Sustainability experts from a variety of scientific disciplines will form an international committee in a bid to guide the Australian construction industry towards sustainable city planning.

The news comes mere days after the Cooperative Research Centre for Low-Carbon Living (CRCLCL) announced its new collaborative project with Brookfield Multiplex, Hassell and Aecon, which proposes the same goals.

The new international committee project, named ‘Australian Visions and Pathways’, is also funded by the CRCLCL, who say the project’s primary objective is to engage with key industry parties and the community to provide clear guidelines towards designing sustainable urban environments.

“The primary objective is to provide clear pathways towards designing new buildings, precincts and cities that are sustainable across the board – delivering benefits such as lower fossil fuel energy use and pollution, and resilience to changing climate and extreme weather events,” said the CRC.

The scientific committee will feature leading sustainability experts from around the world, including the Netherlands, United Kingdom, China, USA, Italy, Sweden and Germany.

Professor Ryan, project leader said the scientific committee consists of people top in their field, many of whom he has worked with for some time.

“The committee, which has members from Europe, the United States and China, will provide an expert overview of our research and engagement work to ensure it is of the highest standard. It will also position the project internationally providing global exposure and input,” he said.

“When we look at systems that support a city they are all interconnected and although there are many projects looking at different components in this complex web, the elements need to be viewed as a whole, to see how they can viably work together to deliver futures suited to a low-carbon economy.

“This is essential to maintain our future liveability and to position ourselves to take advantage of a massive global market for new innovative initiatives for low-carbon resilient cities.”

Professor Deo Prasad, AO, CEO for the CRCLCL, saysthe project holds key importance in creating a vision for a sustainable urban future.

“Ultimately the project team and the stakeholders’ jobs are to dream about what a low carbon living city may look like in 2040 then work out how these dreams can become a reality. They need to have visions during this process which may also flag disruptive innovations that, like the steam engine, could completely change the way we live. It is an extremely exciting project with many possibilities,” said Professor Prasad.

“Once we have glimpses of the vision, then it allows us to better understand the transitions and roadmaps in getting there. This then, better enables an understanding of the requirements such as capacity building, research, planning and policy.”

The International committee includes:

Professor Han Brezet, Technical University of Delft, The Netherlands

Professor Tim Dixon, University of Reading, United Kingdom

Associate Professor Natalie Jeremijenko

Professor Baizhan Li, Chongqing University, People’s Republic of China

Peter Madden, Future Cities Catapult, United Kingdom

Professor Ezio Manzini, Politecnico di Milano, Italy

Professor Lena Neij, Lund University, Sweden

Ursula Tischner, CEO of econcept

Professor Phillip Vergragt, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands

Professor Gail Whiteman, Erasmus University, The Netherlands

The Visions and Pathways 2040 Project is six months old, and has held just one workshop in Melbourne which involved 70 participants. The outcomes of the Melbourne workshop will be revealed after a similar Sydney workshop is held at the end of May. Results of both workshops will then be analysed and released.

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