Is Placemaking about People or the Environment?

  •   21 October 2022

In some ways, the focus on human centric “design” is what has led us down this path towards urgent climate reform. The prioritisation of people’s needs, wants and desires – particularly those who hold spaces of privilege – has often come at the expense of the natural world and its ways and systems of ensuring its own continuation. As we sit at this pivotal point in human history, when action is needed quickly and resolutely, we need to ask ourselves what role human centric design takes, and how it should be considered against a backdrop of social sustainability, regeneration and climate justice.

Quite unsurprisingly, the gravest consequences of environmental damage promise to fall to those least equipped to handle it. From our low lying Pacific Island neighbours to our communities built on floodplains and fire paths, some of the world’s most vulnerable are facing serious threats to their lives and livelihoods. In slightly less extreme circumstances, the pandemic has also brought home the importance of community, the need to have accessibility, contact and assistance all within reach of homes and town centres. While we’ve seen many towns and communities rise to challenges thrust upon them, it is clear that this is in spite of their architecture and infrastructure, not because of it.

And so, we must re-examine the value chain, we must ask who we are designing for, and what role we have as local and global citizens in bettering the lives of those around us. We need to question the role architecture has in these conversations, and the complex interplay between restoration and regeneration and its effect on people and communities.

Join us as we put these questions and more to a panel of experts and pioneers at the 2022 Sustainability Summit. Professor Leena Thomas will moderate a panel of architects, designers and local government representatives as we explore the nexus of policy and design, of people and environment, of community and personal design outcomes. We will dive into what good value chains look like, and how these result in real-world consequences that improve society and increase biodiversity.

Session information

Creating a Social Sustainability Value Chain – Designing Places that Work Well for People and the Environment

Thursday November 10, 3:05pm-4:05pm AEDT

1 formal CPD point

You’ll learn:

  • The value chain that underpins good design
  • How to consider place making and community building in design plans
  • The importance of urban renewal and ways to achieve this
  • The role of social sustainability in design outcomes
  • What’s on the horizon for “soft sustainability” and how can this be measured?

Session speakers:

Professor Leena Thomas (Moderator)
Professor of Sustainable Architecture, UTS

Gavin Ashley
Head of Better Cities and Regions, HIP V. HYPE

Tammy Beck
Executive Director, Williams Ross Architects

Councillor HY William Chan
Councillor, City of Sydney

Dr. Esther Charlesworth
Founder, Architects Without Frontiers (AWF)

Michael Hegarty
CEO, dwp|design

Event Information

The 16th annual Sustainability Summit will be held on Thursday November 10 as a hybrid event. Join in person at the Shangri La Sydney, or online wherever you have an internet connection. Get your ticket now and be in with the chance of winning from our sustainable prize pool.

The Sustainability Summit and Awards are proudly presented by Best of the Best and Carbon Neutral Partner Autex Acoustics, and category partners Big Ass Fans, BlueScope, Bondor, Electrolux, ForestOne, GH Commercial, Holcim, Kaolin, Network Architectural, Next Timber by Timberlink, Sika, Siniat, Stormtech, Verosol and Wood Solutions.