Climate Smart Precincts Initiative in Australia

3 March 2011

On 24-25 February in Adelaide, South Australia, business and State Government members of The Climate Group met for the first major event of The Climate Smart Precincts Initiative.

Hosted by the South Australian Government, the event consisted of site visits to State-owned development projects followed by workshops exploring how to build the truly low-carbon and climate resilient communities of the future.  

Senior representatives of Arup, GE, IBM, Johnson Controls, Lend Lease, and Origin Energy – in addition to observers from academia and the Victorian State Government – provided their collective sectoral and international expertise, insights and experience to inform site design and implementation. Recommendations included -

  • People-centered governance models
  • Incorporation of externalities and risk in business case development
  • Integrated, whole-of-precinct approaches to energy, waste and water supply
  • The importance of monitoring and evaluation

The Climate Group’s Climate Smart Precincts Initiative aims to accelerate the delivery of low-carbon and climate resilient infrastructure and technology that will assist in meeting the carbon reduction goals of government. By facilitating precinct-specific dialogue, the Initiative seeks to inform broader discussions on Climate Smart Precinct development and to advocate for necessary changes in policy, regulatory and market enabling frameworks, in addition to new mechanisms for community engagement and buy-in.

The Climate Group’s Australia Director, Caroline Bayliss, who facilitated the workshop discussions, said, “The workshops really highlighted the benefit of business and government collaboration in envisioning the core non-negotiable elements of a Climate Smart Precinct.  They also emphasized that innovation in the development of urban design goes hand in hand with innovation in the delivery model.  That means close public and private sector collaboration in developing new ways of  sharing risk and allocating resources – in addition to a shared commitment to demonstrating leadership by practical example.”

A full report from the South Australian workshop, as well as a formal launch of the Climate Smart Precincts Initiative, are scheduled for the second quarter of 2011.

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