The Green Building Council of Australia has released Green Star – a new comprehensive rating system that can assess the degree to which communities, as a whole, succeed in creating livable and sustainable environments. This is a new and dynamic way to look at the culture of sustainability. “Green building” is not only reflected in individual buildings; it is the accumulation of the buildings, the infrastructure, the urban planning and design, the amenities of the community and the lifestyles that communities live. Projects such as DIY Urbanism in the Netherlands by MVRDV and “e_co_llectiva” by Athanasios Polyzoidis & Katerina Petsiou have this kind of regard for the development of holistic community.
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A growing number of designs features holistic approaches to building design and that includes the street and the plaza and the communty associated with it. More than that, urban developments have more frequently begun to incorporate a mix of programming: residential, commercial, retail and recreational working together. The system will rate each community according to livability, economic prosperity, environment, design, governance and innovation. The administration hopes that it will encourage better and more creative designs for communities with improved planning. It provides an incentive that up until now has only been awarded to individual buildings.
The GBCA is setting a precedent that will hopefully be followed by other Green Building Councils. It promotes a healthy competition for the best in planning for healthy communities, both for the residents and the environment.