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Conference paper
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The Environmental City stream of the 2005 State of Australian Cities (SOAC) national conference explored and discussed a range of topics – many of which of course overlapped and also related to the other streams at this conference. The main headings were

• climate change

• critiques of the idea of sustainability and its translation into policies and procedures

• the problems of assessing and measuring both environmental change and the impacts of sustainability policies

• greenspace in cities

• urban farming, human health and obesogenic urban environments

• education and community involvement

• alternative sustainable housing and communities; sustainable ideas and policies in practice (or not) at local government level and in master-planned estates

• and finally a rather alarming paper on the threat termites pose to our cities and other infrastructure.

This paper tracks and summarises the session discussions, findings and recommendations and identifies a number of overarching themes.


The State of Australian Cities (SOAC) national conferences have been held biennially since 2003 to support interdisciplinary policy-related urban research. This paper was presented at SOAC 2 held in Brisbane from 30 November to 2 December 2005.


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