The AGE of Suburbia

Following on from our post last Friday about the overwhelming public opinion of the Sunshine Coast Council as a forward-thinking and progressive local authority, we thought we'd share some contemporary data from Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Centre for Advanced Urbanism, about suburbs, suburbanisation and the issues that are just around the corner. Its relevant to all of us but particularly those who live in contemporary suburban Australia. Here is what the Centre for Advanced Urbanism has to say;

"We are living in a global suburban age. Modern suburban development has endured in our cultural imagination for almost a century. While statistics demonstrate that the amount of the world population in metropolitan areas is rapidly increasing, rarely is it understood that the bulk of this growth occurs in the suburbanized peripheries of cities. Domestically, over 69% of all U.S. residents live in suburban areas; internationally, many other developed countries are predominately suburban, while many developing countries are rapidly suburbanizing as well. By 2030, an estimated half a million square miles (1.2 million square kilometers) of land worldwide will become suburbia. Suburbanization is a contemporary global phenomenon".

At the heart of the Australian context is an ever increasing trend towards suburbanisation, with many major cities and regional centres now grappling with an ever creeping sprawling edge. Sprawling edges are resource intensive, economically, environmentally and socially. Interesting to note that MIT, one of the worlds leading academic institutions and a think tank for innovation, is exploring ways to improve the suburban condition through better design and planning. The key here is DESIGN & PLANNING. Producing food is high on their agenda. Here are the other things they are looking at;

"What new land tenure models are needed to ensure that suburbs will become the frontier of innovation, tapping into flexible land-use to enable experimental economies, programs, and building? What technological innovations and productive systems will be embedded within suburban development to allow for self-sufficiency, or even perhaps to become a net producer of food, water, and energy? How do new forms of suburbs in these contexts evolve over time?"

Sound like URBAN FOOD STREET anyone? EXPERIMENTAL ECONOMIES, FLEXIBLE LAND-USE, SELF-SUFFICIENCY, PRODUCERS OF FOOD and explorers of the potential for the suburban CONTEXT to EVOLVE. ‪#‎forwardthinking‬ ‪#‎progressive‬ ‪#‎evolving #URBANFOODSTREET

The week before we'd posted this.

The URBAN FOOD STREET video produced by the ABC received over 2 million views.  There were council accolades everywhere.

The URBAN FOOD STREET video produced by the ABC received over 2 million views.  There were council accolades everywhere.

In response to the world-wide phenomena of suburbanisation - a trend of people moving to coastal fringes or cities - some of the worlds most respected academic institutions globally are advocating for new understandings of suburban occupation.

Lead by local Buderim resident, the lovely Mayor Mark Jamieson and supported by the councils constituent representing councillors, Ted Hungerford, Cr Christian DicksonCr Rick Baberowski - Division 1Cr Steve RobinsonCr Tim Dwyer - Division 2Cr Peter Cox - Division 3Cr. John Connolly - Division 4Jenny McKay CouncillorCr. Jason OPrayCr Greg Rogerson, public consensus is out. The Sunshine Coast Council, is presenting a forward-thinking, community-engaged and sustainably smart image to the entire world. Could the results of the ABC video and the associated comments be a measure of what people desire in a new model of sustainable suburban occupation?  

If you are interested in the ABC video, which introduced 2 million people to the UFS concept, the link is HERE