Future living: Building resilient communities from scratch

By Bianca Dabu 21 December 2020 | 1 minute read

Ever heard of Googong? While Googong’s grass-man might have put the community’s name on the map – by famously asking Scomo to step off his newly seeded lawn – today, Googong is a blueprint for Aussie communities.

Building resilient communities from scratch

The township of Googong has set a precedent for other localities in Australia having recently released an innovative blueprint, putting itself on the map as one of the country’s most sustainable communities and giving investors a taste of the future.

A suburb of Queanbeyan in NSW’s south-east, Googong has become one of the first communities in Australia to roll out Smart City infrastructure, putting a government grant of just over $1 million to good use.

The Googong Smart Cities Blueprint was created by developers Peet and Mirvac in collaboration with Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council and highlights the unique opportunity masterplanned communities can capture if innovative infrastructure design is considered from day one.

But Googong didn’t earn its innovative reputation overnight, having launched its journey to sustainability in 2003. And while Smart City infrastructure is not new, Googong is possibly the first development in Australia to roll out the infrastructure on such a scale, and across so many disciplines.

According to Googong project director Malcolm Leslie: “When we first imagined Googong, we had a goal of building a long-term sustainable community. Having this mindset from the outset provided a framework for the team to adopt innovative technologies and practices which provide long-term benefits to our community.”

The new and redeveloped Googong now boasts plenty of open space, as well as sports facilities and roads made entirely from recycled materials.

The town’s developers have also invested in an integrated water cycle system to deliver non-potable recycled water to homes, parks and open spaces to ensure its eventual 18,000 residents will use less water than an average Australian community of 6,500 people.

“We’ve incorporated state-of-the-art technologies such as digital-enabled waste and facilities management systems, infrastructure for electric cars, public Wi-Fi, lighting and environmental monitoring systems to reduce the town’s carbon footprint and overhead costs, and more,” Mr Leslie said.

Googong, located in NSW and only minutes away from ACT, is now home to more than 5,000 residents who have grown to become champions of change. The population is expected to reach 18,000 at completion.

The Green Building Association of Australia certified Googong’s sustainability credentials with the first 5-Star Green Star – Communities rating in the ACT/NSW region, and in 2019, Googong won the prestigious UDIA NSW Award for Best Masterplanned Communities.

According to Mayor of Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council, Cr Tim Overall: “The success of Googong is due in large part to our shared focus on sustainability from the very beginning.

“When you address long-term problems with long-term solutions, you reap the benefits for generations to come. We’re proud to work alongside Peet and Mirvac in creating the Googong Smart Cities Blueprint,” he concluded.

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Future living: Building resilient communities from scratch
Building resilient communities from scratch
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