Melbourne has been recognised for its sustainable building initiatives.

By Cameron Jewell

5 September 2013 — The City of Melbourne has won an international award for its suite of sustainable building initiatives, including its leading 1200 Buildings program, CitySwitch, Smart Blocks and Sustainable Melbourne Fund’s EUA finance program.

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle was presented with the C40 and Siemens Climate Leadership Award for Energy Efficient Built Environment at a ceremony in London overnight, beating contenders Berlin and New York.

Judges commented that the EUA mechanism was a big factor in the decision to award Melbourne, a spokesperson from City of Melbourne said.

See our article $7 m EUA will galvanise the market

“Melbourne, the most liveable city in the world, has now been recognised as having some of the smartest buildings in the world,” Mr Doyle said.

“We know that sustainability and liveability are inexorably linked. For us to maintain a high standard of living we need to set the highest standards in sustainability.

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle with the award in London.

“Every piece of research tells me that a sustainable city with high quality of life will attract the best and brightest and that’s what drives innovation and economic growth.

“We know that our retrofitting program 1200 Buildings is expected to generate economic uplift of $2 billion and create 8000 jobs. Research suggests that the gross local product of the City of Melbourne increased from $58 billion in 2008 to $68 billion in 2012. Employment has received a major boost with 50,000 additional jobs created over the same period. The construction and building industries, professional services and downstream real estate services have experienced the largest jobs growth,” he said.

Mr Doyle said Melbourne was also showing leadership with new funding models, particularly environmental upgrade agreements.

“Our unique environmental upgrade finance mechanism, using council rates to provide the security for the loan, has now been replicated in other municipalities in Australia,” he said.

“If you need finance to enable a retrofit, we can facilitate it through the Sustainable Melbourne Fund.”

In total, 10 cities were recognised in 10 categories encompassing different aspects of climate action.

  • Bogota (Urban Transportation)
  • Copenhagen (Carbon Measurement & Planning)
  • Melbourne (Energy Efficient Built Environment)
  • Mexico City (Air Quality)
  • Munich (Green Energy)
  • New York City (Adaptation & Resilience)
  • Rio de Janeiro (Sustainable Communities)
  • San Francisco (Waste Management)
  • Singapore (Intelligent City Infrastructure)
  • Tokyo (Finance & Economic Development)

“The C40 and Siemens City Climate Leadership Awards are dedicated to the idea that cities – by refusing to wait for action from national governments and international bodies – can lead the way in addressing the risks posed by climate change,” said C40 chair and Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg.

“Using innovative local approaches, cities are having an impact on climate change globally. I congratulate the ten award recipients and look forward to seeing their projects progress and then spread across the C40 network and beyond.”