A liveable city is where the residents are happy and healthy, so to create better liveable cities we need to understand how the environment we live in impacts us. This is a topic that has interested me for many years and ties in with sustainable living pursuits and movements like RetroSuburbia and Transition Towns which essentially ask “what if we reimagined where we live to be sustainable, productive and vibrant?”. We already know that the health and happiness of people has well established links with planetary health – if the environment is healthy, people are healthy and vice versa – so I’m interested to know how we can shape our living environments, public open spaces, housing, employment and so on to maximise health, happiness and time spent in nature.
People often think the solutions to living a happier healthier life lie in moving to regional centres, small towns or rural villages when in fact these places are often built and laid out in the same dysfunctional ways as city suburbs (though, I know many municipalities are trying to fix this). Take the ability to walk to places for example, which has many mental, physical and environmental benefits; many rural areas seem to cater more for the car than for walkability. A new housing estate was added to my rural village (which I lived in for seven years) and even though it was in close proximity to the local school, kindergarten, playground, general store and sporting facilities, there was not a single footpath joining these places. If I wanted to go for a walk with my toddler and baby to these places I had to choose to walk on the road with trucks regularly passing by or struggle with a pram over grass and other terrain. I felt very unsafe especially when my kids tried to ride bicycles to kindergarten, so we gave up. I’m pleased to say that the community advocated for footpaths and we now have a good network, though I no longer live in the estate. In contrast, when I lived in Melbourne while I studied, I walked and used public transport to go everywhere, however I didn’t always feel safe there either.
So what are the solutions to more liveable cities (and regional centres, small towns and rural villages)? I’m very happy to share with you that I am attending the Liveable Cities Conference: Webinar Series 2020 which is a three-part series designed to equip people with advanced strategies for sustainable city creation. Now, I’m no town planner but I do want to know how I can play a role in supporting the creation of more liveable cities! What knowledge and tools do I need? What values will unlock social, environmental and economical opportunities? Is it about more crop swaps and community gardens, bike lanes and footpaths? Or is it something else entirely? How can we increase access to nature in day to day life and what are the impacts of this? This webinar series will help me discover what makes a sustainable, liveable city and how to bring nature back to urban areas, and give me ideas on how I might help facilitate change.
I’m also very excited to share that I have secured a 15% discount for anyone else who would like to attend the conference. Just use the code GIPSUNWRAPPED when you register.
I will also receive a commission for each registration made using my discount code. This does not affect you but does support my work, thank you.
Discovering best practice through the lens of case studies
The first webinar of the Liveable Cities Conference: Webinar Series 2020 will be held live online on Tuesday 9th of June 2020 between 10:00am – 12:30pm. The schedule includes three successful case studies (Ginninderry project, East Village at Knutsford, Burwood Brickworks) delivered by keynote speakers, showcasing how sustainability can be implemented into your liveable city through an intellectually sustainable design.
Long term planning with liveable communities in mind
The second webinar of the Liveable Cities Conference: Webinar Series 2020 will be held live online on Tuesday 16th of June 2020 between 10:00am – 12:30pm. The schedule includes research from the CSIRO on how Australians can continue to enjoy the best quality of life and ensure that future generations can access even better opportunities, how the circular economy is creating purposeful places for people and planet, and giving people the time and resources to answer questions that affect them.
Liveable communities through engagement, culture & connection
The third webinar of the Liveable Cities Conference: Webinar Series 2020 will be held live online on Tuesday 23rd of June 2020 between 10:00am – 12:30pm. The schedule includes ways to bring nature back to urban areas, how Indigenous cultural relationships and linkages can engage you in transformative change, and transitioning streets to places for people through low cost interventions.
You can find more about the full program here.
You can register for a single webinar, all three webinars or as a group of four attendees for all three webinars here.
Please note that if you would like to apply the discount code to the ‘3 Webinars – Group’ registration, you will need to email Sarka Hill requesting registration and quoting the discount code because it cannot be applied directly during the registration process.
Please let me know if you are going to attended too. I’d love to know what bits you are most interested in.
In our opinion, we create communities and connected neighbourhoods by not turning interactions with each other into commercial transactions. We both remember a time in suburbia when neighbours helped each other to sew, mind children, fix cars, share resources etc. Homes were the location for card nights, sporting club meetings etc. There was no need to pay for the hire of halls and facilitators to lead us in creating liveable communities. The stories of our childhood in middle suburbia without malls, drive-thru fast food outlets, unmade and muddy roads, with neighbours helping neighbours, live on around the kitchen table and in our volunteering at free community repair events.
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All excellent points!!
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