Garden City Sustainability – A recent special issue of the Journal of Urban Regeneration and Renewal (JURR) evaluates the concept of the Garden City for a rapidly urbanizing 21st century world as reported by Brett Skyring.
The Garden City concept is informing – consciously or unconsciously – new proposals for environmentally sensitive development, social and environmental sustainability issues, especially where they concern cultural diversity and inclusivity.
Planned, mixed-use, “live-work-play” developments can be viewed positively through the “Garden City” model. Dense, amenity-rich town centres and civic gathering places interact with smaller clustered multi-centred suburban areas and with clustered, tightly knit villages. This interaction is increasingly facilitated through affordable distributive energy opportunities, high quality telecommunication and transit/transport corridors, their walkability/cycleability, and their ability to transcend ethnic and cultural diversity divides.
The “Garden City” framework and zero-carbon cities have significant areas of intersection. Progressing toward zero-carbon is a core compact entered into between global, green building councils in response to the Paris Agreement of COP21. Focusing on how buildings will attain zero-carbon objectives, unaided by fully considered environmental and fiscal policy settings, will result in a mismatch between the capacity for on-site solar generation, the energy consumption of even the most efficient buildings, and the density of development demanded by a compact cities. It is not possible or feasible to resolve these challenges through infill development, transport connectivity, affordable housing and a high quality public realm alone.
Garden City Sustainability and walkability
Walkability will govern wider transportation planning – shared vehicles, electric vehicles, light rail and other transport forms, cutting down (at least in theory) the use of personal automobiles for travel to work. Telecommuting is supported by the provision of auxiliary and co-working workspaces and a high-speed broadband network connectivity.
Formal agricultural greenbelts and conservation zones are essential to success. Urban vertical gardens and community gardens or rooftop gardens will become more prevalent. The idea to turn scrubby, trash-strewn vacant lots into vegetable gardens, tree farms, stormwater management parks and useful agrarian spaces that make neighbourhoods both more livable and more sustainable has been evolving at the grassroots level for decades in places in many cities around the world. Now, they are starting to attract significant funding from private investors, non-profits and government agencies. To read more click here.
Garden City Sustainability and a broad range of sustainable urban design topics will be discussed at The 9th International Urban Design Conference; Smart Cities for 21st Century Australia – How urban design innovation can change our cities to be held at Hyatt Canberra from 7th-8th November 2016.
Registrations are now open. CLICK HERE to register for the Conference. Optional tours will be available on Wednesday 9th November.
This years’ theme, will focus on an understanding of what makes a city ‘smart’ from a urban design perspective and how the built environment develops during the city planning process.