The recent bushfires extended from September last year until the end of March. We were therefore under attack for half a year. It exposed many weaknesses in our built environment and the stewardship of our natural resources. We were found exposed because of directionless development and the vulnerability of our built assets to both wildfires and bushfires.
Our continued practice of delivering buildings and infrastructure which are not suited to and resistant to our harsh environmental conditions is or could be deemed to be ‘not fit for purpose’.
For many years, our politicians and other leaders have focussed on seeing the physical effects of building ‘something’. Progress was evidenced by city skylines covered with cranes and half-built skyscrapers. On the urban fringe, progress was evidenced by covering vast tracts of land with the archetypal Australian built houses extending suburbia as far as the eye could see. But what if neither of these building forms are ‘fit for purpose’ or suitable for our harsh environment?