Covering roofs and walls of buildings with vegetation is a good way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. And these green roofs and walls make cities look nicer. Toronto’s central business district adopted a policy of establishing green roofs on around half of all city buildings in 2009. Research shows this could reduce maximum city temperatures by up to 5℃.
Discusses the need for “renewable energy breeding” – the process by which mining the raw materials and manufacturing technologies such as solar cells and wind turbines are themselves powered by renewables rather than fossil fuels.
In Australia’s middle and outer suburbs, rooftop solar technology provides a clear way to reduce the emissions from the energy our houses use. But higher density housing types (apartments and medium density housing) do not lend themselves to rooftop solar at the scale needed to make a difference to household energy and carbon budgets.
A sound knowledge of how informal green spaces are used, or of why they are not being used, can inform planners and decision-makers when intervening in such spaces to increase the liveability of urban neighbourhoods.
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The Commons apartment building in the inner Melbourne suburb of Brunswick has won swags of awards, including the Best of Best at the 2014 BPN Sustainability Awards. Among its many lauded attributes is its total lack of on-site car parking.
Beyond the benefits of dockless bike sharing for people’s mobility and health, these services are producing an ever more useful byproduct: journey data, which could be a powerful tool for city planners and policymakers
Energy upgrades in Australia’s buildings could deliver a quarter of Australia’s 2030 emissions reduction target. Improving energy performance through improved building design, heating and cooling systems, lighting and other equipment and appliances could also deliver more than half of our National Energy Productivity Target.