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A framework to determine if Australia's suburbs have ever been sustainable

Wissing, Ross 2014, A framework to determine if Australia's suburbs have ever been sustainable, in UHPH 2014 : Landscapes and Ecologies of Urban and Planning History : Proceedings of the 12th Australasian Urban History Planning History Conference, Australasian Urban History / Planning History Group and Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand, pp. 179-193.

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Title A framework to determine if Australia's suburbs have ever been sustainable
Author(s) Wissing, Ross
Conference name Australasian Urban History Planning History. Conference (12th : 2014 : Wellington, New Zealand)
Conference location Wellington, New Zealand
Conference dates 2-5 Feb. 2014
Title of proceedings UHPH 2014 : Landscapes and Ecologies of Urban and Planning History : Proceedings of the 12th Australasian Urban History Planning History Conference
Editor(s) Gjerde, Morten
Petrovic, Emina
Publication date 2014
Conference series Australasian Urban History Planning History Conference
Start page 179
End page 193
Total pages 15
Publisher Australasian Urban History / Planning History Group and Victoria University of Wellington
Place of publication Wellington, New Zealand
Keyword(s) urban sustainability
suburbs
backyard
gardening
core human needs
ecosystem services
Australia
Geelong
Summary Australia is a suburban society. It has been since Europeans came. Unlike many other urban societies at the time, there was no existing hard infrastructure to provide the essential needs of human urban life - clean water, food, shelter and waste management. These had to be met by individual residents in the emerging cities and towns until infrastructure could be provided to local communities by Government. This reality led to Governor Phillip establishing the block size in Sydney as being large enough to provide food and treat waste within its boundaries. The block dimensions were a major influence on Australia’s urban form for the next two centuries and with social developments not only led to low density urban form, but also fostered a strong connection with the backyard and a societal love of gardening at home. Despite a push to densification in the past two decades, low density suburban form is physical and cultural and is likely to be dominant for the foreseeable future. Gardening at home is also likely to continue to be a favourite pass time. While some Australian research has started to explore the role of backyards and gardening in increasing urban sustainability, little work has been done on to what extent the suburban block has and can meet the core needs of people. Even less has been done on determining the impact of suburbs on underlying ecosystem services that provide these core needs. This paper provides a brief history of backyards in suburban Australia, a conceptual framework for assessing the sustainability of Australian suburbs over time and a description of the major ecosystem types in what is now urban Geelong at the time of European settlement. It provides the foundation for future sustainability assessments of the residential block in various periods of suburban development in Geelong.
Language eng
Field of Research 129999 Built Environment and Design not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970112 Expanding Knowledge in Built Environment and Design
HERDC Research category E1 Full written paper - refereed
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30061638

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: School of Architecture and Built Environment
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Created: Tue, 18 Mar 2014, 08:29:15 EST

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