The intensification of development that is required in established and occupied inner and middle suburban greyfield areas (retrofit) is the great challenge for our fast-growing Australian cities. The scale of urban regeneration required over the next 30 years has the potential to reduce carbon emissions, improve housing affordability and reduce urban sprawl. It is also financially attractive because it utilises existing infrastructure and unlocks underutilized land value.
This project aimed to deliver new workable processes, standards and certification procedures, drawing on state- of-the-art design and assessment tools, which enable community groups to work with local governments, state agencies and property developers, to co-design more sustainable, medium density, low carbon housing precincts. These procedures/protocols were designed to enable the type and rate of urban regeneration envisaged in all of the metropolitan strategic plans for Australia’s capital cities (70% infill targets for Sydney and Melbourne) by building trust, reducing conflict and increasing incentives, leading to reduced development costs and more sustainable neighbourhoods.
The project initially aimed to work with industry partners, to develop a detailed business model for low carbon neighbourhood regeneration, researchers and existing tool providers, to develop the certification product, a leading practitioner in precinct regeneration and neighbourhood engagement, to assure compliance with engagement protocols and three communities and their local governments to trial and validate the proposed processes, standards and activation utilisation procedures. However, due to the significant timelines to de-risk the project for the municipalities implementing the process, the project required significant Whole of Government workshops in three municipalities, workshops with state government on the practicalities of statutory change, community engagement in only one municipality (due to the legislative requirements of formal engagement), engagement with industry partners and community engagement experts.