Green Cities 2013

By Tina Perinotto

13 March 2014 — The green building industry’s leading conference event for the year, Green Cities, is gearing up to start next Tuesday in Melbourne at The Grand Hyatt.

It’s the peak event for the industry’s peak body and though it will be scaled to hotel size this year at the Grand Hyatt, the line of speakers and topics is designed to do the provocative thing, as usual. And you have to admit the GBCA is getting better and better at that.

For instance, at one of last year’s main events, after a long debate on green buildings with some of the leading chief executives in the industry, up stood one man at the back and said, it was all very well talking about green offices, but every day all those staff got into their carbon guzzling cars and drove miles to their carbon guzzling houses somewhere in the burbs. What was the GBCA doing about the elephant in the room?

Well if you’ve been reading these pages you will have spotted the first meeting of what could be a change in that landscape. It included some of the biggest developers and maybe even one or two of the housing lobby people who usually shout down any attempt to green the nation. (Wait till they see how we can switch that little number around if they decide to come to the party for real and not just hang green shingles over the doorway and their training programs, with their builders and other tradies never to use them again).

So what’s on offer this year?

Speakers will include Kent Larson, director and principal research scientist, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab’s Changing Places group, who will present on everything from stackable, electric cars to tiny, Tardis-like apartments.

Also a highlight will be four C-suite people, this time Daryl Browning of ISPT, Michael Argyrou of Hickory Group, Dan Labbad of Lend Lease and Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz of Mirvac, and the latest on measuring the stuff that doesn’t like to be measured. Like walking with purpose, thrown back shoulders and a big smile… Hmm. Good luck with that one.

Case studies will include Pascal Mittermaier from Lend Lease EMEA, UK; Adam Beck on a home visit from EcoDistricts, Portland, in the US; Sean Chiao from Buildings + Places APAC, AECOM; and Ann-Kristin Karlsson from Swedish GBC and WSP.

See details at www.greencities.org.au