G'day All A couple of days ago our fearless leader, PM Rudd, had a little chat with the BCA (Business Council of Australia). In essence, he set out his (tentative) plan for the urban (and in doing so, rightly pointed out and included a connection to the non-urban) places of Australia. His speech is long on rhetoric, and short on substance - he is a politician, after all. But what he did hint at is: The goal is that our cities have strong, transparent and long-term plans for growth and high-quality urban development. That our cities are productive, liveable and sustainable. Specifically, the new criteria for the strategic planning systems in our major cities should focus on: - Providing for planned, sequenced and evidence-based land release that meets the housing needs of a growing population and keeps homes affordable. - Balancing in-fill and greenfield development. - Implementing credible plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions - through initiatives such as energy efficiency measures, changes to town planning, practical improvements in public transport infrastructure and reform of building codes and regulations. - Adapting to the risks of climate change such as coastal inundation and more extreme weather events. - Emphasising world-class design and associated architectural integrity. - Providing for building and upgrading nationally significant infrastructure, such as transport corridors, intermodal connections and communications and utilities networks. - Providing for governments to take into account independent, expert advice on the objectives and implementation of their planning system. - Providing an effective framework for private sector investment and innovation in the urban infrastructure given that with the fiscal constraints on governments, the nation will need to harness private capital. (Source: https://www.pm.gov.au/node/6282) So, you might be wondering, what has all this got to do with us, the permaculture community? I believe that we might just have a chance in the near future to address all of PM Rudd's concerns by providing him with the perfect planning tool - permaculture! Could be that this might be another way of breaking into the mainstream mindset? Anyway, watch this space... Cheerio, Marko.