As the Sunshine Coast mayor seeks a meeting with the federal environment minister over a controversial development plan, exclusive images have revealed the transformation of the Sunshine Coast over the past decade. Now an urban planning expert, developers, the council and an environmental group weigh in on the complexity of providing housing to house more than 158,000 people expected to move to the Sunshine Coast by 2041.
UQ|UP’s Dorina Pojani, in an interview with Letea Cavander of the the Sunshine Coast Daily, said that it was important to remember that any development would have an environmental impact. She said it was important to consider what developers were “giving back” as a pay-off. “Giving back can sometimes be in the form of fees or can be physical in terms of improving the environment,” Dr Pojani said. She said, generally speaking, new developments should not go on “ecologically special areas”, where flooding occurred, or too close to the bush, which presented a fire risk. The professor also said it was important to consider subtropical design principles, which included using fewer glass facades, light colours, relying on solar power “as much as possible” and designing homes with cross ventilation in mind. She said having homes close together was not an issue. “In the Mediterranean, where I’m from, the houses are all bunched up together and part of the reason is that is how you create shade,” Dr Pojani said. She added, however, trees in new developments were essential.
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