Credit Spotlight: Digital Economy
The new Green Star – Communities rating tool incorporates several new categories and credits which aim to promote and facilitate the creation of Australian communities that are vibrant, liveable, and environmentally and economically resilient.
Green Star – Communities’ ‘Economic Prosperity’ category addresses the need for communities to be economically resilient and socially sustainable via the provision of education facilities, employment and skills development opportunities, affordable housing, incentive programs for sustainable living, digital infrastructure and reduced peak electricity demand.
The ‘Digital Economy’ (Econ-7) credit, within the category, rewards community and precinct level developments that provide digital infrastructure such as high speed internet access and wireless connectivity.
Access to reliable high speed internet has not only become an expectation of the community, it will also contribute to Australia’s economic and environmental prosperity into the future. Access Economics has found that if 10 per cent of Australia’s population worked from home half of the time, the economic savings to the Australian economy could be in the order of $1.2 billion. These savings include time and fuel savings, along with the avoidance of carbon emissions and congestion costs.
The Econ-7 ‘Digital Economy’ credit encourages and rewards developers who deliver digital infrastructure that can support work-from-home policies, online enterprise and local commerce. As a minimum standard, a project must provide infrastructure that can support 100mbps download, and 20mbps upload connection speeds.
“It is estimated that close to 85 per cent of Australia’s population will live in our cities by 2030. The ‘Digital Economy’ credit addresses the strain that such vast numbers of people will place on transport infrastructure and resource consumption, and supports job creation at a local level by encouraging the ‘decentralisation’ of commercial activity, and increasing opportunities for economic participation outside the bounds of Australia’s traditional central business districts,” says GBCA’s Executive Director – Market Development & Sustainable Communities, Adam Beck.
“I am excited by the opportunities that digitally connected communities will have to encourage more sustainable lifestyles among community members via the emerging field of ‘urban informatics’ – real time sustainability data that can be accessed via fixed and mobile devices,” explains Beck.
The Green Building Council of Australia is a member of the Australian Government’s Telework Advisory Panel and is a partner of the inaugural Telework Week, which will be held from 12-16 November 2012 to highlight the benefits of working from home.
Speaking at the launch of Telework Week, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, said: “An increase in telework can lead to benefits across the economy and community, from big business through to individual workers and families as well as the environment. These benefits include cost-savings and productivity gains, increased workforce flexibility, expanded supply of skilled labour, reduced impact on the environment, reduced stress from traffic congestion and increased time available to spend with family and the community.”
The ‘Digital Economy’ credit forms an important part of the ‘Economic Prosperity’ category and Green Star – Communities tool, and will play an integral role in achieving the tool’s objective to create communities that are sustainable, liveable and prosperous. GBCA’s Green Star team looks forward to seeing the innovative ways in which Green Star – Communities PILOT projects will address the credit.
In This Section
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- Creating sustainable food for the soulWed 15 May 2013
- Australia's challenge: liveable, competitive, productive AND sustainableWed 17 Apr 2013
- Building a sustainable legacy for our schoolsThu 28 Mar 2013
- Green Star submission templates and more launched at Green Cities 2013Mon 18 Mar 2013
- The GBCA to collaborate with Austrade and other GBCs on trade mission to the Middle EastMon 18 Mar 2013
- Green Cities 2013: Embracing our challenges with optimismMon 18 Mar 2013
- Resilience - the challenge for greener citiesMon 18 Mar 2013
- Beta testing puts Green Star - Performance into practiceWed 27 Feb 2013
- Visionary green leadership just part of the design at Bowden Urban VillageWed 13 Feb 2013