National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development

Prepared by the Ecologically Sustainable Development Steering Committee
Endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments
December, 1992
ISBN 0 644 27253 8

Urban and Transport Planning
Part 2 Sectoral Issues - Chapter 6


To achieve more sustainable use of energy and natural resources in urban areas through integrated urban and transport planning and more efficient sub-division and building design.

Strategic Approach

This can best be achieved as part of more general strategies intended to address a broad range of economic and social problems associated with current urban and transport planning regimes. These include examining the most appropriate approach to improving urban densities, the adoption of a coordinated approach to urban and transport development and improvement in government planning and coordination.

Objective 6.1

  • to promote urban forms which minimise transport requirements, and improve the efficiency of land supply and infrastructure provision

Governments will:

  • support initiatives being developed under the Planning Minister's reform agenda, including those which:
    • provide for a range of densities in urban areas, with higher densities particularly encouraged in areas near employment centres and public transport services;
    • improve strategic planning and infrastructure coordination processes;
    • facilitate the development of performance based codes, higher density codes and performance indicators for infrastructure agencies and local government;
    • improve the efficiency and effectiveness of local government approval and regulatory processes;
    • establish more effective pricing mechanisms for the provision of urban infrastructure;
    • provide guidance on the planning for the siting of potentially hazardous industries; and
    • encourage incorporation of minimum density requirements and the Australian Model Code for Residential Development (AMCORD) in strategic plans for major new urban developments
  • promote research aimed at the further development of the (AMCORD) and related State/Territory Codes to include additional standards related to energy efficient and environmentally sustainable urban form in new urban developments
  • continue to encourage work on more efficient urban forms through the Australian Housing Industry Development Council, the (AMCORD), the Green Street Joint Venture and the Local Approvals Review Program
  • further consider mechanisms for provision of affordable housing in accessible locations in order to achieve greater urban density and more efficient use of infrastructure
  • seek ways of reducing fringe development and focusing future development within the existing built up area of Australian cities

Objective 6.2

  • to encourage the future development of urban transport systems which provide opportunities to limit the use of fossil fuels

Governments will:

  • continue to work towards upgrading of urban public transport systems, including the rehabilitation and development of urban rail systems , integration and coordination of different modes of transport and improving service quality
  • develop and implement travel demand strategies and management techniques (such as central business district parking taxes, flexible working hours, and work from home schemes) to curb the growth in the use of private motor vehicles in urban areas
  • continue to adopt a closer integration of land-use and transport planning with an emphasis on the concept of planning for urban development that minimises the need for transport based on fossil fuel energy
  • further improve the efficiency of the operations of urban road networks
  • complete work on emission standards for new diesel and petrol fuelled vehicles
  • address standards for new vehicles using alternative fuels and establish in-service vehicle emission standards

Objective 6.3

  • to promote subdivision and road design patterns that provide the greatest potential to utilise energy efficiency dwelling design, with provision for and use of public transport modes

Governments will:

  • support the reform agenda of Planning Ministers including initiatives such as urban villages to act as an energy efficient approach to planning new urban development
  • further develop, and incorporate in planning codes, design principles for new neighbourhoods and residential developments to reduce fossil fuel use from transport
  • examine the recommendations arising from the House of Representatives Inquiry into Patterns of Urban Settlement, and implement those actions agreed to by the States and Territories
  • support Industry Commission work on examining the taxation and financial policies of government, including pricing and charging policies, which lead to inefficient patterns of urban settlement in Australia

Objective 6.4

  • to improve the amenity of local urban areas

Governments will:

  • continue to support reform initiatives through the Building Better Cities Program, in particular area-based initiatives which demonstrate ways to make better use of infrastructure and natural resources
  • work to improve the safety and aesthetic amenity of urban areas, provide clean air, land and water, and protect their natural, cultural and historical heritage
  • encourage action by local governments to retain and improve natural ecosystems, within urban areas