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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
‘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.
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.