Urban Ecology Australia


Discussions, readings and references on topics related to urban sustainability. Maintained by Michael Robertson for Urban Ecology Australia.

Main Topics

Buildings - Provide us with shelter, storage, and a place for cultural and social activities. Should be affordable and safe, and designed to draw lightly on natural resources such as land, energy and water.

Cities - Good urban design can reduce a city's impact on the environment, and make it more liveable for people as well.

Ecological Design - Attention to the way people and objects intereact, and to how industrial processes can be designed to reuse waste, can make a large difference to resouce consumption and liveability.

Energy - We need to reduce energy demand and reduce the carbon-intensity of our energy supplies, if we are to adequately respond to global warming and climate change.

Energy Demand - How can we reduce energy demand while still supplying energy services?

Energy Supply - How can we reduce the carbon-intensity of our energy supplies?

Environment - Economic activities are having considerable impact on world biodiversity. We need to manage the interaction between economy and nature to minimise impacts, and to restore natural ecosystems.

Greenhouse - Greenhouse gas emissions, accumulating in the atmosphere, are causing global warming, and so rapid climate change. If we reduce emissions we may be able to stop or even reverse this accumulation, thereby slowing global warming and consequent climate change.

Innovation - Creative solutions are needed to maintain economic growth while reducing demands on natural resources and ecosystems.

Sustainability - To make our civilisation more sustainable, we need to reduce our per capita inputs on the environment and natural resources, as well as build up communities and human capacities.

Transport - Motorised transport produces greenhouse emissions, faces rising fuel costs, and fills our cities with noisy, smelly, and dangerous motor vehicle traffic. These problems can be alleviated by reducing motor vehicle use, and by making vehicles more fuel efficient.

Waste - Waste generated by cities is accumulating in the environment, compromising health, and leaving a dubious legacy for our descendants. We need to reduce waste by reducing the production of materials likely to become waste (especially hazardous materials), and finding ways to reuse or safely dispose of materials we do generate.

Water - Water is in short supply in many parts of Australia. We need to use it more efficienty, and recycle waste water and collect and use stormwater run-off. This will help us live within the limits of renewable water supplies while sharing water with nature.