Building the sustainable city of the future with Brendan Condon on the Sustainable Jungle Podcast #sustainablejungle

Podcast #38 · Brendan Condon · Building The Sustainable City Of The Future

“All the solutions are coming through so rapidly that it’s fundamentally an optimistic story. If we embrace these new platforms… we can build a safer, more sustainable, more economic, global society that meets human needs far better and we can live within the carrying capacity of our planet…”

Brendan Condon

Brendan Condon is a respected Melbourne-based authority in the field of environmental restoration, among many other things. He has founded numerous sustainability oriented companies including Australian Ecosystems, Biofilta, Cirrus Fine Coffee and Live at the Cape. Brendan is a passionate eco-warrior with immense empathy for humans and the natural world and is actively building his vision of the sustainable city of the future – with a strong focus on urban gardens and redirecting valuable resources that are currently being treated as waste streams

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We decided to record this episode outside in Brendan’s very own pop up urban garden in the car park of his inner city offices. For those listeners out there who haven’t had exposure to your typical inner city Australian birdlife, apologies in advance, they do settle down after a while… and this conversation is well worth persevering for. We cover the following:

  • Brendan’s background, growing up in Australia and his early (and continued) fascination with nature (~01:45)
  • The importance of green spaces to humans’ mental health (~03:50)
  • Brendan’s journey from environmental activism to running sustainability businesses that solve real problems; Ghandian Principles of Social Change (~04:30)
  • summary of Brendan’s key sustainability focused businesses and the role each of them serves (~07:40)
  • How cities can become food producing powerhouses and how Brendan and his team’s pop up garden in their car park is using these food producing principles to illustrate this opportunity (~11:00)
  • How the Biofilta wicking beds work (~14:00)
  • An overview of Live at the Cape, the sustainable housing development and thoughts on how sustainable innovation is changing the game (~15:30)
  • How Live and the Cape’s housing designs are open source – anyone can use them (~19:00)
  • day in the life at Live at the Cape (~21:10)
  • Why Brendan is so driven to make positive change (~25:20)
  • Brendan’s vision for the Sustainable City of the Future including inspiring innovations that are available today (~27:30)
  • Thoughts on decentralization and “taking power back” (~33:30)
  • The benefits of urban gardening on communities from a nutrition perspective (~35:00)
  • How could urban gardens work in practice to feed communities and bring people together (~36:40)
  • More on Biofilta and their product range (~38:50)
  • Cirrus Fine Coffee – what it is and why it’s sustainable & zero waste (~39:45)
  • Thoughts on eliminating waste in the first place and living zero waste (~42:00)
  • Innovations Brendan is especially excited about and Project Drawdown (~49:20)
  • Brendan’s advice for mission based start-ups (~53:15)
  • Brendan’s message to the world (~55:10)

“Sustainability and conventional practice have now passed each other like ships in the night and there’s a big performance gap opening up, not only on carbon emissions but on economics… it really is the way of the future.”

Brendan Condon

Notable Links

As discussed:

Australian Ecosystems

Live at the Cape


Cirrus Fine Coffee

Brendan Condon:

Building the sustainable city of the future with Brendan Condon on the Sustainable Jungle Podcast #sustainablejungle

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