Urban policymaking, plan-making and place-making in Australia could be about to get smarter.
A $1.8 million funding package was announced on 27 November by the Australian Research Council to a research consortium spanning Australia’s four largest capital cities. Led by Swinburne University of Technology together with UNSW, Monash, Curtin and Queensland universities, the objective is to develop a 21st century digital information platform for collaborative Built Environment and Design applications capable of matching those emerging elsewhere around the world.
It will enable the creation of critical capacity and new forms of collaborative integrated research among academics and practitioners who have been involved for the past several years in three Co-operative Research Centres (CRC) focused on more sustainable urban development: CRC for Spatial Information, CRC for Low Carbon Living and CRC for Water Sensitive Cities.
Increasing demands for improved urban governance and improved urban planning are interdependent. A game-changer capable of providing a transition on both fronts has emerged in the form of a 21st century smart, networked, decision supporting platform for applied urban research, synthesis and participation.
Called the iHUB Network, it is a readily scalable, state-of-the-art, multi-layered networked facility that helps participants make smarter decisions in urban policy-making, plan-making and place-making.
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Evidence continues to mount concerning the contribution that carbon emissions from human activity are making to climate change, the costs that this will impose on future generations if unabated, and the challenging GHG mitigation targets and strategies required to minimize temperature increase.
This document is a resource for anyone planning or assessing new low carbon precincts. Its advice complements existing policy and may be of use to developers, planners, policy makers and the community—anyone who is seeking to understand how to create sustainable urban outcomes.
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.