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15 December 2010 - Federal Climate Change Minister Greg Combet today released new maps produced in partnership with the Co-operative Research Centre for Spatial Information that identify the impacts of rising sea levels on low-lying areas in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Hunter and Central Coast, and South East Queensland. Mr Combet said in a media statement the maps and a web portal would assist in planning for new residential estates Read More  
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Brief: 14 December 2010 – Climate Change Minister Greg Combet will be in Newcastle, NSW,  tomorrow to  launch a series of maps to help local governments in coastal communities to prepare for the future impacts of sea level rise due to climate change. There will be demonstrations of two computer-based tools and experts on hand from the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency and local governments to discuss preparations for climate change and its impacts.  
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By Tina Perinotto 12 December 2010 - A raft of built environment organisations, professionals, academics and corporations has signed an open letter to call for bi-partisan support for urban policy, in the hope that political rivalries will not kill off the first signs of emerging national urban agenda in decades. The coalition of signatories is also concerned at the oversimplification of planning issues into a case of greenfield development versus infill. The federal government this month released... 
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By Marcus Spiller 10 December 2010 – One of our assignments as town planning students at Melbourne University in the 70s challenged us to devise a strategy to put “urban policy on the front pages of the newspapers.” It was the time of the first Oil Price Shock; an energy conservation imperative gripped the developed world. Together with our lecturers, we understood that restructuring the cities was crucial to a sustainable future, but we were all frustrated that urban planning... 
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8 December 2010 - The NSW government today paved the way for the next stage of the Frasers Property group’s development at Broadway on the edge of Sydney’s CBD, with approval for two new buildings. The project, now known as Central Park, is on the former Carlton and United Brewery site and will house up to 2500 residents and up to 5400 workers in a mixed use “urban village” with ambitions for a high environmental outcomes. Key sustainability features will include: on-site... 
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By David Wilson 22 December 2010 - Last year some of Sydney’s most prominent arts personalities debated whether Sydney had lost its cultural edge at the Creative Sydney debate. Moderated by Peter Carr from the Sydney Development Agency, the speakers considered what creative culture means in Sydney, and whether through our nightlife, cultural institutions and entertainment quarters the the wants and needs of Sydneysiders are being met. The question being debated was whether or not Sydney had lost... 
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17 November 2010 - UK building expert Roderic Bunn believes there is an unacceptable disconnect between the design intent of a building and its energy consumption. He also believes that it’s about time the property sector started to emulate the aeronautical industry by ensuring the developer retained an interest and responsibility over the project throughout its life. “It would be unthinkable that a corporation like Boeing would walk away from a project once it built a new type of... 
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By Paul Mees 16 November 2010 – Melburnians once needed to visit Europe to be embarrassed at the gap between our public transport and the best in the world. Now we have the Internet. The authority that runs Zurich’s public transport system – regarded by many experts as Europe’s best – now has an English version of its website. The Zurich Transport Network, or ZVV in German, receives so many inquiries Read More  
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By Boris Kelly 15 November 2010 – New York City commissioner of transport Janette Sadik-Khan told a Sydney forum  last week that commercial rents rose 70 per cent in parts of the city after the introduction of bicycle paths and street works designed to increase public amenity. Ms  Janette Sadik-Khan, Commissioner of New York City’s Department of Transportation, was speaking at a City of Sydney forum on the transformation of city streets into vital public spaces. She told the capacity... 
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Warning: 30 October 2010 – It is now too late to avoid global warming of less than 2 per cent and too late to avoid “serious and pervasive ” climate change impacts that would “significantly disrupt the national economy” the federal government has said in a document released on Friday under the Freedom of Information Act, according to national newspapers today. Highlights of the reports include that electricity prices will rise.  But a speech by a senior bureaucrat... 
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By Andrew Starc 27 October 2010 – Resourced-based cities in the north west of Australia, linked to our regional neighbours and high-speed trains on the east coast could all be part of a vision for Australia, according to the new pre-policy document from the ADC Forum, majority funded by the federal government. Read More  
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By Michael Baker Rethinking the Australian Town Centre -  Part III – 13 October, 2010 – In ancient times, Hindus referred to the ocean as the “dark water.” It was here that gods rested, and to disturb them would draw upon the seafarer the wrath of furious demons and monsters. Thus, high caste Hindus were not mariners. Those who broke the taboo did so at great risk of punishment. They would be grouped with poets, prostitutes, perjurers, consumers of food prepared by the sons of adultresses,... 
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By Andrew Starc 21 October 2010 - People and communities will take precedence in the long awaited transport oriented design guidelines released this month by the Queensland government. Read More  
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FAVOURITES -  20 May 2010 – Early this year leading Sydney planner and vocal advocate for planning reform in NSW Julie Bindon joined The Fifth Estate on a mini scouting expedition to Melbourne to see if the Victorians could shed any light on better planning systems. As part of this expedition we met with Melbourne architect Ivan Rijavec, a co-director of NOW+WHEN Australian Urbanism, the Australian Architecture exhibition at the 2010 Venice Biennale who has developed significant insights into... 
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By Nicola Woodward FAVOURITES: ANALYSIS – 26 July 2010 – It isn’t every Monday you wake up to the fact that a Sunday press release by the incumbent Government in the run up to a general election contains a promising policy. Yesterday the Labor party announced its Tax Breaks for Green Buildings initiative aimed at improving the energy efficiency of commercial buildings. If Labor is re-elected, the tax break will run from the 1 July 2011 until 30 June 2015 and reward building owners... 
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By Lynne Blundell FAVOURITES – 16 September 2010 – Demolition may have started at the Barangaroo site on Sydney’s old industrial waterfront but it will take a lot more than bulldozers to remove the accusations of lack of transparency in the planning process and misuse of public land being thrown at the NSW government and the sole developer of the site, Lend Lease. On the eve of last week’s deadline for public submissions on Lend Lease’s latest plans for the site, controversy... 
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15 September 2010 - A memorandum of understanding signed between the Green Building Council of Australia and the Planning Institute of Australia will see the two organisations work together on the development and delivery of the Green Star Communities rating tool. The GBCA’s chief executive Romilly Madew says that the partnership will help create a national benchmark for sustainable communities. “This MoU is particularly momentous, as best practice planning is vital if we are to deliver communities... 
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By David Wilson 8 September 2010 – In a paper first presented at the 3rd International Urban Design Conference in Canberra, August 2010, David Wilson argues that since “Big Australia” was announced by former prime minister Kevin Rudd in October 2009, the new Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s call for  a sustainable population policy announced in July 2010 was timely. The key to sustainable population is not population policy, it’s creating livable cities. Livable cities, like healthy... 
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Transcript 3rd International Urban Design Conference – 13 September 2010 – In a highly original take on a very difficult issue, one of the speakers at the 3rd International Urban Design Conference in Canberra last month included New Zealand planner Ian Munro, who wanted to make an “ethical argument” for centres-based residential intensification. Mr Munro, who manages the Urbanism Plus office, says that despite all best intentions, the centres based policies are failing... 
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by Lynne Blundell FAVOURITES – 26 August 2009 – Summer is on the way – well it certainly feels that way with Sydney last week experiencing the warmest August temperatures on record – and we haven’t even got to spring yet. And there’s a lot of talk of record high temperatures, low rainfall and more bushfires again this summer. But isn’t this how we always talk as winter comes to a close, our fear of drought and bushfire ever lurking? Well, if we do, these days there’s... 
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By Tina Perinotto 3 September 2010 – The 3rd International Urban Design Conference in Canberra this week finished with a bang, with some nice fiery debate on population and how to shift the anti-development sentiment that in its growing vehemence takes appropriate sustainable development in its wake. Master of ceremonies for the closing session was the compelling Jeremy Harris, a former Mayor of Hawaii and a biologist who spent his life as a politician. Key among the questions from the hundreds... 
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The Five Stages of Grief By Michael Baker This series of articles by retail analyst Michael Baker explores a retail format that is far more sustainable than its energy guzzling cousins at the mall. In her famous 1969 book, entitled “On Death and Dying”, Elizabeth Kübler-Ross identified the five stages of grief through which people typically go in dealing with personal tragedy: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Retail developers also have their five stages of grief, which... 
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By Lynne Blundell 11 August 2010 – FAVOURITES: In the six years since Melbourne-based LAB Architecture Studio started working in China the sustainability landscape has changed dramatically. Other Australians too have found the country moving fast on its sustainability agenda- especially once the authorities get behind an initiative. Nanjing,  for instance, is almost a forest of solar panels from the air. - With politicians on all sides in the lead up to the federal election throwing... 
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By Tina Perinotto 19 August 2010 – Lend Lease’s Chris Carolan is a happy man right now. He’s heading up a new company venture that has the potential to transform the average Australian’s view of renewable energy, by making it safer, cheaper and easier to have a mini-solar energy plant on the roof of your home or workplace. In the process he may just be in time to rescue an industry that shows signs of heading down the same path as the Federal Government’s failed attic... 
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By Tina Perinotto 20 August 2010 - Here’s a hypothetical: The new Federal Government is sworn in on Monday morning. The very first thing it does is convene a “citizen’s assembly” from key parts of the sustainable property industry to ask them what are the five most important things that it should do to fast-track a more sustainable built environment. Ready with their answers will be:  Lend Lease Group Head of Sustainability Maria Atkinson, Melbourne City Council’s Cathy... 
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BRIEF – 18 August 2010 – “Quality urban design does pay,” was the message of outgoing president of Living Streets Aotearoa Peter Kortegast at the recent this year’s Dollars and Sense of Walking conference held in Wellington, New Zealand. Creating walkable towns and cities through urban design – liveable communities that utilise walking as an optimal mode of transport – was the central theme of a recent conference  in Wellington New Zealand. Key speakers included walking consultant... 
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By Tina Perinotto 12 July 2010 - The GPT Group last week launched the upgrade to its premium-grade office building at 530 Collins Street in Melbourne to an early morning crowd of about 100 people. The tower is expected to score 5 stars for NABERS Energy after a major refurbishment that includes one of Melbourne’s few co-generation plants on its podium roof, and a refurbishment that comes complete with performance contract over the plant, the lighting and new water-efficient cooling towers. GPT... 
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11 August 2010 – UPDATE - Cundall has introduced a search function to its NABERS/Green Star Google Map that allows users to see which buildings have a NABERS or Green Star rating. Cundall managing director Simon Wild said that the application would assist landlords and tenants now that  mandatory disclosure will come into force on 1 November. “With mandatory disclosure coming in November landlords will need to know what the ratings are of the buildings around them to ensure the ongoing... 
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4 August 2010 – The winners of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects international ideas competition SEA-CHANGE 2030+ have been announced. The competition invited design proposals to protect the Sydney harbour foreshore from rising water or to make modifications to the environment to ensure sea level rise does not adversely affect property, parks and open spaces. Three equal first prizes were awarded in the professional team category, with each winning submission covering different... 
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By Michael Baker 4 August 2010 – There’s an old joke that speaks to the reliability of information received through our own senses compared with that received from what we think are trusted secondary sources. A man named Andy comes home and finds his wife and best friend Pete in bed together. The friend leaps out of the bed and says “Wait, Andy!  Before you jump to any conclusions, what are you going to believe, old buddy – me, or your own eyes?” What has this got to do with town... 
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