The 2013 Future Cities Program focused on city re-vitalisation and sustainable development. Key resources were drawn from the Rocky Mountain Institute, pioneers in sustainable development in the United States and around the world and were supported by experts from Australia including Associate Professor Rod Simpson, and Bruce Taper and David Holden from Kinesis.

The selected cities included Waverley Council, Woollhara Municipal Council, City of Botany Bay, City of Liverpool, City of Parramatta and Blacktown City Council and Botany.

Delivering a Sustainable Future City - Part 2


Order of speakers:

  • Mayor Sally Betts - Waverly Municipal Council
  • Acting Director of City Assets Rudi Svarc - Blacktown City Council
  • Chief Operating Officer Farooq Portelli - City of Liverpool
  • Lord Mayor John Chedid - City of Parramatta
  • Rene Hayes - City of Botany Bay
  • Deputy Mayor Katherine O'Regan - Woollhara Municipal Council


The cornerstone of the Future Cities Collaborative is the Future Cities Program, which focuses on supporting both regional and metroplitan city leaders in Australia, with knowledge, skills and resources to build sustainable and liveable communities. The program was conceived and led by Professor Ed Blakely, Sandy Burgoyne and Harriet Whyte. The program is based on the Mayors’ Institute on City Design conducted in the United States, where like-minded leaders work with experts to develop innovative solutions for re-designing precincts so they are great places to live and work, and are also adaptive to the changes in energy and water demands — from renewing town centres or high streets, to re-designing community precincts and parks, or alternative transport possibilities. In the United States, the Mayors’ Institute has helped transform communities through design by preparing mayors to be the chief urban designers of their cities, and it is towards this aim of capacity-building that the Future Cities Program works.

The program comprises four stages:

  1. Project selection: where submitted projects are reviewed and selected to participate in the program.
  2. Mayor’s Forum: a three day workshop will be led by experts in urban re-design and sustainable development from Australia and the United States.  Workshop activities focus on the real issue that each city will bring for discussion and strategy formulation.
  3. City Exchange: after the three-day workshop, all of the selected communities will be invited to a City Exchange to the United States to examine community sustainability and livability transformations. 
  4. Project review and evaluation: following the City Exchange, city leaders will have the opportunity to apply learnings to the development of the precinct.