How to Build a Better World is The Fifth Estate's podcast about creating a future all humans can be proud of. Tina Perinotto, editor of Australia’s premium publication for sustainable property and business, talks to the people on the frontline with the power to address the big ecological, social and financial problems of our time.
Ainsley Simpson: The unexpected optimism of green infrastructure
In our latest podcast, our managing editor, Tina Perinotto, spoke with Ainsley Simpson all about the surprising world of green infrastructure.
Ainsley Simpson is the chief executive officer of the Infrastructure Sustainability Council (ISC), a member-based peak body that's purpose-driven, ensuring all infrastructure delivers social, cultural, environmental and economic benefits.
At The Fifth Estate we’ve long been fascinated by the infrastructure sector – with some conflicting tensions playing a part.
On the one hand is the enormous amount of carbon that’s consumed in traditional big projects, such as roads and bridges. On the other is the massive savings in carbon that can be made by bringing a sustainability lens to the job.
But as Ainsley explains so beautifully in this insightful podcast, there’s so much more to infrastructure and much of it can enable our bright new better world.
Dan Hill: why we need to flip the thinking, and his new role at Melbourne University’s School of Design
In our latest podcast, our managing editor, Tina Perinotto, spoke with Dan Hill all about his new role at Melbourne University’s School of Design.
Dan Hill’s got a bit of a fan club in Australia. So there was no surprise that the announcement in April that he was to be director was well received. (No pressure, Dan.)
It’s a job that’s lured him back to Oz after more than 10 years away, during which his City of Sound blog kept tabs on his projects in Scandinavia, the UK and Italy.
Most recently he worked at Stockholm University in Sweden, where he held the position of Director of Strategic Design for the Swedish Government’s innovation and research agency, Vinnova.
There was also the “influential” book Dark Matter & Trojan Horses: A Strategic Design Vocabulary, as the university noted in its announcement of the appointment.
Dean of the school, professor Julie Willis told me at his appointment that what was particularly interesting was Dan’s blend of skills from urban infrastructure to technology that she thinks students would crucially need by the time they graduated.
Dr Tyson Yunkaporta: How Indigenous thinking can save the world
On our latest podcast, our managing editor, Tina Perinotto, spoke with Dr Tyson Yunkaporta about his recent book, Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World.
The Apalech clan member is a deep and wide thinker, an academic and poet who dabbles in traditional wood carving. He’s innovative, provocative, and pulls no punches when he’s talking about the impact of white settlers on this land and on Australia’s Indigenous People.
As a senior research fellow at Deakin University, he has been responsible for establishing the Indigenous Knowledge Systems Lab – creating a space where Indigenous practitioners can come together and apply Indigenous thinking to different contexts around the world.
“This economic system came from a 10,000 year old experiment of separating from the mother. They invented the word for nature in order to separate themselves: separate the human from nature – separate from the mother. Once you do that, you are then free to displace your matriarchs, you are then free to displace the centre of your community – which is the mother and the child – and all relationships in human communities.”
Beck Dawson: What’s keeping Sydney’s chief resilience officer up at night
On our latest podcast, our managing editor, Tina Perinotto, spoke with Beck Dawson, who has been Sydney’s chief resilience officer since 2015.
Her role basically involves worrying about the potential disasters that might befall Australia’s biggest city, and how to build resilience in the community… just in case.
It’s a big job. In Beck’s case it involves 33 councils in Sydney as well as state government, business and the community, and plenty of links to resilience experts in other cities around the world.
Back when she first started her role, people didn’t always understand what she meant by “resilience”.
After three years of fires and floods, not to mention the drought that preceded the fires, they sure do.
As for what’s keeping her up at night? Quite a lot. But namely Aussie’s “She’ll be right” attitude.
This is How to Build a Better World, brought to you by The Fifth Estate.
Dr Paul Bannister: What’s next for energy efficient office buildings
On our latest podcast, our managing editor, Tina Perinotto, spoke with energy efficiency expert Dr Paul Bannister.
Last year, the physicist was awarded the James Harrison Medal, which is the highest honour bestowed by AIRAH, Australia’s body for the HVAC industry.
Few people know more about energy efficient buildings than Dr Paul Bannister, who was one of the original architects behind the National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS).
Paul headed up his company Exergy for more than 15 years before it was absorbed into Energy Action. He is now director of innovation at Australian energy management consultancy DeltaQ.
He’s now working on the next update to Section J, the sustainability component of the National Construction Code.
Rob Adams: Challenging the status quo on urban planning
On our latest podcast, our managing editor, Tina Perinotto, spoke with urban planner Rob Adams.
Rob became Australia’s urban planning poster child when he launched an audacious goal to transform Melbourne’s CBD as director of planning at the City of Melbourne.
In those days, the city was suffering from a prolonged recession. The city streets were abandoned, especially at night and on the weekends. People had not yet discovered that CBDs could be vibrant and active.
So Rob started a program was called Postcode three thousand.
Part of the transformation involved refurbishing office buildings into apartments.
As a result, the city’s population blossomed. Suddenly, living in the CBD was cool, not a sad, windy endurance test when the city workers departed for their homes.
But that’s not all Rob is well known for. He’s recently launched a plan about concentrating development along the city’s transport routes, designed to leave the rest of suburban sites alone. This helps to “calm” residents so that they aren’t so fearful of development.