The urban landscape of Australia is like that of any globalized metropolis in the world – i.e. struggling to achieve that elusive carbon-neutral and eco-friendly mark. Although the country does have some great countermeasures against the ever-rising industrialism, it’s still far from being the perfect sustainable paradise that many are striving to be.
However, that is not for lack of incentive or precedents. After all, Brisbane is shaping up to be quite the environmentally friendly existing development. With its high scores in biodiversity and Green Heart Program, the city council is aiming to go fully carbon neutral by 2026. Then there’s Townsville, where despite the high biodiversity, 50% of ecosystems are at risk. To provide people with more incentives, the city awards Environmental Excellence & Sustainability Awards for any ‘green’ initiatives taken by residents and developers.
However, Australia still has a long way to go, and can certainly learn from the example of India’s Amaravati – a newly planned sustainable city of the best kind!
While the population of India is ever on the rise – currently an approximate 1.4 billion – the country is now taking measures to retain their resources and maintain a relatively carbon neutral urban fabric. That is how the city of Amaravati was conceptualized.
This potential utopia is set to be developed in the south-east of India, along a farmland spanning 217 kilometers along the Krishna River, and is going to be the new capital of Andhra-Pradesh along with one of the eco-friendliest cities in the world.
Foster + Partners – the iconic British architectural firm – is taking the lead on this project. They’ve proposed a ‘green island’ a la Central Park in NYC in the middle of the city that will stave off the urban-heat-island effect produced by the massive development. This ‘park’ would be around 5.5 kilometer in length, and 1 kilometer in depth.
Other than that, there would be bicycling routes within the city’s infrastructure, along with accommodation for electric vehicles and water taxis. The city’s irrigation network will utilize recycled water, and pedestrian friendly streets will have adequate amount of shade. Moreover, each building will be powered by renewable energy. Solar panels will be installed on the rooftop of each building for this purpose.
According to the Andhra Pradesh authorities, the approximate cost of creating such an urban utopia has been calculated to be $6.5 billion.
Australia could learn a lot from these sustainable practices. While upgrading and promoting existing cities is a given, investing in new developments can literally open a whole new world of options in this regard.