multiple people in your clean up, to ensure that nothing gets over looked.

And for inspiration, make a playlist, listen to a ball game or a podcast you’ve been busting to get stuck into.

2. Move it outside
Anything that is not physically attached, should be moved out of the garage. As you’re migrating your stuff from inside to the outside, we suggest that you divide everything into four different sections or piles (but be sure to leave enough space for when you clean out your garage floor with your garden hose):

1. Trash – This is for garbage and items that you can recycle
2. Donate – Any pre-loved items that would find a second life in a new family
3. Clean/Repair – Items that found their way into the garage because they need a slight   repair or a heavy duty clean before earning its spot back inside the house
4. Keep – All of the items that you’ll be keeping and storing in your new and improved garage

3. Wipe it, wipe it good
Now that the garage is empty, it needs to be thoroughly scrubbed before you can start the next steps.  All flat surfaces, including shelving should be wiped clean of any dirt, dust and debris.  This also includes cleaning any windows in your garage and it might be a good excuse for you to open that package of dust masks that you just found.

Following that, grab a broom and gently remove any spider webs and cobwebs that have accumulated in corners and on the walls.

Now that your walls and your surface areas are spic n span, it’s time to hit the floor.  Mix up a bucket of biodegradable, grease cutting floor cleaner in a bucket and splash it on evenly on your floor, the starting from the back wall, use your garden hose to push the water out to the driveway.

5. Use it or lose it
Take a good hard look at your “Keep” pile and give it another edit. If you’ve got tennis rackets that have not been used since the iPhone 5, it’s probably time to say goodbye. And with the items you’re keeping, figure out if any of them are seasonal (skis, scuba gear, Christmas decorations, etc.) and ear mark those to be stored in less accessible storage areas.

6. Get in the zone
Because this space is going to be multi-purpose, we recommend zoning your “Keep” items into the same zoned areas. Tools and hardware stay together, seasonal decorations and clothing stay together and the same for sports equipment.

The real key to successful zoning, is properly and clearly labelling the outside of each storage box. If there are key items stored inside, be sure to include that on your label.

7.  Go up the wall
To further maximise your space, we encourage the use of vertical storage.  For your boxes and for your family’s bikes.  By storing your boxes in vertical shelves, they become easily accessible, off the floor and safe from any potential flooding or floor damage and you’re maximising your garage space.

Storing your bikes vertically, especially using a Steadyrack, will maximise the space in your garage by getting them off the floor, plus the patented 180 degree pivot, allow for them to be stored almost flush against the wall.  This reduces the risk of injury and also helps to accommodate car parking in smaller areas.

8. Maintain
Now that you’ve got everything cleaned, organised, stored and you’ve got your garage space back, the work isn’t done.  With everything in its proper place, it will be easy for you and your family to regularly maintain your newly updated garage and the extra time that you’ve saved by knowing where everything is.  That’s more than enough time for a bike ride.

The absence of designated bike parking can create issues that may discourage cyclists from future use.  Damage to fixtures, area congestion, damaging their own bikes or those around them and undue aggravation are all potential problems.  Without sufficient bike parking, you’ll find that cyclists will lock their bikes to the closest secure fixture (poles, signs, fences, hand rails, etc.).

When researching and sourcing options for creating bike parking installations for commercial purposes (End-of-Trip facilities, public spaces, schools, office buildings, cafes, hospitals, museums, etc.), what is it that facility managers, business owners and architects are actually looking for?

Safety and security are always inferred, so a unique and bespoke fit out that will provide enduring and positive impact for everyone who will makes use of the new bike parking.  Bike racks that are easy to use and built to last, along with the ability to park more bikes in less space are all key selling points for decision makers.

Enter Steadyrack. Addressing all of the above criteria, Steadyrack provides a bike parking solution like no other available on the market.  Easy to install, no lifting required, safe and secure for locking up bikes, maximises space in the storage area, available in four different styles (to accommodate practically every type of bike, including e-bikes) and they’re built to last.

For installations that will endure ongoing wear and tear from heavy use, we offer a Stainless Steel version of our Classic rack that has been fortified with Marine Grade 316 Steel, full reinforced for public and outdoor use. These are a great option if your bike parking installation is exposed to the elements, as these racks won’t weather or rust from outdoor exposure.

A fully outdoor installation can be customised by including our bike parking posts, that can also feature your preferred and customised colour, fitting four, six or eight bikes.  Featured on these posts are the new Steadyrack Outdoor Rack.  We’ve stripped back our original Classic Rack and manufactured this new robust rack out of Marine Grace 316 steel, specifically for outdoor use.

The Outdoor Rack will not rust, is vandal resistant and built to withstand the elements with little or no maintenance required while catering for a wide variety of commonly used bikes.

The need and the desire for overhauling our garages is permeating neighbourhoods and suburbs, as only one in 10 of us are satisfied with our garages. The common denominator is wanting to be more organised, which means our tools, boxes, sporting gear, bikes, over flow of pantry items should be more easily accessed and use of space improved.

As makeovers, renovations and tidying up migrates from inside our homes and into our garages, more and more families are discovering Steadyrack as their preferred solution to an ongoing bike storage problem and here’s why.

How many of us have placed garage organisation/reorganisation on our list of New Year’s resolutions?  Yup, me too. Life gets busy, priorities changes and before you know it, the silly season is upon us and it’s time for a new list.

As this can be an overwhelming task, bringing in professional garage organisers (yes, that’s a thing) or dividing the work load into more manageable chunks can help organising your garage a reality.

Bikes that are parked on the floor or leaning on the wall are a major contributor to garage clutter, which prevents many of us from using the garage for its intended purpose, parking our cars.  Even in tighter spaces, a Steadyrack will safely store your bike on the wall, with no lifting and save you enough space to park your car back in rightful space in the garage.

If you’ve been relegated to a dark corner of your garage to work on your hobbies and DIY projects, as a result of unpacked holiday decorations, unstored sporting equipment (including bikes) and piles of laundry you’re not alone.  Many of consider our garages to be a secondary living area or even a primary work space.  Decluttering and organising with proper storage and user-friendly workspace, can bring new harmony to a chaotic household.

If you add kids into the mix, that chaos can be compounded.  Introducing Steadyrack into your garage as your new bike storage solution, will help reduce chaos and ensure that everyone in the family knows where to store their bikes…no excuses. And yes, even an 8-year-old can use a Steadyrack!

If you’re looking for a garage that will make your neighbours jealous, preparing for an open house or simply ready to have your garage as organised and functional as the inside of your house, Steadyrack is a key component to saving space and making your dream garage a reality.

When the Kenyan runner Eliud Kipchoge became the first human to run a marathon in under two hours as part of the recent INEOS 1:59 Project Challenge, this was arguably one of the most significant achievements of athleticism since Sir Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile in 1954. But almost immediately afterwards there was controversy, not toward the runner or the unofficial nature of his run (his record has no official status), but over his running shoes.

The trainers in question were the AlphaFLY running shoes designed and manufactured by Nike. They are built around a carefully considered sole design that absorbs the energy of each foot strike and then helps store, channel and return it as the athlete runs. Its various patented innovations include the types of polymers used and how they and air pockets are located to absorb and return energy, coupled with a carbon plate built into the midsole. The question is, can a running shoe really be they key to sporting success? Or is it just an easy target for others’ misplaced jealousy?

A study published back in 2005 predicted the probable limits of the men’s marathon record. Yet since then the maximum projections in that study have already been exceeded by around two minutes, and nearly by four if you include Kipchoge’s time. On that basis it seems fair to suggest that the shoes are at least partly responsible for such large and unexpected performance improvements. The International Association of Athletics Federations, the governing body, has established a group to study the Nike’s running shoes and report back with an adjudication.

A more recent study examining shoe technology supports this concern, suggesting that a predecessor to the Alphafly shoe design had been shown to improve running economy significantly. In fact, compared directly to other elite-level trainers in the same study, the performance gain was in the range of 2.6%-4.2%. At the razor thin margins of elite sport, that sort of benefit is the equivalent of bringing a gun to a knife fight.

Seeking an edge through technology

To be sure, as far as debating technological assistance in sport goes, we’ve been here plenty of times before. The Australian sprinter Cathy Freeman wore a one-piece aerodynamic suit in the 400 metres at the Sydney 2000 Olympics. In 2008, the very nature of disability itself was challenged when South African Oscar Pistorius attempted to run in both the Paralympic and Olympic Games the same year while using a pair of composite prosthetic legs. These, like Kipchoge’s shoes, also raised concerns about the nature of and extent to which technology contributes toward helping us perform at our very best. In a systemic review published in 2015, I found the impact of technology in sport as having brought a huge source of positive interest, but, on occasion, being hugely damaging.

The British Olympic team recently unveiled its new track cycling bicycle, dubbed HB.T, upon which athletes will be competing at the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. This machine (a project undertaken between British Cycling and manufacturers Hope and Lotus Engineering) pushes the rules to their absolute limits and demonstrates the flair that Lotus themselves applied back in 1992 when they designed Chris Boardman’s gold medal-winning Lotus bicycle. But this design was itself later banned from competition due to its perceived unfairness.

The new Team GB bicycle is resplendent with an unusual fork configuration and bowed, thin frame members that virtually disappear from view when you look at it head on. Engineers will be keen to know the measured advantages. But I’m wondering whether the real effects of the bike are in the psychological blow to its opposition as it is wheeled out for the first time – at a point probably and quite intentionally too late for competing cycling teams’ to respond to in time for Tokyo.

The general criticism behind such new technology is not just about how effective it may or may not be but also about its perceived fairness. Such arguments typically debate issues surrounding equal access to a technology, the ability to ensure any new technology is safe, that it is not fundamentally an unfair advantage, and that it doesn’t ultimately change the nature of the sport entirely.

Some sports governing bodies attempt to remove or marginalise the impact of technology. Cycling has tried several times to do so. However, even the relative simplicity of a sport such as running was changed forever when Kipchoge used a huge team of around 40 pace-setters in an aerodynamic formation and those shoes.

Technological progress can be slowed, but it can’t easily be halted – and arguably shouldn’t be. So there will be much more debate on the effects of technology ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Games as more athletes, teams and manufacturers all compete for the most prized medals in competitive sport.The Conversation

Bryce Dyer, Principal Academic, Bournemouth University

Since it’s inception in 2009, Steadyrack has been a disruptor in the world of bike parking and bike storage. The unique and patented design has shifted the way that we have historically approached and thought about vertical bike parking solutions.

Until Steadyrack, we had been conditioned to lifting our bikes when storing them vertically. Thankfully that auto response has been challenged now that there’s a bike parking solution that saves space, is safe to use, built to last (and outlast our bikes) and requires no lifting whatsoever.

Made from high quality steel and UV treated plastic, every product in the range of Steadyrack bike racks are highly engineered and load tested. The Classic, MTB and Fat racks can accommodate bikes up to 35kg (77lbs), with the Fender Rack accommodating bikes up to 25kg (55lbs). This means that most bikes are suited to being stored in a Steadyrack, including E-Bikes.

Steadyrack’s unique combination of features are not available in any other single bike parking product on the market. The easy to load bike rack requires no lifting, features rotating arms that swivel almost 180 degrees and are built to last (and now offers a free extended five year warranty).

A bike owner can easily place their bike into a Steadyrack, simply by rolling the bike in and out the supporting arm, using a pushing and pulling action.  This simple method of loading and unloading ensures that Steadyrack are suited to bike riders of all capabilities, strengths and ages. Additionally, there are racks suited for bikes with fenders and mudguards as well as mountain bikes and bikes with fat tyres.

Steadyrack’s patented pivoting arms allows for the maximum flexibility for bike storage and parking locations, with more space saving than any other bike parking solution.  This revolutionary design helps to reclaim invaluable floor space and can be mounted, as close together as 350mm, on virtually any wall.  With this in mind, bikes that are stored in Steadyracks can be over lapped when not in use, thanks to the pivot feature.

Not only are Steadyracks an extremely versatile solution for all of our bike parking requirements, they are so highly engineered and built to last, that it would be no surprise that your Steadyrack will out live and outlast your bike, making it great value for money.

All of the above features, individually are not unique to Steadyrack, but being combined and available in one single bike parking solution is what makes Steadyrack unique.

It goes without saying that cycling is better for the environment than driving – but what about electric cycles?

According to a recent e-bike forecast, electric bikes are becoming extremely popular throughout the UK, with 2019 being the biggest year in history for e-bike sales yet. This in turn, is helping to combat heavy air pollution in cities across the country.

Many of the UK’s cities are failing to obtain acceptable air quality figures, so, trading your vehicle for an e-bike is a great decision for commuters who want to reduce exhaust emissions and to aid better air quality.

1. E-bikes are energy efficient
Although electric bikes consume energy, the amount is miniscule in comparison to a car or motorbike commute, making them an eco-friendly switch. According to RooDog, electric and non-electric bicycles are equal with regards to their impact to the environment, but they are 13 times more energy efficient than a normal family car.

E-bikes reduce carbon emissions
The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) studied how cycling can significantly reduce carbon emissions. Bikes and e-bikes make up 6% of miles travelled in cities across the world. If this number increases to 14% by 2050, there would be an 11% reduction in carbon emissions – greatly reducing air pollution.

2. E-bikes benefit health and wellbeing
As well as reducing carbon emissions, e-bikes are a great way to benefit your individual health. Commuting to and from work using an e-bike instead of driving or using public transport will massively increase the number of calories burned during the day. Cycling is known for building core muscles and providing intense, short burst workouts.

Don’t be put off if you have a lengthy commute – the motor in an electric bike will take the strain off your legs so you can get to your destination without feeling sweaty or tired.

3. E-bikes are easy to maintain
Keeping a car or motorbike can be financially stressful, taking insurance and MOT’s into account. As electric bikes do not come under the category of ‘motor vehicles’ they do not require either of these. It is important to regularly check your e-bike’s motor, battery and lights but you can forget the hefty insurance fees you face when keeping a car or motorbike.

4. E-bikes emit zero noise pollution
Electric bikes do not emit sound when you ride them, unlike cars and motorbikes, meaning little to no sound pollution. The fewer cars there are on city and country roads, the easier it is to take in the lovely surroundings.

Trends come and go, but the trusty and simple design of the push bike has remained at the heart of transport systems in cities around the world. To commute everywhere by bike is a unique lifestyle that comes with many benefits. Let’s look at some of the cities around the world that have best adopted the biking lifestyle (warning: high risk of catching the travel bug)…


1. Amsterdam, The Netherlands

In Amsterdam, a bike is the ultimate daily essential. The Dutch have long since relied on bikes to travel in and around the city. With its quaint canals, leafy green parks and a small village feel, this biking paradise has widely embraced its inhabitants.

The Dutch are known for biking in all kinds of weather – rain, hail, wind or shine. When it comes to staying dry, it’s not uncommon to spot a biker in a waterproof outfit, complete with rain pants. Due to The Netherlands’ temperamental weather, specialised weather apps, such as Buienalarm, are a popular tool, in which rain-free windows can be monitored minute by minute.

Once you have become accustomed to their road rules, biking in this beautiful city is cruisy and therapeutic. The Netherlands’ famously flat terrain harbours the perfect environment for getting around everywhere by bike, and really the only incline a biker will have to endure is from riding over a quaint arched bridge stretched over a canal. This makes it a breeze to bike around all day! Not bad, right?


2. Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen is amongst one of the most bike-friendly cities in the world, with 62 per cent of its inhabitants commuting daily by bike. In this city, bikes have outnumbered cars since 2016 and there are 360 kilometres of innovative ‘superhighways’, bridges and designated bike lanes, making it a safe place to commute via bike.

The Danish Government has implemented many strategies to ease the ‘rush hour’ period, with special intersections and traffic lights regulating the flow of biking commuters. Like many European cities, it can be very cold, rainy and dark during the wintery months. However, no matter the temperature, it’s impossible for this unique biking culture to ever lose its charm. What better way to start the day than to ride side-by-side with other commuters through the beautiful city of Copenhagen?


3. Utrecht, The Netherlands

When it comes to biking cities, the Dutch have really had the spokes turning right from the start. Utrecht is a small city in The Netherlands that was purposefully built for biking commuters just as much as Amsterdam, and embraces the important role that bikes play in commuting to neighbouring cities.

Utrecht Central Station is known as the transport hub of The Netherlands, and boasts the world’s largest biking garage with capacity to hold over 12,000 bikes. The multi-story bike shelter is open 24/7 and provides a safe and dry parking space for commuters to store their bikes in racks before they hop on the train.


4. Antwerp, Belgium

Already an established biking city, the Belgian city of Antwerp has made improvements over the past couple of years to build its bike friendliness. Antwerp’s cycling network has better traffic light coordination and safer intersections so that daily commuters can enjoy a practical and safe experience.

In Antwerp, you can either own your own bike or take advantage of the convenient bike-sharing system called Velo, which is popular amongst tourists as well as the city’s inhabitants. In some countries, wearing a helmet whilst biking is enforceable by law. However, there is no legal obligation to do so in Belgium. The most recent national statistics state that 68 per cent of Belgians don’t wear a helmet; placing the country in the top three European countries with the highest rate of helmet-free bikers (along with The Netherlands and Hungary).


5. Strasbourg, France

Strasbourg, a hub for students and a melting pot of cultures, is rated France’s best biking city (yes, it even beats Paris). With the city implementing biking infrastructure in the late 1970s, there are now over 560 kilometres of biking trails.

There are over 18,000 bike racks in the city of Strasbourg, and this doesn’t include the bike rack facilities provided by schools or businesses. If you hold a yearly subscription, you will have access to the 850 secure parking spaces at the train station, which are complete with security surveillance and tyre pumps.

The large car-free zone in the city centre makes Strasbourg a very safe place to commute via bike. Around eight per cent of Strasbourg’s population rides bikes, however the city is aiming to double this number by the year 2025.


These cities offer a way to live a more practical and sustainable lifestyle, not to mention the magical old-world charm that comes with whizzing around town like a free spirit on wheels. With a bike’s cheap maintenance costs and the incentive to live a more active and green lifestyle, there is a lot to love about commuting via bike.

Next time you take on an adventure, why not add a biking city to your travel bucket list? There’s nothing like touring a city by bike – you’re in the fresh air, have the freedom to go wherever you like at your own pace, and you can say goodbye to the hassle of public transport, ride shares, or taxis. Just remember to look both ways before crossing a bike path!

Like basketball, baseball, and other popular sports, cycling is typically seen as a male-dominated world. In fact, the cycling community recalls how former UCI president Pat McQuaid himself stated that women pro-cyclists weren’t worth a minimum wage back in 2012. Fortunately, significant strides towards progress have been made since then. And starting this year, women bikers are set to receive a minimum of A$25,000. After all, the time and effort that they have devoted to the sport are just as invaluable as their male counterparts’.

As a woman biker, it isn’t enough to be skilled — you must also have the strength and grit to persevere against these odds. Indeed, the professional women bikers we know today are some of the best out there. Here are some popular names that have proven their worth and continue to inspire the next generation of women cyclists.

Marianne Vos

In an article written by Vox writer David Roberts, it is revealed that the concept of cycling is introduced to Dutch children as early as preschool. By age 10, many of them move on to take cycling classes and continuously hone their craft, and thus building a strong biking culture in the community. That being said, it isn’t surprising that one of the greatest bikers is from the Netherlands: Marianne Vos. She amazes the cycling world with her impressive list of accolades — from winning the World Road Race Champion three times, to conquering seven World Cyclo-cross Championships and collecting two Olympic Gold medals. At present, Vos uses her platform to help bridge the gender gap in cycling, and is a leading advocate for the expansion of the international women’s road-race calendar.

Lauren Reynolds

Did you know that Aussies are some of the best women bikers in the world? According to The Guardian, Australia has been well-represented on the podium at the World Championships for the last three years. Inarguably, one of the finest Australian female bikers is Lauren Reynolds. As previously shared on The Steadyrack, Reynolds is not only an Olympian, but she has also placed at the Australian Championships, the BMX Supercross, and the BMX World Championships. The Bunbury native is now based in San Diego, where she continues to train for the ever-exciting BMX competitions.

Coryn Rivera

After winning the gold medal in the 2017 Tour of Flanders for Women in Belgium, Coryn Rivera became one of the top female bikers in the world. Now, she hopes to inspire more Filipinos to take up the sport. It should be great news for Rivera that cycling is becoming increasingly popular in her home country, with many training opportunities now accessible for newbies and long-time cyclists alike. Because of the country’s scorching tropical climate, bikers have even taken to indoor cycling to strengthen their physique. As such, lifestyle writer Jane Adamson cites the rise of spin classes in Manila as a testament to the newfound appreciation for this sport. While some may argue over its differences, spinning classes help cyclists work on their balance, coordination, and exercise other body parts they may not usually get to. True enough, Rivera cites cross-training as an important part of her workout regimen, so she can maintain a holistic approach to fitness. This goes to show how important it is to continuously challenge one’s self even off the road bike.

Lael Wilcox

Touted as one of the best ultra-endurance bikers, Lael Wilcox is truly making a name for herself in the cycling world. An article on Bicycling highlights how the American athlete won the 4,200-mile (6760 km) Trans Am race in 2016 — beating both her male and female competitors. But her achievements don’t stop there, as Wilcox also broke the men’s record for the fastest known time on the Baja Divide route in 2017, and was also the second woman to finish the Navad 1000 bikepacking race in Switzerland. At present, Wilcox aims to build the future generation of female bikers in her hometown of Anchorage, Alaska with her program called GRIT, or Girls Riding Into Tomorrow.

We are witnessing changes in the ways we use our cities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The liveability of our local neighbourhoods has never been more important.Right now, we are working together to flatten the curve by staying home to control the spread of COVID-19 and reduce demand on health services.

This means spending a lot more time at home and in our local neighbourhoods. We are all finding out about the strengths and weaknesses in the liveability of our neighbourhoods.

This experience can teach us some lessons about how to live and plan our communities in the future. A liveable neighbourhood promotes good health and social cohesion, both now and after this pandemic passes.

Heavy use of local open space

Anybody who has left their home in the past few weeks will have noticed more people are using local streets and public open spaces. Parks and other public spaces are more popular than ever. Some are becoming too crowded for comfort.

Accessible public space is a key ingredient of healthy and liveable places. Public green spaces provide multiple benefits for mental and physical health, urban cooling, biodiversity, air pollution and stormwater runoff as identified in a previous review for the Heart Foundation.

Access to local public open spaces has become even more important as the current need to stay home adds to the impacts of increased density in the form of smaller houses, lot sizes and apartment living. Yet not everyone has access to local parks.

We looked at neighbourhood access to public open space using our liveability indicators included in the Australian Urban Observatory. Not all neighbourhoods have access to public open space within 400 metres. We see this in neighbourhoods just north of the beach in North Bondi, Sydney, as the liveability map below shows.

We found a similar pattern in neighbourhoods of St Kilda East in Melbourne. It’s a pattern repeated in many neighbourhoods across cities in Australia.

Private green spaces and backyards are also being appreciated more than ever. Many people are rushing to plant fruits and vegetables at home.

The private green spaces and biodiversity found in backyards are important influences on subjective well-being. Connecting with nature in the garden is a great way to support mental health.

Dogs are also enjoying more time with their owners in local green spaces and pet ownership is increasing. Office video conferences often feature furry friends at home. Let’s hope the increase in pet adoptions helps people cope with social distancing but also provides the animals with good long-term homes.

Fewer cars, more cycling and walking
One of the noticeable differences in our cities right now is the reduced car traffic in typically busy neighbourhoods where more people (including children) are out on bicycles and walking. Walkable environments with paths and cycleways are providing supportive and safe spaces for both recreational physical activity and for getting to places such as local shops and supermarkets and offices without unnecessary exposure to other people.

The benefits are greatest for people living in high-amenity walkable areas with access to such places within 800 metres. Having services and facilities close by has been shown to support walking for transport to shops and services, promote health and reduce non-communicable diseases such as heart attacks and strokes.

However, our new lives during this pandemic also highlight inequities in local access to health, community and social services. Research shows access to these services is poorer in the low-density outer suburbs that are common across Australian cities.

Better air quality

Reduced car traffic and industrial emissions are undoubtedly improving air quality in our cities. In 2018, the World Health Organisation declared air quality was the “new smoking” as it increases respiratory problems and cardiovascular disease. The transport sector also contributes about 25% of global carbon dioxide emissions .

Homes, schools and care facilities located within 300 metres of major roads are more exposed to air pollution and risk of disease. Those risks are likely to have decreased during the COVID-19 crisis.

At the moment, many of us are living and shopping locally and enjoying the co-benefits of the “slow walkable city”: less traffic, more active modes of transport, better air quality and less noise.

Valuing social cohesion

Loneliness is a serious public health problem. It causes premature deaths on a scale similar to that of smoking or obesity.

Pre-pandemic lifestyles involved time-poor people travelling widely to destinations for employment, education, recreation, socialising and extracurricular activities. The suburbs were places of much social isolation.

With these activities now reined in, are we are seeing a rise in neighbourhood social connections due to people staying at home? Anecdotally, yes. It’s emerging through new or reinvigorated conversations with neighbours, support and sharing of goods (toilet paper anyone?), and coordinated neighbourhood support systems, such as WhatsApp groups and neighbourhood happy hours. Across the world, we can see this sense of neighbourhood belonging in the form of bear hunts and rainbow chalk drawings.

It is well documented that feeling part of the community is good for your mental health. Local support networks become even more important and valued during crises such as COVID-19.

These are just some of the more obvious reflections about the liveability of our neighbourhoods as we stay home to help contain the spread of COVID-19. No doubt there will be many more lessons to come that we need to remember and act on after the pandemic passes.The Conversation

Melanie Davern, Senior Research Fellow, Director Australian Urban Observatory, Co-Director Healthy Liveable Cities Group, Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University; Billie Giles-Corti, Director, Urban Futures Enabling Capability Platform and Director, Healthy Liveable Cities Group, RMIT University; Hannah Badland, Principal Research Fellow, Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University, and Lucy Gunn, Research Fellow, Healthy Liveable Cities Group, Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University, RMIT University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.