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Creating Sustainable Communities for Canberra

SustainabilityEconomic, social and environmental sustainability are a key focus during the planning of all Territory developments.

Landscape and biodiversity protection

Landscape and biodiversity protection is a consideration during all phases of a development and can preserve or enhance the environment long after a community moves in.

Practical examples of this commitment have been demonstrated throughout developments in a number of ways, including:

Lower energy and emissions

A range of planning and design strategies have been implemented in our developments to help reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. When planning, streets and blocks are oriented appropriately to maximise solar access and the potential for natural energy to all homes. Rebates and incentives are also offered to encourage sustainability in the home and garden.

Protecting creeks and rivers

Our new developments implement Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) principles to minimise the impact of urban areas on local waterways. WSUD strategies which support this purpose include revegetation of degraded areas, sediment and erosion controls and the use of innovative soil and water permeation technologies such as Stratacell™ and Hydrocon™. Other examples of WSUD principles can be seen in Coombs and Campbell 5.

Old machineryReducing waste and materials

Finding new and innovative ways to reduce waste is an important focus for all developments, and with technology advancements, these approaches traverse beyond just using recycled or re-used materials.

The installation of Smart Waste and Recycling Solar Bin Systems in Wright, Campbell 5 and Kingston Foreshore is a partnership arrangement across the ACT Government. The bins use smart technology to monitor capacity and provide real-time alerts and status reports to improve the efficiency of waste pickups.

Better design

Design excellence is an important achievement for all developments and is collaboration with the assistance of builders and developers who are required to follow set design guides. A Design Review Panel also oversees the objectives and desired outcomes in each development.


Initiatives to improve connectivity in and around developments is a planning priority that directly benefits the future community. Well designed pedestrian and cycle networks connect people with schools, shops, public transport networks and other areas of significance to the community.

Living Options

Living Options: Designs for Cost Effective Living (PDF 8.8MB) has been designed to inform industry and the community of possible housing typologies suitable for smaller blocks. The options in this guide help to reduce up front design costs for builders and purchasers by demonstrating designs that are both functional and attractive, maximise energy efficiency and can lead to reduced ongoing living costs. 

Sustainability reporting

Each year, our sustainability initiatives are reported in the Annual Report. Indicators have been selected to cover environmental, social and economic sustainability throughout the development process and are grouped by theme and separated by different phases of the process. View our Annual Reports.

Green Star – Communities

greenstarThe Territory sponsors the Green Star – Communities rating tool developed by the Green Building Council of Australia.

Green Star – Communities is a voluntary scheme which provides best practice benchmarks and third party verification of the sustainability developments. This tool is currently being piloted in Ginninderry


The Urban Development Institute of Australia's (UDIA)  EnviroDevelopment accreditation program recognises the most sustainable Australian developments across different categories. Wright and Coombs received accreditation in the categories of energy, waste, community and ecosystems and were recognised for their range of sustainability initiatives including Solar Envelope Guidelines, 7 star rated multi-unit developments and methods for green waste recycling.