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.
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.
Due to the unsustainable nature of urban sprawl, Australian metropolitan strategies have increasing been pushing for increased levels of infill: the redevelopment of existing urban (typically residential) land. However, the current infill models of Brownfield and lot-by-lot redevelopment are largely incapable of generating the volume or range of future housing needs.
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).
Cities are comprised of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of small parcels of individually owned land. The fractured nature of these tenures, combined with the network of administrative and infrastructural bodies governing them, makes any form of significant and coordinated planning change incredibly complicated, if not untenable.
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 centres are a major source of greenhouse gas emissions and energy use. In Australia, Building energy use is responsible for 23% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, more than half of which comes from the residential sector (CIE, 2007). In Australian residential homes, about two thirds of energy is used for heating and cooling (incl. water) (CIE, 2007).