This paper provides a theoretical and operational overview of a new integrated urban sustainability assessment framework named as Local area Envisioning and Sustainability Scoring system (LESS). LESS allows the monitoring, mapping and measurement of indicators from four fields of relevance to local government areas: environment, socio-economic, infrastructure and governance.
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.
Trees are known for their positive impacts in cities including: the provision of shade, reducing heat island effects, improving amenity, reducing social vulnerability, processing carbon and improving health outcomes. Perhaps unsurprisingly, greening policies at the local and state level have proliferated. Despite these initiatives, tree cover remains stubbornly uneven.
In the global push to lowering our carbon emissions by transitioning to renewable energy production and improving energy efficiency epitomised in the Paris Agreement in 2015, the importance of housing tenure to the adoption of low carbon living, particularly for those on lower incomes, is often not fully appreciated.
Australia’s cities face significant social, economic and environmental challenges, driven by population growth and rapid urbanisation. The pressure to increase the availability of housing, including a move to a more compact urban form, will lead to greater levels of high-density and medium-density stock.
Urban fringe residential estates continue to dominate the residential development sector in Australia. Several practice based sustainability assessment tools have recently been developed which acknowledge the impacts of such developments and attempt to improve outcomes.
This paper draws from research undertaken by the authors for the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) that scoped the processes and inputs needed for establishing a new redevelopment model in Australia’s middle suburbs, with a particular focus on Melbourne (Newton et al 2011).
‘Resilient Cities’ is a relatively new term that is designed to go further than ‘Sustainable Cities’ by pushing the transformational aspects of the changes needed within cities to adapt to the long-term challenges facing the planet such as climate change and resources scarcities.
This paper explores the redevelopment potential of ageing and underutilised public housing properties in the middle suburbs of major Australian cities. State governments lack strategies for the renewal of this housing in the current fiscally constrained environment.