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A national urban policy

With our major cities being where 80% of Australians live and where 75% of our economic activity occurs, it’s important that we find ways to live, move about and conduct our business that are as ecologically sustainable as possible.

In March 2011 the Federal government invited submissions on the development of a national urban policy. ACF’s submission focused on the following as key elements for making our cities more ecologically sustainable and liveable.

Our ability to massively reduce our consumption of resources to create water sensitive and low carbon cities and lifestyles will depend on many things. Our submission focused on the following as key elements for making our cities more ecologically sustainable and liveable:

  • develop sustainability framework with a series of indicators and targets to measure progress;
  • vastly improve our cities’ planning and land use regimes;
  • increase funding for public and active transport and clean distributed energy;
  • ensure rapid progress towards carbon neutral cities and precincts;
  • find ways to create a step change increase in energy and water efficiency;
  • invest in behaviour change and education and training; and
  • government, industry and community collaboration.

Where there’s a will there is a way. The Australian Conservation Foundation, along with others in the built environment community, through the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC), are forging a business-civil society partnership that will help drive some of these changes that will see our cities more resilient to climate change impacts and other resource constraints, as well as being more liveable and socially equitable.

We’re working with organisations like ASBEC to contribute to a policy, advocacy and communications plan for achieving better planned, more sustainable and liveable cities.

After public consultations the Federal government released its National Urban Policy in May 2011 which contained many of ACF’s key advocacy asks for creating more sustainable cities. In January 2012 we participated in the newly established Urban Policy Forum, designed to make sure the national urban policy is well implemented.

Read our detailed submission to Our Cities: Building a productive, sustainable and liveable future.