Steps to sustainable design

By Angela Dorizas
First introduced in 2008, the suite of documents was framed around best practice sustainability and urban design principles.
Landcom director of sustainability and policy, Steve Driscoll, told Government News the guidelines were “born of need”.
“They were the seven things we found we were frequently reinventing the wheel on every time we ourselves faced up to doing a new project,” he says.
“We had a short corporate memory of how we may have approached these issues in the past.”
Driscoll says the seven guidelines were the most common issues and concerns raised by local councils.
“They were the issues that we seemed to be having the most animated conversations with local government about,” he says.
“For example, we wanted to install public art in all of our developments.
“Some councils had very well-resolved public art strategies and approaches, but others were less advanced in that policy framework and were even a little bit suspicious about public art.
“They had quite sensible considerations, but we were finding that time and time again we were having the same discussion, whether it was about
art, or street trees, how we designed our open spaces or any of those other guidelines.”
Driscoll says the seven guidelines ensure that “the bigger picture” is not forgotten in setting design standards.
The guidelines are on issues surrounding street design; street tree design; universal housing; community facilities; open space; public art; and built form.
Driscoll says the guidelines have been implemented across various developments, but no-one has yet adopted all seven.
“To my knowledge nobody has picked the suite – the whole seven – and implemented them,” he says.
“But different pieces of them have certainly been adapted and tailored to the needs of the local council – and that’s exactly what we hoped would happen.”

Driscoll flagged the release of further guidelines in the near future, including recommendations on housing density and diversity.
“There are a whole range of measures that need to be considered around housing diversity. We want to create places that are more diverse, with people from different walks of life.
“We released Draft Housing Diversity Guide 12 months ago and we’re examining feedback about how we might be able to finetune that, before releasing the final guidelines.”
Driscoll says creating sustainable communities will always be an ongoing process.

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0 thoughts on “Steps to sustainable design

  1. Excellent to see some consistency being adopted. Regarding creating sustainable communities, are there any thoughts going into planting fruiting/ food trees in developments? It would be a fantastic dual use of the space, in my humble opinion.

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