Topic archives: sustainability

Will Fishermans Bend meet its sustainability target?

Will Fishermans Bend meet its sustainability target?

October 24, 2017 9

It’s easy to give the appearance of being progressive when the proof of the pudding won’t be known until 2050, but sometimes inconvenient truths can't be overlooked

Does manufacturing locally mean lower emissions?

Does manufacturing locally mean lower emissions?

July 1, 2013 7

The inputs used to manufacture Wimbledon tennis balls collectively travel 50,000 miles. But looking at the length of the supply chain is a poor indicator of their carbon footprint

Do Awards tell us what good architecture is?

Do Awards tell us what good architecture is?

May 23, 2013 7

The 2013 architecture Awards season is getting into full swing across the nation. It's timely to ask if Awards tell us much about what good architecture is or if they're just about appearances

Is public transport as green as you think?

Is public transport as green as you think?

December 4, 2012 21

It's true emissions from public transport aren't as low relative to cars as is popularly imagined, but the savings are still significant. And there are other good reasons to invest in worthwhile transit services.

Do rainwater tanks save water?

Do rainwater tanks save water?

May 3, 2012 17

Research published in the latest issue of the journal Geographical Research indicates that residents with a rainwater tank don’t reduce their consumption of mains water by any more than those without a tank. The study finds households in NSW’s Illawarra region who installed a rainwater tank reduced their consumption of mains water on average by […]

Are we really living sustainably?

Are we really living sustainably?

April 13, 2012 7

Is the centre of the world the neighbourhood?

Is the centre of the world the neighbourhood?

March 7, 2012 14

One of the most enduring and pervasive ideas in urban policy is that cities should consist of numerous self-contained and self-sufficient neighbourhoods. With urban villages anchoring each neighbourhood, residents could work, shop, study and play locally, thereby saving on travel and building a strong sense of neighbourhood community. I’ve long been dubious about this romantic […]

Is there more to architecture than sustainability?

Is there more to architecture than sustainability?

March 5, 2012 5

I think it’s time to stop treating sustainability in architecture like it’s the precocious child that needs to be singled out and lavished with constant attention for fear it will shrivel up and die. We don’t single out many other performance attributes of buildings for special consideration – for example, structural integrity, economic efficiency, or […]

RMIT’s Design Hub revisited: is green turning red?

RMIT’s Design Hub revisited: is green turning red?

February 9, 2012 4

It seems I was right to raise concerns about the green credentials of RMIT’s new Design Hub. Following publication of my article on Tuesday, Are all green buildings really that green?, RMIT amended the description of the building on its web site earlier today. In the earlier post, I queried two major claims the University […]

Are McMansions about class warfare?

July 18, 2011 13

There was a very interesting trans-blog discussion over the weekend about one of my favourites topics – McMansions. It started earlier in the month when Helen at Blogger on the Cast Iron Balcony decided to “call bullshit on the popular story that criticising McMansions is equivalent to sneering at the working class, and denying them […]

Is the new Population Strategy…. strategic?

May 15, 2011 4

There are two things the new population strategy the Federal Government released on Friday gets right. First, it dismisses the concept of a specific population target and instead focusses on making Australia more resilient to change (I’ve discussed this before). Second, it points out that population size is not the sole cause of problems like […]

Can Coles and Woolies be more sustainable?

March 2, 2011 3

Giant US department store chain Wal-Mart has some interesting initatives to promote sustainability and public health that the likes of Coles, Woolworths and Bunnings should be taking note of. My interest in Wal-Mart was piqued by a large number of hits The Melbourne Urbanist received last month from the US on a piece I wrote […]

Public transport: time for a new paradigm?

September 12, 2010 22

Sorry for the hoary cliché but I really do think it’s time for a new way of thinking about public transport. Much of the debate on transport in cities is too simplistic. All too frequently it’s reduced to a simple nostrum: “replace all car travel with public transport”. I think it’s more complex than that […]

Is unused infrastructure capacity in the inner suburbs all used up?

June 17, 2010 8

The idea that there's ample unused infrastructure capacity in established suburbs to support higher density housing is probably a myth.

Is Darwin really Australia's most sustainable city?

June 16, 2010 2

The ACF's Sustainable Cities Index seems to be more about getting publicity than adding to the stock of useful information

What role for high-rise towers in Melbourne?

March 25, 2010 1

Do high-rise towers have a role in Melbourne’s future? Peter Newman thinks they do! This report by VECCI, Up or out? dealing with Melbourne’s population boom, nicely summarises two alternative approaches set out in The Age for planning Melbourne’s future growth.

Why 'spare infrastructure capacity' is exaggerated

March 23, 2010 7

Are claims of spare infrastructure capacity in the inner suburbs real? The Age reports that there were almost 30,000 more people living in Coburg and Pascoe Vale in 1976 than there are now (The Outer Limits). The paper quotes the former Mayor of the City of Moreland, who says that increasing the population density in […]