Our new blog

Our blog has moved to http://liveablecities.org.au

Please join us there as we discuss the challenges and solutions needed to develop the Liveable  and Sustainable Cities of tomorrow.


100 Presenters to Examine Healthy, Liveable and Sustainable Cities

Paula Drayton

Paula Drayton

Join us in Melbourne in June.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for professionals in the public and private sector to examine the challenges and solutions needed to develop the Liveable Cities of tomorrow. The Conference will also examine public policy and social/community outcomes and consider what actions we can take to positively influence the ongoing debate.

Many aspects of urban design and new approaches to city form are based on the concept of liveability. These approaches recognise that design and structure can be very influential in the life of a town or city and indeed to the building of community in and of itself. They also create novel contexts for a community to develop in a more sustainable way.

“Last year, Melbourne vaulted Vancouver to become the best city in the world to live, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Liveability Survey. What better City to host our conference.

We will be joined by the Sustainabilty in Business Association’s – Sustainable Transition Conference, offering delegates an extensive range of topics with 100 presentations over three days including Keynotes, Concurrent Sessions, Case Studies and Posters. ” Paula said.

I look forward to welcoming you to Melbourne.”
Paula Drayton – Conference Chair

6th Making Cities Liveable Conference will be held in conjunction with the Sustainability Conference “SustainableTransformation” bringing a new era of collaboration, information sharing and professional networking.

The conference is being held from the 17th – 19th June 2013 at Novotel Melbourne St Kilda.

Two Conferences! Three Days! One Location!

Will urbanisation break the big cities?

Currently, about 60 million people move into cities every year. That’s more than one million more people arriving every week, in a city somewhere in the world, each with an expectation of better access to jobs, better education for their children, better health-care and a better quality of life. And this trend is only increasing – in 1950 one in four people lived in cities, it is currently over two in four and in just 20 years it will be close to three in four. This is an issue weighing heavily on the minds of governments, the private sector and NGOs, and it’s an issue that that differs by geography.

Statistically we have very clear data to show that personal earnings, infant mortality and education levels all improve with increasing levels of urbanisation. Of course people sense this and they respond by relocating to the cities. On the flip side, we also know that cities can be dangerous, congested and polluted. The trick is to find ways to minimise or eliminate those negatives, while we enhance the positives.

Colin Dominish will look at the future challenges, how to broker discussions between government and private entities on where precious investment dollars should be spent. What are the options for delivering “cradle to grave” infrastructure plans with innovative approaches to maximise the benefits and minimise the costs of solving the conundrum presented by everyone wanting to live in the one spot?

Colin looks at how urbanisation won’t break big cities if solutions are adopted and implemented quickly and efficiently. The opportunity is not to contain urbanisation, but to understand how it is possible to enhance urban resilience, quality of life and economic growth in parallel.

Mr Colin Dominish, Industry Director for Communications and Utilities, Aurecon will speak at the 6th Making Cities Liveable Conference, 17th – 19th June 2013 at Novotel Melbourne St Kilda

The Garden of Villages – a new approach to Regional Development in Peri Urban Areas

Tomato (Tamatar)Garden of Villages™ is an integrated system that delivers sustainable regional development. It is a leading innovative and wholistic approach to tackling the issues of food and water security – a paradigm shift in the way that village and farm development is integrated, facilitated by new funding structures, advanced training programs, and the application of clean technologies to farming methods.

We take the seeds of the world’s best master planned sustainable cities and cross them with our experience in rural towns, and with developing and operating intensive sustainable farms. The resulting vigorous hybrid is the Garden of Villages™. Integration of food, living centres, energy production, industry, water capture and recycling establishes new paradigms. Garden of Villages™ has been designed to transition regional and rural areas close to growing cities into vibrant, secure food growing, processing and distribution centres.

These village scaled “food baskets” protect and enhance land of high agricultural value, produce high quality clean fresh food, catch rainfall and reuse water after appropriate treatment, generate energy from solar and gas sources, are hubs for light food processing and preparation of food for market that minimises waste in rapidly growing cities, and provide quality employment in regions. We are building our first Garden of Villages™ in the Mary Valley, Queensland. We have support of universities and we are identifying master farmers and supporting technology businesses to participate.

The project has earned recognition and support of local, state and federal government. Over time we will help create a global network of sustainable productive family based farms and villages producing and securing food, water, energy and homes for millions while managing waste efficiently and effectively.

Dr Julian Bolleter, Assistant Professor, Australian Urban Design Research Centre will speak at the Making Cities Liveable Conference, 17th – 19th June 2013 at Novotel Melbourne St Kilda

Desegregating Urban Space in the Age of Sharing

Matt Davis

Over the course of the last 100 or so years, we have seen the systematic privatisation of urban space driven largely by architectural and urban planning practices that responded to the rise of car culture in our cities.

With the gradual realisation that this paradigm is broken, and a growing groundswell for policies that support ‘people and place’, there is a renewed sense of the value of public space.

Delivering liveable cities at a time of unprecedented urbanisation presents us with both the greatest opportunity and challenge for a sustainable, resilient and prosperous future. How can we deliver cities that are denser, greener, and smarter, while maintaining their liveability? The answer, I believe, will largely be determined by the quality of our public space.

As the density of our cities grows, the demands placed on public space will increase but at the same time its availability will be heavily constrained. How can public space be individually allocated to simultaneously serve the social, business, and mobility needs of its citizenry? It can’t. Public space must be multi-functionary, serving the many needs of many disparate groups, all at the same time.

In short, public space must, as it was originally intended, be shared. From the rise of collaborative consumption to the evolution of shared mobility systems, ‘sharing’ will underpin the liveability of our cities. The shift from privatised urban space to truly public space will require a significant cultural adjustment for many cities, particularly those with a strong ethos of self-interest, self-entitlement and ownership.

Mat will explore the cultural issues that underpin the success and failure of public space in the context of Australian cities, and contrasted against global experience. The concept of behavioural design will be introduced as an approach to designing public space that enables coexistence, by closing the gap between design intent and actual, rather than assumed, human behaviour.

Matt Davis Lecturer in Architecture, UNI of SA will present at the 6th Making Cities Liveable Conference, 17th – 19th June 2013 at Novotel Melbourne St Kilda.

Build it and they will walk: the suburbs that foster good health

Jason Dowling  |  City Editor for The Age

If you design suburbs so walking to public transport, shops and parks is an easy option, people will walk – that is the simple and clear finding of long-term Australian research.

urban sprawl

Health and planning experts are urging governments to make health a feature of planning laws and city growth strategies.

Researchers monitored the amount of walking by more than 1400 people building homes in new developments in Perth. Readings were taken before moving in and about 12 months later.

The results, published in the journal Social Science & Medicine, showed transport-related walking declined and recreational walking increased.

Read the full story here

LIVEABLE- “Evolving the density models to address our growing pains”

Like it or not, our population is growing, and the decision makers of society continue to wrestle with the dilemma of accommodating the dreams of this next wave of new home owners. However cracks are starting to appear in the bricks and mortar as society leans on the comfort of conventional housing models.

Beneath suburban utopia’s veneer lie some dark ills that are of grave concern to the social planners and urban designers.  Family violence, youth suicide and mortgage stress have been directly linked with sprawl, and it is evident that the dream is actually unliveable.  Typically attention is turned to the opportunities of densification, however the majority of successful and vibrant higher density models tend to be CBD and inner suburban contexts, with a significantly different demographic profile and a paradigm that is receptive to alternate housing and living models.

This paper aims to better understand the impacts of urban consolidation on liveability by finding common ground between the inner Melbourne and outer suburban Casey contexts, and then articulating where the differences lie, what definitions need to be reconsidered, and how this needs to be physically manifested in the outer model. The study includes an assessment of the raft of benefits of alternate models, which extend far beyond basic higher yields, reaching into the viability of our transit networks, the efficacy of our efforts towards a sustainable city, and the physical and emotional health of our community.

Growth can be in harmony with liveability, and this has a clear built form outcome. Invariably the solutions lie not simply in built form, but in a more foundational shift in the psyche of our society. While not all questions can be answered, the paper seeks to sharpen the dialogue, elucidate the opportunities and pave the first steps for a liveable society.

Nathan Islip, Team Leader – Urban Design, City of Casey will speak at… the 6th Making Cities Liveable Conference, in conjunction with the Sustainable Transformation Conference, is being held from the 17th – 19th June 2013 at Novotel Melbourne St Kilda. The collaboration brings together National, State and Regional delegates to explore, exchange ideas and network.

Two Conferences! Three Days! 90 Presenters! One Location in 2013Healthy Cities.com.au