News from the front, issue 515: Planning minister Rob Stokes released a lovely new human-centred planning policy last week. But two weeks before another change to the planning controls went unannounced. Few people, outside the inner circles of planning knew what was going on. The first SEPP (state environmental planning policy) last week was loudly […]
Long-awaited and long-needed, the announcement by the Andrews government in late 2020 that Victoria will build over 12,000 units of social housing worth an estimated $5.3 billion, cannot come soon enough. In the face of social, economic and environmental issues, this news is a welcome boost that will hopefully provide some solace in what will […]
The built environment is where Australia is doing relatively well. While overall consumption continues to rise with population growth, energy and water efficiency have both increased in recent years while per capita car use in Australian cities is decreasing.
News from the front desk: We’re totally thrilled to bring you our latest ebook today, Building Circularity, based on our symposium late last year and our usual deep dives we do at event times, into related innovations and interviews with the amazing people who co-create the content with us. Always they are the people at […]
News from the front desk: Lendlease has attracted some heat over the last few months for a new residential development near Campbelltown in NSW that could threaten the area’s vulnerable koala population.
Here’s a cynical take on recent announcements concerning the Parramatta Powerhouse. It’s getting sillier… Just as advertising has become the product – rather than the thing promoted – we recently learned that the newly approved Powerhouse is set to become Australia’s very own Smithsonian, as though this potential equates to its delivery. This is magical […]
The near-universal use of H2 blue, green or red framing timber in construction is now a time bomb for landfill in 20-40 years’ time. It cannot be composted nor recycled, and thus is sent to landfill.
Can the impact and premium of the agglomerated knowledge economy of a CBD really be replicated in the disaggregated city? Follow the money. While we can all imagine better ways to understand what’s going on in our towns and cities, you won’t go far wrong if you know what’s going on in the economy and […]
Opinion: This Saturday February 13, residents of the Explorer Street estate in Eveleigh, supported by Friends of Erskineville and Hands Off Glebe, will take to the streets in defence of their homes, which are slated for redevelopment. Architects who are serious about using their voice and skills for social good should consider making time to […]
You’d think that people in a green rated building would be keen to maximise the energy performance of their building p- switch off lights and so on. Not so, these researchers found, among other curious patterns.
News from the front issue 513: The world has put creative and collaborative responses to Covid and climate on fast forward. There are even signs of more humanitarian and politically intelligent frameworks stirring. In the US the new Biden administration is focusing its Covid and climate action on outcomes that tackle economic and racially-based disadvantage. And cleverly it looks like these will utilise a whole of government approach, something quite novel in our part of the world.
The environment – our natural world – is the most important asset to human survival.
The big trends to shape our year are already underway. We need a huge collective roar to make the head of steam translate to the speed of action we now need.
News from the front desk: It’s hard not to feel a warm glow after waking up to newly sworn-in US president Joe Biden honouring his promise to re-join the Paris Agreement.
In January, the state government of NSW announced it would spend almost $200 million on parks, cycle ways, plazas and public art to renew and revive Parramatta Road, a 20km arterial corridor that runs through the most densely populated part of Sydney.
Is it time to consider “un-building” and “non-building” in urban design projects, such as the revival of Sydney’s Parramatta Road?
According to Brisbane-based architect Russell Hall, governments weaponise developers with the right to inflict buyers with the developer’s whims as conditions of purchase via covenants. He says this can make homes unaffordable and unsustainable.
New year, new beginnings. In 2021, sustainability expert Alan Pears expects progress in embodied emissions, Scope 3 emissions, circular economies and economic transformation.
News from the front desk, issue 510: If you’re a greenwash spin-cycle merchant of high order and you think 2020 was hard on the bones, get set for an even tougher year ahead. From what we can tell from the tea leaves shaping up at the end of the year from hell (for most of […]
It has been a year scarred by deeply visceral events – record bushfires and a global pandemic, confronting conceptual assaults, the peddling of grand fantasies, dangerous untruths, and toxic politics. How can we all emerge better and stronger from these encounters? The government-sponsored pitch for Mattias Corman to become the next head of the OECD […]
Governments should be investing in home energy upgrades, now. Improving home energy efficiency is a good investment at the best of times: it cuts power bills, makes homes healthier, and reduces emissions. But the Coronavirus pandemic and the job losses it has caused mean that now is a particularly important moment for governments to back […]
News from the front desk, Issue 509: Just in case you’ve been too busy enjoying end-of-year drinks with your colleagues – as you well should be – news this week included climate sceptic extraordinaire Nationals MP George Christensen picked to lead a parliamentary probe into the legality of insurers and lenders “blacklisting” fossil fuel projects, […]
The NSW Productivity Commission in November released its final report on the Review of Infrastructure Contributions in NSW (PC Review). It controversially ruled out capturing a share of windfall gains made from rezonings or the granting of additional development, even though this is widely used in voluntary planning agreements (VPAs) and state infrastructure contributions (SIC). […]
News from the front desk, Issue 508: You just know when a piece of news is going to have a big impact. Last week it was that two global giants of the architectural world had resigned from Architects Declare in the UK. The reason? That both, Foster + Partners and Zaha Hadid Architects, work on […]
Life in a manufactured home estate – a more permanent iteration of a caravan park where residents live in relocatable homes – is sold as an affordable way to retire among people in the same age bracket. But new research shows it may not be all it’s cracked up to be.
Praise for investigative journalists like Marian Wilkinson who have a way of joining the dots without taking detours in diplomacy.
News from the front desk, Issue 507: So, Australia is on an economic tear so that means there is nothing stopping sustainability, right? Out of our recent Building Circularity came some gems of insights into the urgent tasks to hand to reduce the carbon in our structures. And the immense ambition and possibilities opening up to […]
A couple of years ago I decided to leave Sydney and find refuge in a remote valley from what’s coming. This is the story of that failed escape and the refuge I find in gardening, still living in the city.
The urban landscape is plagued by a commitment to growth at all costs, write University of Melbourne academics Brendan Gleeson and Samuel Alexander in their latest book. The following extract was published with their permission.
News from the front desk: After a full day of robust discussion about redirecting the built environment along a less wasteful and carbon intensive path, on Wednesday morning The Fifth Estate woke up to NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet’s jovial hit list of Sydney buildings he’d love to demolish.