Priming industry for a sustainable future

Melbourne is often revered as the world’s most liveable city.

A crosswalk of rich culture and carefully planned infrastructure makes it one of Australia’s most promising cities for growth - and this was the attitude shared by all at our Future Precincts seminar earlier this month.

With the city's population projected to hit 10 million by 2050, the Victorian State Government’s strategic planning policy has promised to deliver 70 per cent of Melbourne’s new housing stock, bringing with it new employment opportunities and access to services.

Stuart Moseley, CEO at the Victorian Planning Authority (VPA) plays a vital role in helping deliver on this promise.

Presenting to attendees at the seminar, he spoke about how Green Star is helping the organisation reconfigure its approach to urban renewal.

“We’ve got a number of precincts in the pipeline that will reinvigorate the way we see communities.”

“The Arden renewal precinct in North Melbourne is catalysed by the Metro Tunnel underground station, paving the way for an employment hub with 34,000 jobs and 15,00 residents. We have committed to working towards zero net emissions by 2050, and will prioritise pedestrians and cyclists throughout the entire precinct.”

“Another example is Merrifield North which will challenge the way green infrastructure is delivered by going beyond treating stormwater in a traditional sense, and integrating water management into urban form at the precinct scale with new community uses, employment opportunities and residential forms.”

It’s this kind of thinking, pushing the envelope of best practice that will prompt us to plan better communities to withstand mounting pressures such as climate change and population growth.

Moving into workshops to map out this reimagined future, we explored how we can best reach this.

One idea was for property and sustainability professionals to tap into digital platform Neighbourlytics, which allows us to mine data from social media to understand more about the people at the heart of communities.

What do they care about? What do they value about the place in which they are living? What do they need for their quality of life to improve? These are the questions we should be asking ourselves when it comes to social sustainability.

We should also be approaching Green Star – Communities ratings with recertification in mind, according to attendees at the workshop.

“We’re learning that if industry can set up urban renewal projects that are primed for the long haul, we’ll reap successful outcomes," said GBCA Head of Public Affairs, Jonathan Cartledge.

“That doesn’t mean we have to throw out the old and bring in the new – Queen Victoria Markets, which recently achieved a 6 Star Green Star rating, is a brilliant example of leading practices while preserving a heritage icon.”

Want to know more about sustainable precinct planning? Read more about our Green Star – Communities rating tool.