The term Sustainable Development was coined by the Brundtland Commission and defined as development that "meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”
The Western Australian State Sustainability Strategy (2003) defines Sustainability as "meeting the needs of current and future generations through the integration of environmental protection, social advancement and economic prosperity."
The planning and design of cities, regions and neighbourhoods is a difficult task and involves many issues that must be addressed on different levels and in different situations. With any development, the larger the project is, the more complex the task of creating a balanced outcome.
Sustainable development requires a different way of thinking about neighbourhoods in our cities and regions and involves identifying ways to demonstrate environmental leadership, community wellbeing, design excellence and economic health to produce integrated and holistic development concepts.
This relies on a high level of interaction and co-operation at every stage of planning and design to achieve the optimum balance between community, economic and environmental sustainability. If this process is based on place-based knowledge, where the solutions draw from natural resources, intrinsic site qualities and local culture, it can be a powerful instrument in the development of sustainable places and communities.
“The issues of sustainable development should not be seen as problems to be solved but rather as opportunities for greater cooperation and limitless possibilities for more innovative and efficient ways of creating human settlements”