Planning for Sustainable Cities

Binding planning laws for sustainable cities and regions.

Step 5) Sustainable Cities and Regions

Action: The Tasmanian Government must commit to a radical overhaul of the State's planning schemes with the aim of a) articulating a positive vision of sustainable urban and regional development - through a process of genuine community engagement and consultation; b) reflecting that vision is simple, clear planning schemes and State Policies; c) banning investment in developments that conflict with that vision - providing certainty for investors and the community; d) encouraging investment in urban and regional renewal, leading to liveable, sustainable cities and regions. Such a strategy must be driven by the State in order to recognise the resource and capacity limitations of - and the potential for adverse competition between - local governments.

Rationale: The strategy would be expected to encourage multiple-use zoning, to encourage people to live within walking distance of work. It would encourage progressive increases in urban density but not at the expense of open greenspace or high-rise towers. The research is clear that appropriate design and high-quality architecture will encourage higher density urban living, where privacy is respected and where access to shops, services and greenspace is an integral part of the development/redevelopment. Eventually, this strategy will significantly reduce the demand for travel, as well as urban and commuter congestion, while at the same time rebuilding strong, healthy and diverse communities. The strategy would require clear and binding State policies to ensure that the vision is given full effect throughout the State. It will also require support and education of the planning community, local government, property developers and the general public to ensure that expectations are clear and issues resolved in an open and constructive manner.

Note that this action is complementary to Step 6) - Public and Low Carbon Transport, and Step 4) - Saving Energy in particular.