Local governments around Australia have been given a new roadmap to help deliver healthy, resilient and positive communities.
The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) revised their sustainability guide The Green Star – Communities Guide for Local Government, which was designed to help councils tackle local challenges, deliver and communicate better outcomes and multiply the value of their investments.
“The way our cities and communities are planned, designed and built has an enormous impact on our economy, our wellbeing and our environment,” GBCA Chief Executive Officer Romilly Madew said.
“Local government implements and administers the planning controls, policies and programs that can ensure we get it right for future generations.
“Communities want leadership on a range of issues from affordable housing to climate resilience, and from social inclusion to infrastructure planning. This guide can help local governments respond to these challenges and communicate the benefits of their actions back to their communities," she said.
Since the GBCA launched Green Star – Communities in 2012, 26 projects have been certified, and a further 24 are registered for certification. These projects range in size from small urban regeneration sites to large-scale greenfield developments that will be home to 50,000 people.
Among the projects certified are Renewal SA’s Tonsley in Adelaide, a former manufacturing park that has been transformed into a centre for innovation and new high-value industries, and Alkimos Beach, north of Perth, a partnership between Lendlease and Landcorp which boasts Australia’s first community battery storage trial.
Ginninderry, a joint venture between the ACT Government and Riverview Developments, will eventually accommodate 30,000 people and aims for industry leadership in water-sensitive urban design, while Parramatta Square, one of the largest urban renewal projects in Australia, is currently registered to achieve a Green Star rating, and has mandated 5 Star Green Star minimum ratings for all buildings within the precinct.
“At a time when governments must demonstrate accountability and value for money, a Green Star – Communities rating takes the risk out of a council’s hands by providing independent verification and assurance that the right investments are being made for the future," Ms Madew said.
“And Green Star – Communities can provide the benchmarks and metrics to help local councils around Australia during the competitive bid process for City Deals.
“Green Star – Communities and this guide will help local governments attract the funding and deliver sustainable communities that stand the test of time."