It seems like the drastic implications of global warming are finally sinking in for the whole world, because going carbon-neutral with urban development seems to be the new trend, and taking up first spot on the trendsetter list is the Council of City of Greater Bendigo. They’re the first regional Victorian council to introduce the sustainable design policy for medium to high density developments in Bendigo.

There would be drastic changes in the general planning scheme according to this policy. It demands a seven-star rating in developments with at least three dwellings. There’s also a clear guideline for a number of sustainable design features for such projects that include the following points:

  • Reducing stormwater drainage
  • Minimizing noise pollution
  • Using chemicals with low toxicity
  • Increasing active transportation means
  • Cutback in the energy demands at peak periods

Bernie O’Sullivan, director of strategy and growth at City of Greater Bendigo is of the view that targeting medium to large development would have a greater impact without effecting the smaller, personalized developers. The policy is all-encompassing and will apply to the trifecta of residential, commercial, and industrial developments alike.

Bendigo and the council have spent 15 months working on this initiative, “…with developers to offer voluntary assessments to assist people to consider ESD in their building designs.” He further says that there’s still a lot to be done within such a venture, but the approval of this particular amendment is a great step forward. “[It] will ensure a higher standard of design is incorporated to all new medium-large scale developments in Greater Bendigo.”