Developing sustainable ‘liveable’ buildings, cities and communities for a sub-tropical context : residents’ perspectives

Miller, Evonne, Buys, Laurie, & Kennedy, Rosemary J. (2013) Developing sustainable ‘liveable’ buildings, cities and communities for a sub-tropical context : residents’ perspectives. In Hauser, G., Lutzkendorf, T., & Ebig, N. (Eds.) Implementing Sustainability – Barriers and Chances, Fraunhofer IRB Verlag, Munich, Germany, pp. 276-283.


A key challenge for the 21st Century is to make our cities more liveable and foster economically sustainable, environmentally responsible, and socially inclusive communities. Design thinking, particularly a human-centred approach, offers a way to tackle this challenge. Findings from two recent Australian research projects highlight how facilitating sustainable, liveable communities in a humid sub-tropical environment requires an in-depth understanding of people’s perspectives, experiences and practices. Project 1 (‘Research House’) documents the reflections of a family who lived in a ‘test’ sustainable house for two years, outlining their experience and evaluations of universal design and sustainable technologies. The study family was very impressed with the natural lighting, natural ventilation, spaciousness and ease of access, which contributed significantly to their comfort and the liveability of their home. Project 2 (‘Inner-Urban High Density Living’) explored Brisbane residents’ opinions about high-density living, through a survey (n=636), interviews (n=24), site observations (over 300 hours) and environmental monitoring, assessing opinions on the liveability of their individual dwelling, the multi-unit host building and the surrounding neighbourhood. Nine areas, categorised into three general domains, were identified as essential for enhancing high density liveability. In terms of the dwelling, thermal comfort/ventilation, natural light, noise mitigation were important; shared space, good neighbour protocols, and support for environmentally sustainable behaviour were desired in the building/complex; and accessible/sustainable transport, amenities and services, sense of community were considered important in the surrounding neighbourhood. Combined, these findings emphasise the importance and complexity associated with designing liveable building, cities and communities, illustrating how adopting a design thinking, human-centred approach will help create sustainable communities that will meet the needs of current and future generations.

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ID Code: 66128
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: sustainable design, experience of higher density, subtropical Australia, liveability
ISBN: 9783816789826
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > DESIGN PRACTICE AND MANAGEMENT (120300) > Design Innovation (120302)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Design
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Current > Institutes > Institute for Future Environments
Copyright Owner: Copyright by Fraunhofer IRB Verlag 2013
Copyright Statement: All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, restored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any mean, without prior written permission from the publisher and the author.
Deposited On: 14 Jan 2014 22:45
Last Modified: 06 May 2014 06:52

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