Conference paper
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Abstract: As our cities continue to grow, the majority of new dwellings are being built on greenfield sites at the urban fringe. If we are to meet the challenges of climate change, water scarcity and sustainable natural resource management, a significant change is required in the way our urban developments are planned, designed, constructed and inhabited. Achieving sustainable outcomes requires that assessment can be undertaken to assist decision-making and evaluate progress towards goals. The question arises as to how best to achieve these assessments. Various tools already exist, and interest in applying the Ecological Footprint methodology to urban developments has grown. This paper considers an Ecological Footprint analysis of Aurora, a new residential estate in Melbourne’s north. The estate is being developed by VicUrban, with the expressed aim of creating a new benchmark in sustainable urban development. The paper analyses the Aurora case study to explore the effectiveness of Ecological Footprint analysis in the context of urban development. It concludes that while limitations and challenges exist, Ecological Footprint has much to offer in the assessment of urban development projects, providing evaluation of the significance of achievements within the context of ecological limits.

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