Are we building out the joy of dog ownership? Webinar: 6 May 2021

Dogs are good for us, and good for our cities. However research from theSydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning shows that in Australiancities experiencing an increase in apartment living, dogs are being leftbehind. A webinar explores how we can ensure our cities remain pet friendly.

Dog owners enjoy a number of physiological, psychological and psychosocialbenefits.

Dogs inhabit the same environments as their owners, and as cities grow andchange, it is important they are planned to accommodate dog ownership.Australian cities are generally experiencing a process of transition towardshigher density, with increasing numbers of people living in apartments ratherthan houses.

As well, the way we are travelling around cities is changing, with more peopleseeking to leave behind the parking and congestion problems of cars to opt forthe use of public transport. This poses the question, how can we ensure dogs –and all the benefits they bring individuals, families and our society – arenot left behind in these processes of change?

World-leading expert on dogs and transport and Senior Research Fellow at theUniversity of Sydney School of Architecture Design and Planning Dr JenniferKent says: “First, we need to ensure there is adequate, public, open space inour cities so that people feel compelled and comfortable taking dogs out oftheir apartment homes and into natural places for walks, play andsocialisation.

“Second, we need to ensure people can travel around our beautiful cities withtheir dog, without having to be dependent on the car for this purpose”.

Dr Kent notes that in Australia, and particularly in our largest city, Sydney,people are restricted from taking pet dogs on trains and buses – unlike mostcities in Europe and the United Kingdom, and increasingly cities in the UnitedStates, which allow leashed dogs on public transport.

“This antiquated policy limits people’s ability to be in public with theirdog, and perpetuates the car use that is so problematic today,” says Dr Kent.

“Our research shows how easy it would be for transport agencies in Australiancities to ease restrictions on the carriage of pet dogs on public transport.For example, people with dogs could be limited to travelling at off-peaktimes, and dogs would always need to be leashed and under the control of theirowner.

“We have also shown that while some people have concerns about potential formess, or smell, these can be allayed through education and regulation. Infact, our research shows most Sydney-siders seem supportive of the shift”.


Dog Ownership, Mental Health and City Planning/Design: Webinar

Thursday 6th May 2021, 10am AEST


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