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Green cities of the future What three key technologies, trends or new building methods do you think will potentially provide the most benefit for green cities of the future - in terms of achieving: carbon neutrality, water positivity and zero waste? There are many advanced technologies such as building information modelling (BIM), use of ‘big data’ and sophisticated building management systems - that now give us detailed insights into how to design, build and operate more effective buildings. Our challenge is to apply this technology to the precinct or city scale so that we can model future performance of our cities and make investment decisions accordingly. Ultimately, good design, good technology and good performance must work together to create green cities of the future - and so carbon neutrality,

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We ask Green Building Council of Australia’s CEO Romilly Madew questions about the latest trends in green buildings, sustainable urban development and more in the leadup to the Green Cities 2015 conference, which is being held from 17-19 March 2015 at Melbourne’s Grand Hyatt.

water positivity and zero waste will be a product of those design, technology and operations initiatives in collaboration.

It’s all very well having a carbonneutral, water-positive and zerowaste urban development, but if people don’t want to live there, it’s not sustainable at all. What are the key elements that must be integrated into urban developments to make them liveable and socially and economically viable? “First life, then spaces, then buildings: the other way around never works,” as acclaimed urban design specialist and architect, Jan Gehl, puts it. This is why the Green Star - Communities rating tool encompasses economic and social sustainability. The ‘Liveability’ category, for instance, rewards projects that encourage healthy, active communities through parks, playgrounds, cycleways and footpaths, as well as through local food production. The ‘Economic Prosperity’ category encourages projects to consider proximity to employment and education opportunities, and access to high-speed internet. Strategies for improving housing affordability, developing local skills and enhancing investment in community infrastructure are also encouraged.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of high-density urban development and do you believe this type of development is a sustainable option for Australian cities in terms of meeting the challenges of future population growth? Undoubtedly, the 20th-century model of city development no longer works in a resource-constrained world. Our cities cannot continue to expand without consequences to our environment and our quality of life. But population growth brings with it great opportunities to enhance the liveability and sustainability of our cities. At Green Cities 2015, Professor Rob Adams will be leading a discussion about how we reinvent our cities to

14 Sustainability Matters - Feb/Mar 2015

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Sustainability Matters Feb/Mar 2015  

Sustainability Matters is a bi-monthly magazine showcasing the latest products, technology and sustainable solutions for industry, governmen...

Sustainability Matters Feb/Mar 2015  

Sustainability Matters is a bi-monthly magazine showcasing the latest products, technology and sustainable solutions for industry, governmen...