Researchers have found that open space provision (e.g. parkland) is vitally important for meeting the social, economic and environmental needs of urban populations globally. The international literature on park provision identifies many factors that influence a local government’s ability to provide adequate parkland including political agendas, governance tools and resources.
The highly populated coastal cities and towns in Australia are also most vulnerable places to climate change induced by increased greenhouse gas (GHG) emission through anthropogenic activities. It is estimated that urban areas account for 60-80% of the global energy use and emit more than 70% of global greenhouse gases.
The papers presented at the 2015 State of Australian Cities National Conference (SOAC 7) were organised into seven broad themes but all shared, to varying degrees, a common focus on the ways in which high quality academic research can be used in the development and implementation of policy.
Recent scholarship has conceptualised initiatives at the grassroots level as niche sites of innovation for sustainable development, comprising a diversity of innovations and sustainable practices that may (or may not) be usefully transferred to mainstream systems (Seyfang & Smith 2007).
To ‘flourish’ in a rapidly urbanising world with limited resources we need to imagine different ways of living: increasing density, using passive energy, turning objects into services, and perhaps most importantly imagining new systems of living our everyday urban lives.
Creating sustainable cities requires rethinking the built environment, a fundamental component of mitigating the environmental impacts of buildings. To evaluate this, stakeholders in Australia increasingly rely on third party verification via green building rating schemes.
The research involved examining indicators of sustainability from four case study subdivisions that were marketed as ‘green’, ‘eco’ or ‘sustainable’ or similar. It found a clear gap between the way the subdivision has been designed and the energy efficiency of the houses.