City Futures Research Centre Arts, Design and Architecture

Low carbon

Community co-design of low carbon precincts for urban regeneration in established suburbs

Australia’s large cities face many contemporary challenges that are now well established (Newton and Doherty 2014). As the Australian population continues to rapidly urbanise, it is clear that focusing on delivering on the quantity of new dwellings required is not enough. Trends suggest 70% of all new dwellings will be built within existing urban areas, many of which are being built in established middle suburbs characterised by houses reaching the end of their life-cycle (urban Greyfields). Greyfields have been defined as the established suburban tracts of aging, technologically obsolete and environmentally poor performing housing and infrastructures (Newton 2010).

However, the addition of new dwellings is often ad-hoc, and too many times resulting in inefficient use of land and poor housing choices. This project seeks to prototype an innovative approach for delivering sustainable and liveable medium-density housing that is responsive to the need for increasing density, providing diverse housing options, and creating additional public space and utility. The nominated case study to implement the research project was nominated as the city of Blacktown, NSW.

In the preceding project titled: ‘Greening the Greyfields’ supported by the CRC for Spatial Information, two software tools were developed to identify potential regeneration precincts as well as software to virtually design and assess (for energy, carbon, water etc.) prospective regeneration precincts. 

In the current project, these tools will be vastly utilised to achieve the following:

· Identification of attractive urban regeneration locations / opportunities;

· Exploration of innovative ways to attract land owners to participate in neighbourhood (precinct) urban regeneration  planning;

· Exploration alternative, medium density, precinct design options;

· Enhancement of community and stakeholder collaboration structures; and

· Support statutory and local government processes (e.g., community engagement etc.).

Thus, these strategic accomplishments will assist in achieving the aim of the project.



Dr Stephen Glackin
Project leader

Leading organisation

University of New South Wales

Funded by

CRC for Low Carbon Living
Frontier SI