The road to urban coherence and sustainability: using architectural innovation to evolve cities

By Sadman Shafiq

Sadman attended the 2016 Habitat III Summit where he represented Swinburne University. Sadman is studying a Bachelor of Computer Science.


This paper addresses the issues with current architectural trends and visits Sydney with its standing as a top Australian city along with the recovering Lebanon Capital Beirut. While both share similarities as being the tourist hubs of their countries, they share a lack of architectural practices in widespread use for a sustainable future. While Sydney is well developed it has a downtown district that has minor urban and architectural significance and more importantly lacks in public cohesiveness within the city. Beirut has a zoning issue that generates both hardship within the community and removes the cultural and historical heritage of the city. The transportation dilemma exists in Beirut with the congestion and lack of public transport, wherein Sydney suffers from a spread of urban development with the creation of suburbs that spread away from zones of activities centered in the city. It also lacks a public transport system that supports the pace of growth both in the suburbs and congestion within the inner city. The relationship with the transport system and architectural design allows for urban growth and efficiency. And as such, is needed for sustainable cities of the present and future.

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Ensuring responsible and sustainable construction for our future built environment

By Caleb Adams

Caleb attended the 2016 Habitat III Summit where he represented Griffith University. Caleb is studying a Bachelor of Environmental Engineering.


Whilst there have been recent advances, and global commitments to address the challenges of climate change, its remains a critical issue. The construction and building industry is one of the biggest global polluters and energy consumers, yet plays a significant role in Australia’s economy, meaning there is potential to achieve significant emissions reductions through activating change within the building and construction industry.

Cultural changes are reflected in the recent advancement of construction and design relevant policy and regulations; which now address environmental sustainability. However, it is arguable that current regulations and guidelines are not assertive enough, leaving companies to choose how sustainability they wish to operate.

Voluntary sustainability assessment programs are achieving positive results as energy efficient and sustainable projects are now being featured in cities across the globe. Only a compliance culture of the construction industry has meant that the use of these tools is limited and dominated by large-scale industry leaders. Through analyzing the success and framework of these programs, recommendations can be drawn on how Australia can ensure our built environment is constructed via responsible and sustainable methods. This research will influence recommendations on policy review and regulation, innovative research, and an internationally collaborative approach to minimising impacts on climate change through the development of our cities.


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Diversification for Greener Regional Industry and Sustainable Development

Rachel Stock

Rachel Stock represented Central Queensland University at the Y20 Summit


Diversification is currently being promoted as a means of ensuring continued growth in the economy as the mining slow down begins having an increased effect. However can this also establish a demand and willingness to create, promote and adopt the kind of environmentally friendly technologies that must be adopted moving forward to combat climate change. 
With the winding down of both manufacturing and mining operations across the country, much focus has turned to how Australians can utilise innovation to carry the economy forward. However, regional Australia has unique challenges with the reductions in these industries. Issues surrounding the labour benefits afforded by industry, economic reliance and public support relating to the industries will be considered. The problem of industry reliance can also be considered on a global scale, with similar projects being undertaken in the communities of the Appalachian Mountains in the United States, where regional communities were reliant upon mining and milling. By comparing the economic characteristics of affected regions across the G20 with those where the Murray Darling Basin Economic Diversification Program was successful in assisting businesses to diversify, recommendations can be made as to how such economies can be assisted to develop sustainable growth and industry using an adaptation of the program. Further this research, will investigate how a region’s industry reliance may hamper support, development and implementation of new sustainable technologies.

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Achieving SDG 5: Empowering Women for a Sustainable Future in the Textiles Industry

By Chau Nguyen

Chau represented Swinburne University of Technology at the ECOSOC High-level Political Forum in New York.


Women are integral to the economic, social and environmental progress of developing countries and the future of the world. However many face huge disadvantages due to gender inequality and social marginalisation. Nowhere are these problems more readily apparent than in the textiles industry.

Women in textiles manufacturing are excluded from many opportunities which could potentially improve their well-being and livelihoods. Gender equality is a United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) and in this paper I will discuss why empowering these women will not only benefit their livelihoods but also promote a more sustainable and environmentally friendly fashion industry.

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Quarterly Access Journal: Jacqueline Fetchet Contributor

Jacqueline attended the 2015 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change COP21 in Paris where she represented the University of Melbourne. As part of the Global Voices Scholarship, Jacqueline researched the key outcomes of the Paris Agreement. Her research was published in the Australian Institute of International Affairs journal Quarterly Access. You can read her research here or copy the following URL into your browser: