Is The Land of OZ #sustainablecitygoals?!

Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! Oy! Oy! Oy!

A lot of young adults worldwide believe Australia is the place to be! Good income, good infrastructure, good economy, safe cities, sexy accents and breathtaking Instagram worthy beachfronts,

But what is it actually like living in an Australian suburb and congested city? What is the story behind one of the most urbanized countries in the world, and how much does the state prioritize sustainable development and urbanization with regards to their implemented laws, frameworks and strategies.

Here we take a look at what the government in the land of Oz does for its civilians and what strategies they plan and implement to promote eco-friendly practices, by still keeping the vibe buzzing throughout our beloved Australia.

With 90% of the population living in just 0,2% of the country’s land area and 85% living within just 50km of the glamorous coastline and 40% of the population being between the two largest cities Sydney and Melbourne, congested beaches and sunburn isn’t the only thing Australia has to worry about.

Climate Change, overpopulation, pollution, waste management, clean water accessibility, public transportation, health and hygiene and risk reduction are just the few key thoughts and issues keeping the Australian Government up at night, probably a little more than your own Government. when thinking of an ever growing city life, Urbanization rises the necessity of addressing many of these topics, and the need for solving and reducing these issues become more and more relevant and highly important.

Go big or go home!

Australia as one of the world’s most advanced and leading first world countries, they plan to keep the industries growing and the people’s needs met with satisfaction. Therefore, in order to keep with such supply and demand, they have planned to implement a number of different frameworks and strategies to help keep up with the growing population and advancing city life bustle, whilst still incorporating and keeping concerns of the environment and future generations close to heart. As their real challenge is faced when adapting their growing cities to lifestyles which promote sustainability and environmentally friendly practices.

I’ll have you know, other than being a vegan haven, Australia focuses on improving and establishing so many different faculties and departments to keep up with the changing times and today’s social craze towards urbanization. As it is anticipated that Australia’s population will continue growing and will reach 35 million by 2050. It is estimated that 72% of this growth will occur in cities and they believe Trends in population growth, transport emissions, energy usage, waste management, urban development, rainfall patterns and extreme weather events (such as droughts, heat waves, severe storms, bushfires, extensive flooding) are highlighting the need for increasing focus on sustainability in Australian cities.

Within sustainable Urbanization the obvious and most important topic would be Sustainable development and infrastructure, that is why building codes and regulations such as the Victoria’s Green Star (Australia) rating and New South Wales’ BASIX sustainability assessment tool are being applied to new developments to improve energy and water conservation at the individual building scale.

What about the Kangaroos and Koalas?! When thinking of urbanization in Australia one of the first thoughts that comes to mind is of course the diverse wildlife and natural habitats of their unique species (and dangerous ones). And of course Urbanization places immense pressure on these departments, whether its conserving the great barrier reef or declining deforestation. This is why the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 was put into place, which establishes a framework for assessing impacts on threatened ecosystems, species and habitats, amongst other considerations

Is water a big deal?

Data on rainfall patterns in eastern and southwest Australia, where the major cities are located, indicates a decline in the annual rate of rainfall per decade of up to 50 mm since 1950.This is providing challenges in terms of both availability and the quality of water supplies, particularly when combined with population growth.

and so other than hydration being key, this is why the Water-sensitive urban design (WSUD) has become a framework for integrating the management of urban water within the practice of sustainable urban design in Australia, it aims to ensure that the management of urban water occurs with sensitivity towards natural water systems and the broader ecosystem that the water systems support.

climate change down under

As a huge component Climate change is an important factor in the decision making process for urban planning in Australia because of the high population prone to extreme weather patterns. Australia’s urban areas are susceptible to changes in the climate because of the physical construction of the built environment, infrastructure, and its ecological correlation with the urban ecosystem. As I said most of the population living on the coast, exposes them to the effects of climate change including sea level rise, increased storm surges resulting in coastal erosion, strong winds, intense rainfall causing flash flooding and bushfires due to increased temperatures. The Australian Federal Government is in the process of developing climate adaptation and mitigation strategies along with risk assessment analysis initiatives to urban planning. many risk assessments and adaption programs have been calculated for possible effects on urban areas due to climate change by the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (DCCEE). This ensures your safety whilst working on your tan lines when you calling in “sick”

Who makes these laws a thing anyway?

Australia’s federal system of governance, Australian Government, the 6 states and two territories have their own urban planning laws and procedures resulting in separate systems of planning and land use management, including separate administrative departments that oversees and regulates planning and land use activities. Consequently, there is not a single urban planning system for Australia rather, there are a number of planning systems that operate largely independently of each other along state based lines

Federal Government is increasingly playing a role in the urban planning process in Australia, mainly through the regulation of development on areas that are of national environmental significance, or through actual development activities on federal land. The National Urban Policy was released by the Minister for Infrastructure in 2011 and establishes for the first time the Australian Government’s overarching goals for the nation’s cities and how to make them more productive and sustainable.

The principal piece of Commonwealth legislation impacting urban planning decisions is the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 which establishes a framework for assessing impacts on threatened species of national significance, world heritage sites, nuclear actions, and national heritage places, amongst other considerations.

Australia also recognizes the immediate need for creating a sustainable living environment implementing policies such as the improvement of public transport, as it is a crucial aspect in creating a functional, sustainable city, and reducing traffic as well as air pollution and fuel emissions; policies in order to control population growth and policies for efficient waste management

In Conclusion, Aus is GREEN lights all the ways (excuse the pun)

If you are ambitious young, tempted in becoming an Instagram influencer, crazy about the planet and wanting to base yourself within a state who equally prioritizes the environment and working towards a sustainable future, then the Land of Aus has all your bases covered! They have all the answers and they are doing their best to stay top in the world for saving your busy city life and conserving the planet at the same time! Talk about multitasking!

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