Sustainability needs to be re-branded and to be given meaning and relevance. This is where the work of Waterfront Auckland is really at the forefront.
Here at Waterfront Auckland we have the mandate to move beyond bold words to actually deliver sustainability and make it tangible and real for people. What gives us the edge is a Sustainable Development Framework [SDF] which clearly articulates our expectations, ownership of the land which allows us to ask specific things of our development partners and investment in a high quality public realm which demonstrates many of the features we expect on the development sites and means we attract high quality, like-minded developers.
Through the agreements with our development partners we clearly set out their obligations in terms of high-performance buildings, renewable energy and sustainable transport. And then give them a gentle nudge to encourage them to go further by considering creating a ‘living building’ and proposing other eco-precinct initiatives. The beauty of the process we use here at Waterfront Auckland is that we take the time to find the right developers and allow them the freedom to explore the ways in which they can expand on the sustainability aspirations set out in the SDF.
But of course, we also need to make sure that what we do in terms of our assets and the public realm, and responding to important issues such as climate change, is equally aspirational.
For the past few years I have been following with interest the work being done by Waterfront Auckland, and I was delighted to have the opportunity to become part of the organisation. From my time here I have seen people at all levels embrace sustainability in a way that I have not seen elsewhere – it is just ‘what we do’. For much of my professional career I have had to constantly keep making the case for why sustainability is important – so to be able to focus my energy on making it happen is a career highlight.
To read Waterfront Auckland's Sustainable Development Framework CLICK HERE.
VIV HESLOP, Sustainability Manager
Dr Viv Heslop is Sustainability Manager for Panuku Development Auckland and her work is focused on implementing the sustainable development framework. She has an extensive experience as an urban planner and sustainability strategist and tries to practice what she preaches by cycling to and from work each day from her home in Mt Albert.
This was orginially posted on www.waterfrontauckland.co.nz.