This report explores the potential solutions for transitioning existing precincts to be lower carbon through collaboration on engineering solutions, financial models and governance approaches. The report focuses on Sydney’s Broadway Precinct, a precinct which includes two major educational campuses with strong sustainability drivers and a new residential / retail development that includes a district heating and cooling plant. This report provides a summary of the first stage of research, which was conducted in 2015-2016. The long-term goal of this research is to enable lowcarbon transitions through considering emerging technical, governance, financial and policy frameworks in order to enable the development of a future urban transition toolkit which will facilitate precinct stakeholders to successfully regenerate and transform existing.
The research plan envisages two phases: Phase 1 of the research is focused on setting the context and baselines for the research and how the Broadway precinct could transition into a Living Laboratory; subsequent phases may be focused on options and scenarios development and documentation of transition pathways. This Phase 1 report has uncovered a number of significant challenges which will form the basis of any further research. Phase 1 was split into two key research streams; one stage was around undertaking global best practice review of technologies, governance and financial models used on transitioning precincts and the second stage was around developing a detailed model for Broadway. The detailed model encountered several challenges which included obtaining access to data, ensuring data quality and changes in stakeholders during the research period. In order to complete the data model, more assumptions than initially planned were considered which affected the reliability of the results in an unforeseen way. However, the research team believe that, given the use of mixed methods of research the recommendations and next steps are sound and appropriate.