How one Australian city is bringing its community on its sustainability journey


A recent study found that climate change is already having an impact on Australia, affecting ecosystems, economic activity and human wellbeing – and it may be irreversible. So, Ben Gill says it’s great to see local authorities like the City of Fremantle moving towards One Planet Living. 

“We’re not going to become a sustainable council just by planting trees. Sustainability is also about community and having that conversation about what kind of place we want to be.” Brad Pettitt, Mayor of Fremantle

Situated near Perth, Western Australia, the City of Fremantle has a commitment to protecting the planet and making the city a better place to live for its 30,000 residents. Having identified One Planet Living as a route map to drive these activities, it started using the framework in 2014 and became the second One Planet City in 2015.

I’ve worked with Fremantle (known as Freo to the locals) over the last few years and it has been wonderful to see how committed it is to engaging both its staff and local people in the journey towards One Planet Living. From its celebration of all things sustainable with the One Planet Fest-a-con in 2015 to providing funding for local start-ups (including an urban farm using waste coffee grounds to grow gourmet mushrooms), the city is facilitating – as well as leading – change.

While climate change continues to develop on a global scale, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. But there are actions to be taken at a local level. So, as Freo releases its Annual Review for 2015/16, I wanted to share some of the ways it is working towards the targets in its One Planet Action Plan.

Freo has been a leader in sustainability for a number of years – and its commitment to becoming a One Planet City is further demonstration of this leadership. 2016 saw the continued roll out of existing programmes, and with new staff in place from January 2017 it is anticipated that new plans and strategies will be implemented. This should help drive forward the city’s sustainability agenda and ensure that they are on track to achieve their targets.

We look forward to seeing Freo’s future progress towards its One Planet Action Plan, especially the stories from local people that emerge as sustainable change continues to grow. Watch the video below to hear from some of those already benefiting.

Learn more about One Planet Living or follow us on Twitter and Facebook to hear about our partners. 


More Than A Thousand Trees | City of Fremantle from Barking Wolf on Vimeo.

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