Preamble to Special Issue
About 15 years ago the City of Melbourne came up with a scheme that would transform completely the face and the fortunes of the city. At the time the city, like thousands of others around the globe, emptied at night as tens of thousands of commuters decamped in their cars for the suburbs. The Council's Postcode 3000 scheme, launched in 1992, outlined plans to entice residential development back into the city, through financial and technical incentives, technical advice, a review of technical requirements, research and statistical data, promotional events and publicity.It is hard now to believe -walking through the bustling streets lined with converted apartments and thriving businesses -that anyone was ever sceptical about the potential for city living Melbourne-style. The success of Postcode 3000 far exceeded even the most ambitious targets and the City of Melbourne became one of the fastest growing municipalities in the land.With its visionary new Council House 2 (CH2) building , the City of Melbourne is once again planning a lifestyle revolution. This time the subject is sustainability and the target is the construction industry. Using the CH2 office building as a living , breathing example, the Council intends to demonstrate the potential for sustainable technologies to transform the way we approach the design, construction and indeed entire philosophy of our built environment. Just as Postcode 3000 reinvented the city, the City of Melbourne wants to see the CH2 example copied , improved upon and enthusiastically taken up throughout Melbourne and far, far beyond.As before, there are a great many sceptics. The City's approach to this has been to patiently press ahead with construction of its best source of proof -CH2 itself -while actively and energetically encouraging lively debate -from the greatest enthusiasts to the harshest critics alike.