Sustainable Living in Community (SLIC)

A paper was presented at Urban Design Conference in November 2016 hosted in Canberra. A presentation was made regarding sustainability at the Conference which focused on urban sprawl and its impact on society. Further work has been carried out in this regards in New Zealand and the outcomes are encouraging.

Small groups of societies and specially education sector has started investing in the concept and trying to embed the thoughts in the younger generation. The aim of SLIC has always been about communities and making them self-sustainable. Let’s take look at some of the result yielding activities in New Zealand.

A community garden project has been initiated which has converted spare land into productive food supply source. Small patches have been allocated to community groups who take ownership of the patch and are responsible for management, maintenance and upkeep of that patch. The concept of recycle, reuse and reduce is used extensively. There is help provided with seeds, manure and organic growth technology to the patch owners.

Sustainable activity like rain water harvesting is actively promoted and supported through the area. One of the major advantage of these activities has been the involvement of DHB in this, along with community boards! DHB’s interest lies in the fact that gardening has proven to be a health benefit for physical and mental wellbeing. Change in behaviour as well as health has been observed in the active participants.

SLIC will take this further by introducing healthy living, healthy eating principles by lecture, demonstrations about food, cooking styles and its medicinal impact.

An educational institute has provided land for creating an urban jungle. Families can take advantage of the free land for growing their choice of vegetables. One of the important aspect has been to impart the knowledge and know-how of gardening and getting the interest of young children. This will create a long-term interest and future for sustainability. SLIC will encourage the participation and availability of such patches as these will provide not only fresh fruit and veggies but also create green patches across the urban sprawl.

Finally, we would also like to compliment the schools which are encouraging sustainability as a part of living and have taken pains to provide infrastructure and create interest among the young. One of the hardest part is involvement of the society and understanding the benefits of physical activity and its relationship to well-being. It is not all about cheaper alternatives at supermarkets but the ability to self-sustain and live in a harmonious society.

This article was kindly provided by Varsha Belwalkar, Consultant at Nirvana Consultancy Ltd

Early Bird Registration Closing Soon!

You are invited to The 8th International Urban Design Conference, held at the Sofitel Brisbane from Monday 16 November to Wednesday 18 November 2015.

Early Bird registration for the Conference will close Friday 2 October so make sure you have registered and paid by close of business 2 October 2015.

In 2014, this event sold out so you are encouraged to register at your earliest convenience to secure your seat.

This years’ theme titled Empowering Change: Transformative Innovations and Projects will focus on inspirational changes in urban environments.  To view the conference program click here.

This years’ Conference streams to include:

  • Building inclusive multicultural cities
  • Eco cities
  • Health & urban design
  • Higher density urbanism
  • Spatial / temporal changes in Chinese cities
  • Rapid urban development in South East Asia, China & India
  • Balancing the quick and slow formation of cities
  • Using technology to change how cities work
  • How will big data change the future of cities?
  • Urban Design Practice

To secure your discounted delegate rate before early bird registration closes, please visit the conference website here.

If you have any questions about the event, please do not hesitate to contact the Conference Secretariat on +61 (07) 5502 2068 or email

“You can’t do that here!” – Place Management, the challenges that lie ahead

Mr Stuart Heseltine, Principal, Hemisphere Design has recently completed a twenty four month study for the Local Government Authority (SA) where he has explored the potential to introduce a model of ‘participatory governance’ which would deliver a new paradigm in how Councils ‘do business’.

Effective Place Management is more than merely delivering a design outcome, it is a process where sustainable mechanisms are put in place through partnerships to realise and manage the place product. Place management is implemented in numerous ways, however all best practice examples of managed places involve successful partnerships underpinned by a sense of real collaboration, where the local businesses and residential community see themselves with an inclusive role and shared responsibility for the delivery of outcomes

Drawing from international best practice including the acclaimed ‘totally locally’ initiative (UK) Stuart has devised a methodology for a process of community capacity building which has the potential to deliver the desired social, cultural, economic and environmental ‘wealth’ and governance mechanisms that underpin ‘place capital’.

The project has concluded with the delivery of stage one of a two-stage methodology in each pilot –an exercise which has revealed the ‘myriad’ of place making and place management risks and challenges that lie ahead.  Stuart will present the project’s finding thus far at the 7th International Urban Design Conference will be held at the InterContinental, Adelaide from Monday the 1st to Wednesday 3rd of September 2014.

Australian Urban Design Conference

Cross-pollinating Urban Design Approaches

If we think about buildings in “business-as-usual” terms, the operational resource flows
would be:

• Inputs – Energy, water and materials
• Outputs – Waste heat, waste water and solid waste

Drawing on approaches already utilised in industrial process design, transport and modern
management techniques, the concept of outputs as “waste” could be questioned.
To enable built environment professionals to evaluate, optimise, visualise and communicate the potential for interlinking buildings, technically sophisticated tools are required for use at early development and planning stage.

A visualisation tool, currently developed by Sustainable Built Environments using Google
Sketch Up, is presented to illustrate the possibilities of enhancing the urban ecology and most importantly provide decision makers with a instrument that allows to appropriately identify opportunities.

Christoph Begert, Sustainable Built Environments, Melbourne, Australia, presented this paper last year at the 5th International Urban Design Conference – Hilton on the Park in Melbourne 10th – 12th September 2012

The full paper is available for viewing in the Conference Book of Proceedings HERE

You can submit an abstract NOW for the 2013 Conference to be held at the Novotel Sydney Olympic Park from Monday the 9th to Wednesday 11th of September 2013.

E: | W: