26 September 2023

City Authority comes down to Earth Day

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The City Renewal Authority marked Earth Day last week (22 April) by identifying the four major challenges facing the world’s cities, including Canberra.

The Authority said the world must adapt its cities to meet the many environmental, social and economic challenges presented by the changing climate.

“With over half of the global population living in urban environments, it is critical that cities are part of the solution in addressing those challenges,” the Authority said.

“We explore some of the key elements that contribute to making a sustainable city and how the City Renewal Authority is putting these into practice as part of its urban renewal program.”

The Authority said the four major challenges facing the world’s cities were transport; nature in the city; buildings; and ethical consumption.

It said Transport emissions made up 60 per cent of the ACT’s total carbon emissions, which made reducing transport emissions its highest priority and one of its biggest challenges.

“One of the ways the Authority is addressing this challenge is through ensuring that pedestrian and cyclist friendly design is front and centre in our city renewal efforts,” it said.

The Authority said living infrastructure was an important way to improve resilience to climate change, and it was ensuring the design of renewal projects included a mix of trees, plants, water features, and water permeable surfaces.

It said the energy performance of city buildings, and the type of energy they used, would affect both people’s comfort and their ability to reduce emissions over coming decades.

It was also important for cities to support ethical use of resources, including re-use and using local supply chains wherever possible.

“In urban renewal this can be implemented in a multitude of ways – the construction materials for major projects or infrastructure upgrades, in the street furniture, lighting, play equipment, and other amenities in our public spaces,” the Authority said.

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