Beyond concern for preserving such rich heritage, the proposed demolition of the MLC Building in North Sydney poses deep environmental concerns. History is the story of who we are. A wise society will take lessons from that history – both good and bad – and critically engage with the present to proactively shape a better future. We […]
Some of us learned in chemistry class that hydrogen molecules can spin. But our teachers never told us how much spin we’d see, and how much energy it would take not to fall for it.
Millennials are the most stressed-out demographic group on the planet — they are also the group most sensitive to sustainability issues
A shocking number of Australians experience energy poverty and its only expected to get worse post-Covid as people spend more time at home.
It’s time that the National Construction Code and, in NSW, BASIX, be updated to drive the trajectory to net zero energy homes. An opportunity has arisen to make major improvements in the energy efficiency and renewable energy generation of new buildings, following recent consultations and current analysis for the next update of the National Construction […]
Many things are currently as clear as mud. Is it safe to be old now and leave one’s house or not? Should my child’s teacher be compelled to return to school to do their job? Is this Covid thing the worst thing since a rat got off a boat in London and spread the Black […]
There’s a draft NSW State Environmental Planning Policy (draft SEPP) for housing diversity out for discussion and it’s sparked the interest of the property developer lobby group Urban Taskforce. The Fifth Estate welcomes thoughts and contributions from other readers on this topic. “Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, […]
Have you ever wondered what the world would be like if electricity was free? Tesla is the well-known trademark of entrepreneur extraordinaire Elon Musk and his electric cars, but what about Tesla, the man? More than 100 years ago, Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) invented alternating current (AC), the polyphase alternating current system, which laid the foundation […]
We need two things: create and implement a unified, transparent label at the national and European levels to identify green financial products, and second, legislate their availability to house1holds.
If you knew you were burning down the house around you, and you could stop it, wouldn’t you?
With mysterious outbreaks of coronavirus infections in hotels and aged care homes perhaps it’s the case that the virus is more airborne that we imagined.
The answer is, not very, if it’s anything like the old one The COVID-19 pandemic is like an X-ray into all the broken parts of our economy. We know what they are and have a grand opportunity to fix them, but it will take some visionary leadership, some exceptional courage, and an ample measure of […]
The federal government has been hinting that they will announce significant investment into natural gas to drive down prices and create jobs.
Carbon capture and storage technology as an emissions reduction strategy is like slapping a band-aid over the fossil fuels industry – a last ditch attempt to keep coal-fired generation alive.
The Covid -19 pandemic has been nothing short of a monumental experiment. Within weeks, workplaces were forced into changes that would normally take years to implement. Reactions to the current state of work have been as varied as the experiences of the people going through it. Accounts range from horror stories to fairy tales and […]
For an industry that involves climbing ladders and working in confined spaces, construction seems inaccessible for someone in a wheelchair. But according to construction academic from the University of South Australia, Jonathan Fritsch, this isn’t always the cas
Just as new drivers must pass a driving test, people should need to prove, through a planning, design and management process, that they are doing all they can to create a “fire wise” space to live in.
As we suspended business as usual during the pandemic what’s impossible to ignore is that “responsible investment strategies, that is, those that more actively factor in social and environmental risks in their decisions, outperformed the broader market during this downturn, and not for the first time. “ Initial Reaction: For investment teams responsible for the […]
The Yarra Birrarung’s bicultural model recognises the Yarra (Birrarung) corridor in Melbourne as a “living” natural entity of bicultural character: both traditional owner and settler-Australia. But although it offers a pathway to decolonise rivers and landscapes, we need to see real shifts in cultural and power dynamics in Australia’s reconciliation processes. The Yarra River Protection (Wilip-gin Birrarung murron) Act is a remarkable piece […]
Natural ventilation, or lack of. The modernist triumph of bare-arse glass for fully airconditioned office buildings has become the ubiquitous answer for high rise residential. Brisbane is now plagued by them. Pretty much the same for other Australian capitals with different climates. The first dilemma on observation is: is it office or residential. A slightly […]
It’s time for Australia to make a clear call on what kind of stimulus it wants. The road back to recovery is not just roads
The truth is, governments have the power to solve social housing shortages and homelessness. But once social housing becomes a bloody-minded numbers game of delays, deficits, and denials, it invariably degenerates into the dark art of political obfuscation.
In these stormy days, one is reminded of Charles Dudley Warner’s quip: “Everyone complains about the weather, but no one does anything about it”. This past week, much to the exasperation of Wamberal residents as they forfeit a good slice of their back yards, we remain confused about what to do and who should do […]
According to Professor Janis Birkeland, green building rating tools are improving but they are only improving upon a flawed conceptual model.
In recent months we’ve unexpectedly had to reflect on our lives, work and health, our relationships, travel, neighbourhoods and our cities.
A 2017 United Nations report focused on the “financialisation of housing”, with structural changes where housing is treated as a commodity, a means of accumulating wealth and often as security for financial instruments that are traded and sold on global markets.
It is widely believed that Australian housing supply is constrained by planning regulations. In a new research paper out last month, I show that this belief is wrong. How can I be so confident about my assessment? First, I crawled through the annual reports of Australia’s top eight listed housing developers, who represent about 9 […]
The not-my-problem attitude to fossil fuel exports in Australia is making the country a major contributor to global climate change. Here’s why supply– not just demand – ought to be the target of climate action.
As response to Covid-19 becomes the “new normal”, lots of people are predicting what will happen beyond the immediate crisis. The obvious answer is “it depends”. It depends on how governments, business and households react. The reality is there will be powerful competing forces.
There’s never been more love and appreciation of green spaces from the community. So how can we achieve an environmental, economic and health “triple point score” by delivering more and better green space as part of the post COVID-19 recovery?