Melbourne has been in a drought since 1997, so water conservation is a major responsibility in any city planning project -- but the green building doesn't end there. In 2002, 2020 was named as Melbourne's target year for net zero carbon emissions. Also in 2002, the United Nations hosted a conference in the Australian city, drafting and eventually adopting the "Melbourne Principles":
1. Provide a long-term vision for cities based on: sustainability; intergenerational, social, economic and political equity; and their individuality. This principle is intended, in part, to keep away the fears of globalization and Cold War uniformity that some public works can raise.
2. Achieve long-term economic and social security. This principle applies to natural human rights, specifically the basics needed for a healthy life, such as clean water, shelter, food and sanitation.
3. Recognize the intrinsic value of biodiversity and natural ecosystems, and protect and restore them.
4. Enable communities to minimize their ecological footprint.
5. Build on the characteristics of ecosystems in the development and nurturing of healthy and sustainable cities. The way natural ecosystems operate can often inspire the most long-term development options.
6. Recognize and build on the distinctive characteristics of cities, including their human and cultural values, history and natural systems. People are naturally more likely to follow through on initiatives which make sense within their culture.
7. Empower people and foster participation.
8. Expand and enable cooperative networks to work towards a common, sustainable future.
9. Promote sustainable production and consumption, through appropriate use of environmentally sound technologies and effective demand management.
10. Enable continual improvement, based on accountability, transparency and good governance.
The Melbourne Convention + Visitors Bureau (MCVB) has spearheaded a movement of eco-conscious event planning. The MCVB assists event planners by providing them with contacts for green hotels and venues, and even offers a carbon calculator so visitors planning conventions or conferences can determine the carbon footprint and offsets of their gathering.