Sustainable design

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City residents are embracing the bike as the fastest, most convenient transport in areas like Brunswick, yet an apartment building has been blocked for not providing car parking. flickr/Takver

Nightingale’s sustainability song falls on deaf ears as car-centric planning rules hold sway

It's up to state governments to ensure urban planning rules properly reflect both the desires of residents in the 21st century and the principles of sustainability.
Prefabricated buildings don’t have to be dull. The challenge will be to get Australians to embrace them. Wendy Miller

Not just daggy dongas: time to embrace prefabricated buildings

Memories of school demountables might cause some people to sneer at prefabricated buildings. But they can be stylish too, not to mention offering a possible way to ease the housing affordability problem.
Yobarnie at North Richmond in the 1960s. The area is the subject of a disputed development that featured at ICAC last week. Yeomans, P.A. (1965, 1968). Water For Every Farm. Sydney, NSW: The K.G. Murray Publishing Company Pty Ltd.

A heritage vision for sustainable housing goes to ICAC

Last week the New South Wales Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) began investigating a political donation of A$18,000 made by Nathan Tinkler’s Buildev corporation. The 2010 donation helped…
The South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute building may inspire architects and scholars globally. Peter Barnes

Adelaide’s SAHMRI building offers a glimpse of a greener future

Is it a spaceship piloted by a friendly alien, a metallic pine cone or a giant cheese-grater? No, it’s Adelaide’s South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (the SAHMRI building for short…
Products that were once new and expensive are quickly treated with disdain. Gareth Fuller/PA

Cutting waste needs longer lasting goods, and tax breaks

Reducing waste should be uncontroversial. While the government’s newly published waste prevention programme represents an improvement on previous strategies, it could have been – should have been – far…
Not just a nice idea: zero emissions housing is affordable and possible, once some policy changes are made. Jeff Egnaczyk

To cut emissions, the housing sector has to pull its weight

If Australia is to reduce its emissions enough to limit the impacts of climate change, all sectors are going to have to pull their weight. It’s a big job: scientists tell us we need reduce emissions by…
From hot property to unwanted waste: it’s time to rethink the way we design, produce and reuse new products. Obsolete computer image from

A cooler planet by design

Many of us get frustrated with the slow pace of international action on climate change. But powerless as we feel, we can still make a difference by rethinking the way we design our lives. Design is rarely…
Sustainable employment initiatives in the Netherlands have proven effective in accommodating an ageing workforce. shutterstock

Sustainable employment and the ageing workforce: lessons learned from the Dutch

As populations in OECD countries continue rapidly to age, the increasing imbalance between those young enough to work and those old enough to receive the pension is sounding alarm bells. By 2050, the “old…
Planning new developments for sustainability should reflect the evidence. Fernando de Sousa

Good intentions not enough: do your sums on urban sustainability

It is not surprising that there is plenty of debate about making urban development more sustainable. However, like much of the debate on sustainability in general, there is little or no attempt to define…
Recycling is all very well, but how do we stop producing waste in the first place? Yoav Lerman

For a truly sustainable world, we need zero waste cities

The current state of worldwide urban development is depressing. We are not moving towards environmentally sustainable design and reduced consumption quickly enough. There have been dire warnings about…
One of the urine diverting toilets used in the trial. Dena Fam

Reinventing the toilet - urine diversion where it’s needed most

Collecting and reusing urine to grow crops may raise some eyebrows. But as the negative consequences of modern day sanitation systems become more significant, so does the relevance of research and innovation…

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