Urban development typically looks to governments, local and national, to take the lead in transforming urban landscapes to promote sustainability and wellbeing. This is especially so when problems requiring a coordinated response – such as climate change – are deep and urgent.
However, in many parts of the world, including Australia, recent and current government policies provide little hope that the range of structural changes necessary to create more sustainable, low-carbon cities will emerge from the ‘top down’.
Despite paying lip service to sustainability issues, most politicians still operate firmly within an outdated growth paradigm in which new roads, new coal mines, or fracking for oil and gas, are touted as solutions to urban transport and energy problems. Too often we see cities continuing to eat away at their surrounding greenways with conventional, sprawling, poorly designed housing developments. Business-as-usual more or less prevails.
The nascent Transition Towns Movement (known as TTM) provides one of the more well-known social movements to emerge during the last decade in response to overlapping energy, environmental and economic crises.
Whereas the more established Ecovillage Movement has generally sought to escape the urban context to establish experiments in alternative living, the TTM, motivated by similar concerns, tends to accept the challenge of transforming urban life from within the urban boundary.
With regard to separation of food scraps for composting, this research identified that there are two important aspects often overlooked when the focus is only on behaviour: 1. Policy makers need to ensure that there are socio-technical systems supporting diverse groups of people...Read more
Industry misconceptions around high cost and poor market interest in energy efficient homes continue to obstruct the mass adoption of low carbon housing. Josh’s House demonstrates that low carbon housing is accessible and cost effective. The Star Performers series showcases how...Read more
Australians have world leading levels of urban resource consumption and carbon emissions – an unsustainable position in the 21 st century. Survey research at the Centre for Urban Transitions reveals that the known determinants of our large urban ecological footprints are...Read more
Metropolitan planning and development of Australia’s cities has been strongly influenced by what could be termed the “North American model” of low-density, car-dependent suburban development on greenfield master-planned housing estates. But this is all set to change.
Representing the culmination of five years of research, this report examines seven domains of a city’s liveability that also promote the health and wellbeing of Australians – walkability, public transport, public open spaces, housing affordability, employment and the food and alcohol environments.
Over the past decade research on urban thermal inequity has grown, with a focus on denser built environments. In this letter we examine thermal inequity associated with climate change impacts and changes to urban form in a comparatively socio-economically disadvantaged Australian suburb.