The 9th Making Cities Liveable Conference; Generating a mood for change wrapped up yesterday after two days of discussion and collaborative learning with an overall focus on creating healthy, sustainable, resilient and liveable cities.
Conference Chair, Paula Drayton, Director, Resource Advisory welcomed over 230 delegates to the 2016 Conference which supports improving the quality of life in our capitals and major regional cities.
In her opening address, Paula commented on uncanny timing of our event, somewhere between the international news on Brexit and with a Federal election just days away.
She commented “The current global and local discourse which seems focused on division, offers us, as a learning community, an opportunity. These two days offer us that chance to cultivate the connections and relationships between our specialist domains and move closer together as we grapple with complexity and change as they relate to cities and liveability.”
“As practitioners with a passion for Liveable Cities, we design for change and we influence change. We are change drivers and we are stronger when we work together and innovate with a multi-disciplinary approach.”
With 80 speakers over two days, the Conference was a great opportunity for attendees to examine and discuss issues that impact liveable city design and take part in creating a mood for change.
The first Keynote Speaker, Professor Susan Thompson, Professor of Planning and Director City Wellbeing, City Futures Research Centre, The University of New South Wales presented on: ‘Place making for a healthier Australia’ and emphasised the importance of green space in over stimulated urban areas.
Jeremy McLeod, Director, Breathe Architecture captivated the audience as he spoke about the highs and lows of undertaking ‘The Commons’ apartment project with its environmental design response and combined unique financial model. The recipient of the 2016 AAAA Leadership in Sustainability Prize spoke on ‘Architect led multi-residential housing which considers social health, economic resilience and environmental sustainability at its core’ and left the delegates wanting to hear more next year about his Nightingale Apartments project.
Martin Udale, Director and Chair of the Tamaki Regeneration project in New Zealand, spoke about how change was received by the Tamaki communities, residents and businesses, outlining the building blocks, lessons learned and the outcome of taking a ‘neighbourhood approach’. Martin noted that “Housing led regeneration has already begun to create opportunities for many in the community”.
Dr Sheryn Pitman, Programme Manager Inspiring South Australia, South Australian Museum presented on ‘Creating the urban cool – living infrastructure and scientifically literate communities’ and discussed how liveable cities have two essential threads: the critical role of nature-based and ecosystem service-based systems known as green or living infrastructure; and the vital importance of having a scientifically literate decision-making community.
Sarah Breavington, Group Sustainability Manager, Mirvac, presented on ‘The value of community – understanding our social return on investment’. Sarah said;
“Mirvac has worked with KPMG to create a framework which measures the social and economic impacts of Mirvac’s residential developments. The framework uses a combination of qualitative and quantitative data which demonstrates economic outcomes linked to improvements in safety, sense of community, sense of place and active living.”
Dr Elliot Fishman, Director, Institute for Sensible Transport outlined the huge rate of drop off from young people obtaining drivers licenses and buying cars and as such the lower need for carparking. Elliot also showed us the world of the future with autonomous vehicles where we can elect to have alternative city streetscapes screened across the windows. Dr Fishman spoke on: Disruptive transport technology and the role of government providing an overview of how technologies such as ride sourcing Apps like Uber and bike share are changing the way we move around cities.
On day two Six Degrees Architects Director Peter Malatt, took off his coat and rolled up his sleeves, providing an impassioned plea that radical change is needed in design deliverability to achieve genuine liveability.
The final Keynote presentation ‘You can’t change my behaviour and it’s rude to try’ by Keynote Speaker Ben Peacock, Founder and Partner, Republic of Everyone provided his wonderful insight into campaigns that are encouraging more sustainable behaviour in cities and how a simple concept can make change really happen. Ben took the delegates on a journey from garden waste through to the marvel of community garage sales, compost and the backyard vege garden.
Feedback from delegates of the 9th The Making Cities Liveable Conference was extremely positive and with a wide range of topics addressed including; Community and Social Development, Future Technology and Smart Cities, City Resources: Food, Security, Energy, Water and Waste delegates took away ideas and tools to help implement the change.
Other topics covered included Cities for Everyone: Child and Age Friendly Cities, Growth Transforming our Cities, Planning for Health: Programs, Food and Lifestyle, Urban Renewal and Carbon Positive Environments, Creative Cities and Effective Place Making.