Design for People Enduring

Places that are sustainable, enduring and resilient

photograph of the Gold Coast

Gold Coast


It is resilient to extreme weather events, natural disasters and a changing climate

  1. Is the area vulnerable to possible impacts of climate change, including sea level rise and more extreme climatic events?
  2. Is the place designed to withstand these impacts over time?

Things are built to last, where appropriate – they’re made of robust materials, are designed well and there’s a sense of quality

  1. Are buildings and elements intended to be durable over a long period of time?
  2. Are materials robust and of high quality, requiring minimal maintenance?
  3. Are the colours, patterns, materials, detailing appropriate for the intended use, or will they age or deteriorate quickly?

It is visually and aesthetically pleasing as well as practical

  1. Is the place visually interesting and attractive while also serving a purpose and function?

It is well-maintained and cared for

  1. Is there a management plan in place?
  2. Is it clear who is responsible for long-term management and upkeep, including possible upgrading and reinvestment?

It is designed to save resources like water, energy and materials, and minimises its impact on the environment

  1. Is it designed to reduce water consumption and provide for water re-use?
  2. Is it designed to reduce energy consumption, promote energy efficiency and/ or generate energy?
  3. Is it designed to reduce the consumption of materials and generation of waste, and to recycle or dispose of waste responsibly?
  4. Has it been certified through a sustainability rating system?

It considers current and future activities and can evolve and adapt over time

  1. Will surrounding development encroach on, or prevent the future upgrade of, critical infrastructure?
  2. Does it allow for continuous improvement of the built environment and flexibility in use over time?
    For example buildings and places can be adapted for different uses.
  3. Are street networks and infrastructure suitable for changes in uses and possible increases in the density of activity?
  4. Do ownership and tenure arrangements allow for future upgrading, reuse and possible redevelopment?


A Strategic Framework for Creating Liveable New Communities
A framework of goals, objectives and indicators for developing liveability in new communities (West, S & Badham, M, 2008, Growth Areas Authority Victoria).

Adapting to Climate Change – Green infrastructure
A guideline on the planning and construction of green infrastructure also looking at the role green infrastructure can play in climate change adaptation (Australian Institute of Landscape Architects, 2011).

Green Star Rating System
A comprehensive, national and voluntary environmental rating system that evaluates the environmental design and construction of buildings and communities (Green Building Council Australia).

Impacts and Adaptation Response of Infrastructure and Communities to HeatwavesThe southern Australian experience of 2009
Case studies highlighting the experiences and challenges faced by decision-makers and policy makers in Melbourne and Adelaide (Queensland University of Technology, 2010, report for the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility).

Infrastructure Sustainability Rating Tool
Australia’s only comprehensive rating system for evaluating sustainability across design, construction and operation of infrastructure (Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia).

Smart and Sustainable Homes Design Objectives
A framework of goals assisting designers, builders and homeowners to achieve sustainable housing (Queensland Department of Public Works, 2008).

Thriving Neighbourhoods Conference
A conference series exploring the relationships between the built and natural environments and human health and wellbeing.


Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council
The peak body of key organisations committed to a sustainable built environment in Australia.

Australian Conservation Foundation
A not-for-profit environmental organisation producing research and publications related to climate change.

Green Building Council Australia
A not-for-profit organisation encouraging the adoption of green building practices, notably through its Green Star and Green Star Communities rating tools.

Sustainable Built Environment National Research Centre
A research centre aiming to build an enduring, value-adding national research and development centre in sustainable infrastructure and building.

The National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility
An interdisciplinary research facility generating information on managing the risks of climate change impacts.


Last modified: May 10, 2017