Smart Green Cities

Smart Green Cities

Smart Green Cities

Centre for Smart Green Cities is a collaborative hub which connects industry, government, researchers and community to create liveable urban environments by inspiring change through evidence-based problem solving.

70% of the world’s population will be living in urban areas by 2050. The rate and pace of urbanisation is changing the shape and composition of our cities – putting major pressures on our biodiversity, water resources, human health and wellbeing.

Right now, emerging research and technology advances give us a glimpse into a possible future of positive, balanced urbanisation. In this future, we have the opportunity to create better places to live, learn, work and play, as urbanisation progresses.

To seize these opportunities, while managing the challenges of urbanisation, societies must make major decisions that will ensure our cities and their ecosystems remain resilient and liveable spaces into the future, particularly under climate change. The MQR Centre for Smart Green Cities is a hub that enables evidence based, collaborative and integrated decision making, through our focus on three key streams of work.

Our key areas

The global trend of people moving to cities and surrounding urban areas to live and work continues. This increase in urbanisation has forced Australia, and many other countries, to rethink how we can turn our cities into sustainable and liveable spaces that will accommodate a greater population by integrating nature into the urban environment.

Green infrastructure

Greening our cities is not just about making open spaces aesthetically pleasing. With urbanisation changing the shape and composition of our cities, major pressure on biodiversity, water resources, human health and wellbeing is increasing.

With growing public and private investment focused on infrastructure and accelerating urban renewal, it is essential that innovative partnerships are utilised to maximise the environmental, social and economic returns of natural assets such as green spaces within cities.

By integrating nature based solutions into mainstream urban policy and planning, construction and maintenance, our society will not only realise the co-benefits of green infrastructure, but we will create liveable cities for the future.

National Green Infrastructure Network

The National Green Infrastructure Network (NGIN) is a multidisciplinary group of passionate individuals from academia, government, private practice and industry striving to enable liveable and sustainable urban landscapes. NGIN enables cross-sector partnerships through research, support and outreach.

NGIN aims to integrate a wide variety of natural assets into the built environment to create a network of green spaces and water systems that improves the health and wellbeing of everyone living in city and urban environments.

NGIN is committed to:

  • carrying out research that generates the practical knowledge and protocols required to establish green spaces and water systems (green infrastructure) tailored to the built environment
  • building strategic cross-institutional partnerships that leverage a diverse range of expertise locally, nationally and internationally, so that green infrastructure becomes an integral part of city planning and building construction
  • collaborating with policymakers in city and urban government agencies, practitioners, industry partners and local communities to undertake research and disseminate the products of our research, thus sharing the benefits of green infrastructure
  • sharing the unique learning and teaching opportunities generated by this research to maximise government, corporate and community participation.

NGIN is a network driven by co-founders Leigh Staas (Macquarie University), Lucy Sharman (Lendlease), Suzanne Dunford (NSW Office of Environment and Heritage), Sara Wilkinson (University of Technology Sydney), Paul Osmond (University of New South Wales) and David Duncan (ASPECT Studios).

Renewable Energy

Urban growth and climate change predictions are demanding innovation in the energy sector and the switch from fossil fuels to affordable, accessible, reliable and sustainable energy resources.

The integration of renewable energies into urban environments can be constrained by an imbalance between demand and supply. Microgrids can provide the necessary link. The key characteristics of microgrids are that distributed energy is generated from a variety of sources, monitoring and control of energy supply and demand is localised, and that an interface to the external grid is maintained to supply and/or receive electricity when needed.

Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the logical end to the journey of two technologies:  the internet and wireless communications.  IoT enables EVERY object in our everyday lives to be connected to the internet. It thereby enables the mass collection, exchange and analysis of data. The clarity and insight offered via IoT enables better decision making and dynamic planning for complex issues, like transport management, energy optimisation, green space and natural asset maintenance and the user experience of people in places.

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