Changing Climates, Changing Cities? Planning Reform and Urban Sustainability in New South Wales

Australasian Journal of Natural Resources Law and Policy, vol 16, pp. 133-156.

UNSW Law Research Paper No. 17-89

25 Pages Posted: 28 Nov 2017 Last revised: 13 Jul 2018

See all articles by Amelia Thorpe

Amelia Thorpe

University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law

Melissa Hart

University of New South Wales (UNSW)

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

In its White Paper outlining proposed reforms to the legal framework for planning, the NSW government states that the ‘key objective’ of the new planning system will be ‘to promote and enable economic growth and positive development for the benefit of the entire community, while protecting the environment and enhancing people’s way of life. It is about enabling development that is sustainable.’

This article discusses the way in which sustainability is treated in the White Paper and the draft planning legislation released with it in 2013. Drawing on the most recent findings from urban climatology, it argues that climate change is critical for sustainability in NSW, and that there is a particular need for both climate change mitigation and adaptation in urban areas. It examines the concept of ‘sustainable development’ put forward in the government’s reform proposals, followed by a consideration of its treatment in the new frameworks proposed for strategic planning and development assessment. It then examines one of the most controversial aspects of the reform proposals: the move to dramatically increase the proportion of development assessed using non-discretionary development codes. Despite the government’s rhetoric, this article finds little in the reform proposals to suggest that the new planning system will indeed foster sustainable development in NSW.

Suggested Citation

Thorpe, Amelia and Hart, Melissa, Changing Climates, Changing Cities? Planning Reform and Urban Sustainability in New South Wales (2013). Australasian Journal of Natural Resources Law and Policy, vol 16, pp. 133-156., UNSW Law Research Paper No. 17-89, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3075694

Amelia Thorpe (Contact Author)

University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law ( email )

Kensington, New South Wales 2052
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.unsw.edu.au/profile/amelia-thorpe

Melissa Hart

University of New South Wales (UNSW) ( email )

Kensington
High St
Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia

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