The sustainability of communities and cities is more than just the ecological footprint, however fundamental that is, it is also about health, jobs and well being of the community. The economic foundation, social-cultural context, and protection and access to nature in a city, are critical to the enduring well being and lifestyle of residents and visitors. At the same time our individual connectedness to the planet, nature and our local environment are more and more in question as less an less we are connected, despite the threats. Within communities in Australia, though more and more people seem to understand there is a world wide environmental problem, few know what to do, nor associate their own impact and contribution to the problem in the first place. At the same time government, especially local government is more and more being recognised as the key delivery arm of sustainable practices on ground, though they are not necessarily resourced to do the job. In the future environmental leadership will depend on our ability to leverage our own local innovations and sustainable practices; to collaborate, develop partnerships and redesign our systems to meet the challenge of affordable and practical ecological sustainability. This paper presents practical insights into the alternatives and looks at the opportunities which new forms of cities and communities offer in guiding us all to a sustainable, integrated and healthy future full of well being. This includes retaining and/or rehabilitating natural ecological functions of catchments and waterways; redesigning our energy systems; cultural and social relationships; and managing urban infrastructure (water, buildings, and roads).
|Keywords:||Sustainable Cities, Sustainability, Integrated Water Cycle, Connecting, Integrating, Partnerships, Redesigning Systems, Ecotourism, Tropical Design, Community Education, Solar Cities|
Manager, Environmental Management Services, Environmental Department, Townsville City Council, Townsville, Queensland, Australia
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