Urban Megatrends and Green Cities in 2050

Secure your seat for the 10th International Urban Design Conference, held in Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort & Spa this November.

Mr David Cowan, Urban Renewal & Strategic Planning Leader for Conrad Gargett will be joining us this year to discuss “Urban megatrends and green cities in 2050”.

By 2050, cities will be home to 70% of the world’s population and the effects of climate change and resource scarcity will become very real. As the forces of globalisation and the need for sustainability converge in our urban communities the role of urban design will become more pronounced.

David Cowan

Bold aspirations of the past will confront a future of low economic growth, deteriorating climate and increased global migration. Meanwhile, rapid advancements in mobile, renewable and transport technologies will offer new opportunities for cities to harness.

As technology and sustainability merge with our daily lives, our homes and our workplaces, the design of buildings will evolve accordingly. Today’s green buildings will become the fax machines of tomorrow, as market forces drive more sustainable and advanced architecture. With population growth increasing the pressure on transport and open spaces, our public realm will need to perform better as well, providing for the movement and recreation of more people and a greater resilience from extreme weather.

By 2050, prestige green buildings and vehicles will be commonplace; however the performance of the public realm, public transport and more affordable buildings seems less certain. How can urban designers, planners and architects help deliver sustainable urbanism for all? And what are the learnings from pre-war cities that evolved before the arrival of motor cars and cheap energy?

The 2017 International Urban Design Conference is an opportunity for design professionals to exchange ideas and experiences, to be creative and visionary and to contribute to redesigning our urban futures.

Find out more here.

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Green cities are not just for the elite

Green cities have become a key goal of urban development. They are environmentally friendly, provide clean water, protect green space, and offer an enhanced public experience.

However, they’re not perfect. In fact, some of the different needs of citizens may have been neglected amid all the attention lavished on green cities. A green city in many real-life cases is neither green everywhere, nor green for everyone. Also, a green city does not guarantee an economically strong city, nor a livable place for people of all income classes.

Seen from the perspective of urban dwellers of different socioeconomic status, there are five urban development objectives that can be considered as ascending stages on a scale of livability.

First, in its most basic form, urban life needs to ensure a livelihood for citizens.

Second, it should enable accessibility, allowing its residents to participate fully in daily urban life.

Third, urban life should be affordable, ensuring that urban infrastructure, such as housing, and urban services, such as health care, are affordable for citizens.

Fourth, it requires resilience, enabling people to withstand social threats such as crime or environmental impacts like extreme weather events. Finally, at the highest stage, urban life has to provide for livability, which allows people to fully enjoy what their city has to offer.

Published by Eco-Business, read the full article here.

Sustainable Urban Design with Dean Landy, ClarkeHopkinsClarke

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Dean Landy, ClarkeHopkinsClarke

ClarkeHopkinsClarke (CHC) is an award-winning Melbourne-based architecture practice with over 55 years experience across the education, health care, aged care, mixed-use, retail, multi-residential and urban design sectors. The practice’s underlying philosophy is to create vibrant communities that have a strong sense of identity, and are a pleasure to visit and inhabit.

With over 14 years’ experience as a registered architect, Dean Landy is well regarded for his strong capability in the planning and design of Retail & Mixed Use projects as well as Multi-Residential, Commercial and Community Infrastructure projects. Dean is also the founding member and director of One Heart Foundation – a not-for-profit foundation that exists to change the future of orphaned and abandoned children living in poverty in Kenya.

Q. What are some of the most pressing challenges currently facing the architecture and development industry?

Looking at this from the perspective of an architect and urban designer involved in the design and development of many new town centres across Victoria, I feel that socially the most pressing challenge is around how we as a profession can help create more liveable, affordable and vibrant places for people to live, specifically in Australia’s growth areas which often face higher levels of social disadvantage and related health issues.

A key challenge is figuring out how we can offer greater housing diversity to address the issue of affordability, but to do so in a way that offers an appealing lifestyle choice. People need to be able to buy something that may be smaller in size but is still good quality and provides great amenity. I can see that by designing smaller dwellings, apartments and townhouses in growth areas, we can provide affordable housing options to first homebuyers through to downsizers, and in doing so provide the higher density required to support more walkable, mix of use village centres.

The challenge is about creating appealing places where people want to live and we cannot assume that everyone aspires to live in a 4-bedroom house with a double garage. The millennial generation has a much different set of requirements in where they choose to live.

Q. Do you believe architects have a responsibility to improve the happiness and health of people living in their projects and communities?

I am a big believer that architects and urban designers play a critical role in the health and wellbeing of residents.

Some developers have a good understanding of this and can appreciate their role in creating healthier, more liveable communities. I find that we can often bring a discussion to the table about the different groups that help create healthier communities such as community groups and services, clubs sports groups through to larger health care providers. These are factors that don’t often get considered in the creation of village centres or urban infill type projects.

Architects and designers need to lead that discussion and have the experience of what’s needed to complete the ‘puzzle’. When meeting with the developer we will put ideas forward and advise them how to put a methodology in place to make sure it is considered from the outset.

We need to take into consideration what elements will stimulate greater happiness, health and wellbeing and provide a place for people to connect to. This is especially true in areas where there is no community represented such as greenfield areas we are master planning. In those cases it is about having that understanding of all the different elements that need to come together to build a future community and provide the diversity to attract a broad demographic. To read more click here.

The 9th International Urban Design Conference; Smart Cities for 21st Century Australia – How urban design innovation can change our cities  will be held at Hyatt Canberra from 7th-8th November 2016 with optional tours available on Wednesday 9th November.

Registrations are now open. CLICK HERE to register for the Conference. Early bird closes 26th September 2016 so be quick to receive a discounted rate.

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.

Speaker Opportunity – Last chance for abstracts

Authors or organisations interested in presenting at the 9th International Urban Design Conference are invited to submit an abstract. To submit an abstract CLICK HERE. Abstracts close 25th July 2016.

Sustainable Urban Design for Green Living and Learning

eco sustainable homesEco sustainable homes and sustainable urban architectural design are at the forefront of the Batimat show in Paris. The aptly named Be-Green Houses prove it really is easy being Green, and it can be done in total comfort and style. This pair of contemporary house plans incorporates all the essentials into a colorful, bright design. Some spaces, such as the laundry and terrace, are designed as shared spaces, while others are conventional by all accounts – apart from their amazing eco-friendly appeal.

These eco house designs incorporate passive solar technologies, and use natural and recycled materials such as the hardwood flooring with VOC-free finishes. Photovoltaic roof panels and a thermal hot water system allow these sustainable houses to function off the grid, while the green roof and a living wall do their part keep the environment while adding an organic ambience to the urban houses. And because learning is the key to enlightenment and, in the long run, change, this home features a monitoring system that tells residents exactly how much energy they’re using and when, allowing them to adjust their consumption. To read more click here.

The 9th International Urban Design Conference will be held at Hyatt Canberra 7th-8th November 2016 with optional tours available on Wednesday 9th November.

Registrations are now open. CLICK HERE to register for the Conference.

This years’ theme, Smart Cities for 21st Century Australia – How urban design innovation can change our cities”  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.

Authors or organisations interested in presenting at the 9th International Urban Design Conference are invited to submit an abstract. To submit an abstract CLICK HERE.

Conference topics will include:

  • How to make a city smart?
  • Sustainability in a smart city
  • Urban design innovation for smart cities
  • City Infrastructure
  • Urban design opportunities in high density living areas
  • Mixing up residential and commercial uses  in inner cities
  • Population change and liveability
  • Housing affordability
  • Financing city development
  • What future for car dependent cities like Canberra?
  • Politics and city form: lessons learnt from the City of Canberra, and other Australian cities
  • Open

 

Urban design to shape sustainable cities

sustainable-citiesPersonal heaters are a summer survival tool for many office workers chilled to the bone by hyperactive ventilation systems — an act of self-defense against an epidemic of overcooling that is wasting energy and confounding comfort in not only offices but also large shops, schools and other buildings.

An audit of U.S. government buildings found that over three-fifths of their occupants felt too cold in the summer. The most likely culprit behind this big chill? Engineering conventions — slavish adherence to unfounded and outdated rules of thumb that cause mis-programming of air conditioning systems.

Frozen spaces are but one chilling case of an iceberg of waste. Many technologies, practices and systems that we interact with every day are shaped by default settings in the form of “established practice,” professional standards and design codes. Many deliver dysfunction and overconsumption by design.

Zoning rules preclude the construction of affordable microhomes. An outmoded presumption of universal automobile ownership begets wide streets and “gargantuan” gaps between intersections that hog-tie urban planners working to increase density.

Default settings dial in waste in all manner of electronic devices, keeping video game boxes on perpetual standby and pre-programming irrigation controllers to drown gardens in wasted water. And many such controllers revert to their wasteful factory defaults every time there is a power outage, undermining any conservation impulses consumers might have had.
Dysfunctional default settings can take decades to set right.The flip side, however, is that confronting problematic design defaults can open some surprising opportunities to improve living, save money, reduce pollution and conserve precious resources from energy to water to open space — sometimes all at the same time.

Breaking through decades of inertia to overcome embedded defaults will require that engineers, design professionals and policy-makers admit they may have been wrong or even irrational in the past and become activists for reexamining our assumptions about the way things need to be.

And it will require patience: As reformers such as Jeff Speck, a Boston-based city planner and architect and author of “Walkable City,” have documented, dysfunctional default settings can take decades to set right. To read more click here.

The 9th International Urban Design Conference will be held in Melbourne in November.  To express your interest in the 2016 Conference CLICK HERE.