Making Suburbia Sustainable

Peter Cock argues that Australia's suburbs can and should be transformed into more self-sufficient communities.
April 27, 2010, 1pm PDT | Michael Dudley
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With 80 percent of Australia's population living in suburban areas, Peter Cock believes that efforts at sustainability need to focus on making the suburbs and the urban-rural fringe into village clusters.

"[W]ith a bit of effort [suburbs] can become communities in the true sense of the word, growing some of their food and doing more of their own construction and maintenance. Housing estates need to be replaced by small, multi-function villages. Backyards can be shared rather than fenced. A neighbourhood can generate electricity, capture water and feed gardens. Local streets can become commons where children play safely among fruit trees. Primary schools have the potential to expand their role as community hubs by co-locating some essential everyday services nearby.

If this is our path forward, and if I were the young investment adviser I once was, I would put money into redevelopment of the suburbs and even the urban-rural fringe."

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Published on Monday, April 26, 2010 in Sydney Morning Herald
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