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The Uncommon Nightingale: Sustainable Housing Innovation in Australia

School of Property, Construction and Project Management, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC 3000, Australia
School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC 3000, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3469;
Received: 31 August 2018 / Revised: 26 September 2018 / Accepted: 26 September 2018 / Published: 28 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
PDF [2286 KB, uploaded 30 September 2018]


There is a need to deliver more environmentally and socially sustainable housing if we are to achieve a transition to a low carbon future. There are examples of innovative and sustainable housing emerging around the world which challenge the deeper structures of the existing housing regime. This paper uses the analysis of socio-technical dimensions of eco-housing presented by Smith to explore the development of an emerging sustainable housing model known as Nightingale Housing in Australia within a sustainability transitions framing. While there were several similarities to Smith’s analysis (e.g., establishment of guiding principles, learning by doing), there were also some key differences, including the scaling up of sustainable housing while using tried and tested design principles, materials and technologies, and creating changes to user relations, policy, and culture. Smith’s dimensions remain a good framework for understanding sustainable housing development, but they must be located within a scaling up sustainable housing agenda. What is required now is to develop a better understanding of the processes and opportunities that such housing models offer policy makers, housing researchers, and building industry stakeholders to achieve a broader scale uptake of sustainable housing both in Australia and globally. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainable housing; nightingale; apartments; affordable housing; socio-technical transitions sustainable housing; nightingale; apartments; affordable housing; socio-technical transitions

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Moore, T.; Doyon, A. The Uncommon Nightingale: Sustainable Housing Innovation in Australia. Sustainability 2018, 10, 3469.

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