Penrith City Council taking a lead in building sustainable cities

Today we held the Western Sydney launch of Kreative Koalas at Penrith City Council  Library

Community Champions and students and teachers from Penrith schools participating on Kreative Koalas-Design a Bright Future Challenge 

One of the highlights of the program is supporting the students on their journey with Community Champions and helping the schools build collaborative partnerships between government, business and the community.

At each of our launch events local Community Champions share with the schools exciting environmental stewardship projects happening in their backyards that aim to make local communities places where people can work, live and play

Today I was memorized by the presentation by Andrew Hewson and Justine Vella from the Sustainability Team at Penrith Council. Andrew and Justine shared with the teachers and students how Penrith City Council is helping Australia meet its commitment to United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 11

Check our some of this fabulous stuff the sustainability team and Penrith City Council are doing

  1. Penrith City Council are one of first councils to add an EV Vehicle to their fleet.  

The latest addition to Council’s vehicle fleet is a 100% electric Renault Kangoo, which will not create any greenhouse gas emissions while being driven, and will be recharged using renewable energy.

The delivery-style ‘eco car’ has been purchased to trial its suitability and real world running costs, and if it proves successful we can look at purchasing more in future when our cars need replacement. The Kangoo will be used by staff to transport items around the city and will be on display at various community events so local residents can learn more about this technology and see the car for themselves.

2. Commitment to clean energy technology

Council has installed 37 solar panel systems on their buildings, with a total energy generating capacity of 346kW (a typical home system is about 3-5kW). In the 2017-18 financial year they achieved a 62% increase in the amount of solar power generated and used across their facilities compared to the previous year, and they are always looking for more opportunities to go solar. They also purchase 10% greenpower for all Council sites.

3. Installation of a Possum and Fauna Crossing Bridge

Check out the structure here

4. Collaboration with Lendlease to co-design  the Jordan Springs Community Hub

“Every part of the Hub has been designed with the community in mind, and it has the highest standard of accessibility. It is the first public building in NSW to be constructed from cross-laminated timber, a lightweight and strong engineered wood product, and also includes a sustainable geothermal heating and cooling system.

6. Cooling the City

As part of council’s Cooling the City strategy Living Places is an exciting new project that will see around 400 beautiful street trees planted on nature strips across the southern section of St Marys. The tree planting project will improve the look of these streets, making them nicer places to live, walk and ride. Importantly trees also provide much needed shade and cooling in summer, creating a cooler place to live.

And this fabulous upgrade ( with before and after photos) that involved mass plantings of native vegetation and installation of a bike track

7. Love this concept -The Resilience Project – 

Council has established a Resilience Committee to play a key role in shaping and future-proofing Penrith City. The Committee will look at how to respond to risks, and contribute to long-term environmental, social and economic outcomes. It will also advise Council on opportunities to improve the resilience of Penrith and how to integrate resilience with our decision making.

Resilience is a relatively new concept that is receiving attention from cities and communities across the world as they face growing challenges and pressures from increasing urbanisation and globalisation. At the same time cities are also facing significant impacts from climate change. Addressing the risks, opportunities and challenges as these issues interact requires a shift in our thinking and planning.

Urban resilience is defined as the capacity of individuals, communities, institutions, businesses and systems within a city to survive, adapt, and grow no matter what kinds of chronic stresses and acute shocks they experience. Taking early action to manage challenges and reduce impacts to individuals, the environment and the economy can offer access to multiple benefits including cost savings, cost avoidance and other benefits across systems and communities.

A comprehensive project is currently underway for Metropolitan Sydney to identify the key shocks and stresses the City is likely to face into the future and to start to develop a strategy for how we deal with these in coming years. Most, if not all, of the shocks and stresses that have been identified as part of the Resilient Sydney project are relevant to Penrith and should be considered in our long-term planning for the City, and our decision-making processes. Source 

You can watch Andrew and Justine’s presentation below

Speaking of imaging a great future. Students from Penrith schools participating in Kreative Koalas have envisioned their 2040


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