Aura | Where sustainability meets conservation for a greener future

4 min
09 November 2023

Stockland has made sustainability a cornerstone of its mission, with its commitment to sustainability extending beyond corporate responsibility.

Through innovative initiatives, responsible land development, and a dedication to minimising its environmental impact, Stockland not only creates places to live, work, and play; it's shaping a brighter, greener future for generations to come.

Aura, the City of Colour, is well-known as a “green city”, and a green place for families to call home. Featuring thousands of Australian native trees and plants and an abundance of open green spaces and walking and cycling paths, residents are encouraged to lead a healthy, active lifestyle with plenty of opportunities to embrace the outdoors and get back to nature.

Aura residents have access to an abundance of open green spaces

Mark Stephens, Stockland Senior Environment and Community Development Manager said Aura is an exemplar sustainable community not just in the Stockland portfolio but Australia-wide.

“Aura really is a city set in nature. The entire city has been designed with conservation in mind to future proof this beautiful part of the Sunshine Coast for generations to come,” said Mr Stephens.

“We are really proud at Aura that we are adopting best practice construction measures to ensure that we are doing everything we can to protect the environment.”

Aura’s commitment to sustainability – Fast Facts
• Did you know that nearly one third of the Aura site has been dedicated to conservation? This is a total of 700ha which includes a 400ha conservation park containing forest trails for mountain bike riding and self guiding ecological walks. At the doorstep of the park is a 7ha remnant blackbutt forest that has been protected from development, and is now recognised as one of Aura’s great natural assets.
• These conservation areas are also known as a ‘living laboratory’ for local schools where students can learn about about the local ecology, the importance of preserving native species, such as the Wallum Sedge Frog, and how they can contribute to conservation efforts. Over 150ha within the Aura site has been dedicated to the creation of small wetlands, providing significant habitat for the Wallum Sedge Frog.
• Located beneath major roads throughout Aura are fauna and frog underpasses, providing vital habitat connection across the conservation areas.

Sustainable planning – A collaborative effort
The foundation of Aura's green identity lies in its meticulous urban planning. From the outset, the project’s vision was to create a community that is both sustainable and liveable for its residents. Developing Aura as a carefully considered masterplanned community involves collaboration among various stakeholders, including builders, landscape architects and town planners. We recently caught up with Place Design Group, one of several landscape architects on this project, to gain some insights into the landscape design involved to bring the Aura vision of a “green city” to life, which has included:

Bells Creek Arterial Road
• The planting of over 3,300 trees, including coverage along the road edge and revegetation areas off the embankments
• The planting of over 392,000 understorey plants

• The planting of over 4,000 trees in the suburb’s parks, environmental zones and streets, providing much needed shade for streets and homes
• Exotic weed removal across 100ha of conservation land, with approximately 20% considered regenerated planting
• Overall, it’s estimated that close to 750,000 understorey plants have been planted in Baringa alone

• Place Design Group estimates that in the specific precincts it has worked within the suburb of Nirimba, approximately 5,000 trees have been planted
• The number of understorey plants is currently estimated to be 1,100,000 due to the large water quality basins to the north, south and east

The planting of native vegetation within Aura has been encouraged as native plants survive better in their local environment, ultimately requiring less maintenance to keep them at their best, leading to a more sustainable approach to landscaping. Place Design Group estimates that the ratio of native vegetation it has planted throughout Aura to date is over 97%, comprising a mix of different size trees.

Aura’s abundance of green spaces filled with native plants have been designed to have positive effects on the wellbeing of community residents, providing opportunities for relaxation, recreation, and connection with nature.

With its commitment to preserving the environment and creating a sustainable and vibrant community that benefits both its residents and the surrounding ecosystem, Aura has well and truly earned its reputation as a “green city” – something the Stockland team are very proud of!