Monday, January 17, 2011

Australia Looks at Sustainability as Guide to Country-wide Urban Planning

by Matt Ball 

The Australian government has realized the importance of a nationally-consistent urban policy approach as well as the need to focus development on cities as engines for the country’s economy. While the country has been one of the more urbanized in the world, the government is now building on this history and looking at livability, productivity and sustainability as a means to guide long-term investments in infrastructure, high-speed communications, education and healthcare. This new approach is discussed at the level of governmental reform of how cities are developed and governed.
The government is taking a wiki-based approach to these new plans by providing a means for public feedback via the Our Cities website, with a deadline set for citizen response and engagement by March 1, 2011. Citizens are urged to take a look at the discussion paper, “Our Cities – Building a Productive, Sustainable and Livable Future,” available via this site. The 83-page report goes into great detail about the need for a new national urban policy. Among some of the guides for comments are discussions of investment in transport, water, sewerage and energy supply, as well as a call for policy action ideas, incentives and disincentives to increase walkability and reduce emissions.

Walking in Australia, photo by Leonard John Matthews
image by OpenEnglishWeb
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Survey: New Urbanist Community Results in More Walking, Interaction

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