Today Arup is hosting a forum for city and business leaders on how we can create a more sustainable economy.
Supported by Financial Review BOSS, the forum features presentations from Arup leaders and world-renowned author, entrepreneur and educator, Dr Gunter Pauli.
Titled “Smart design for sustainable cities: The future, the now and the how”, the event is being attended by leaders from all levels of Government, industry, academia and the not-for-profit sector. Dr Pauli is sharing some exciting, immediate opportunities to start our economy down a more sustainable path, selected from the 100 new business models identified in his Blue Economy work.
Dr Tim Williams, Strategic Adviser to the Committee for Sydney and Senior Consultant for Arup, explored some of the issues and opportunities city leaders face in grabbing these ideas and making them a reality, in the context of our current governance mechanisms and fragmented political environment:
"For too long I think the issues facing the reform of city governance have been considered insurmountable. Yet in city after city around the world, including London, Brisbane, Adelaide and more recently Auckland, citizens and businesses are enjoying the clear and unmistakable benefits of effective metropolitan governance and community engagement. Now is the time for us to find the way to make this happen for Sydney."
Steve Lennon, Principal of Arup, highlighted the need for a broader, systems thinking approach to long-term strategic planning for our major cities:
"Dr Pauli’s thinking is consistent with Arup’s vision of an Ecological Age of desirable growth for our planet, based around more economically and environmentally sustainable cities. We need to restore community trust and faith in our planning systems, and establish more effective city governance. This will enable us to develop the urban agility we need to adapt city infrastructure and achieve more sustainable outcomes."
This event follows the recent publication of the COAG Reform Council report on Capital City Strategic Planning Systems, which echoes the call for more effective community and stakeholder consultation, and encourages greater involvement of the private sector in the planning process.