Media releases

New technologies shaping future cities

Published 8 December 2016

New technologies shaping cities around the world will be under the spotlight at Australia’s top building sustainability conference in Sydney next year.

Thousands of planners, urban designers and property experts are expected to attend the City of Sydney-sponsored Green Cities 2017 conference from 6 to 8 March at the new International Convention Centre in Darling Harbour.

Run by the Property Council of Australia and the Green Building Council of Australia, the theme ‘Fast Forward to the Future’ will examine the role of smart technologies in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and resource consumption.

Delegates will discuss how to plan for booming city populations, new trends in financing and how precincts can be developed to deliver more energy and water than they consume.

“Buildings are responsible for more than 80 per cent of emissions generated in our city, but through positive ideas and knowledge sharing, we’re starting to see a real reduction in emissions throughout Sydney,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.

“The City is proud to sponsor Green Cities 2017, an exchange of the great ideas that will not only help reduce global emissions but ensure that our buildings and cities become more resilient.

“The City will present a masterclass on net zero apartment planning as well as supporting a presentation from the Resilient Sydney Team on efforts to better prepare Sydney to bounce back when disaster strikes.”

Key program themes and discussions include:

  • How smart technology is being used to help build and manage the cities of the future
  • Designing cities that deliver socially and environmentally sustainable buildings and precincts while accommodating increasing urban populations
  • Global trends in financing and housing for sustainable outcomes
  • Designing, constructing and operating net zero buildings and precincts that deliver more energy or water than they consume
  • Designing urban places that support wellness and resilience.
“This event aligns closely with many of the City’s own and NSW Government targets, particularly the target of net zero emissions by 2050,” the Lord Mayor said.

According to Chief Executive Officer of the Green Building Council of Australia, Romilly Madew, rapid technological change is intersecting with international action on climate change to recalibrate Australia’s cities.

“Drones are already monitoring construction sites, driverless cars are being trialled both here and overseas, mobile phones now control building services with a few swipes, and robot receptionists are performing meet-and-greet functions at offices around the country,” Ms Madew said

“At the same time, as Australia commits to work towards a zero carbon economy, investors are demanding more transparency around their building assets and consumers are rewarding sustainability with their wallets.

“As this pace of change accelerates, we need to constantly refocus, reconnect and reconsider how we embed sustainability in all that we do. Green Cities is the perfect platform for the city’s builders – the engineers, architects, designers, developers, planners and policymakers to do this.”

For media inquiries or images, contact City of Sydney Senior Media Advisor Alex Cauchi on 0467 803 815 or

For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, contact Paul Mackay. Phone 0432 182 647 or email