Brisbane: A Green City Going For Gold

7th February 2023

Excitement is building in Brisbane as the city embarks on several large infrastructure development programmes in preparation for hosting the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games. With an envelope of $14 billion benchmarked for city-transforming projects, Brisbane and its iconic Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC) are on track to go for gold while keeping things green.

Words Marc de Faoite

With more than 2,180 parks and 44,000 hectares of natural habitat playing home to over 3,300 species of wildlife, Brisbane boasts a wealth of biodiversity. These green assets bolster the image of a city that increasingly positions itself as an environmental hub. 

Green & laidback

With more Green Star-rated buildings than any Australian city, Brisbane is one of the world’s greenest cities, with a strong focus on sustainability and the environment. The city council is the largest carbon neutral government organization in Australia and Brisbane is one of Australia’s top three clean-air cities. The local economy is bolstered by activity and regional strengths in the fields of science, health, life sciences, technology, energy, agriculture, mining, and sustainability.

Brisbane is home to four universities, as well as the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, a leading Australian medical research facility. The city is a major hub of science and technology, with a global reputation for innovation, exemplified by the Translational Research Institute, a state-of-the-art facility for the discovery, production, clinical testing, and manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals and treatments.

As Australia’s third most populous city, and capital city of the state of Queensland, Brisbane is known for its laidback attitude and friendly people. Excellent international flight connections to and from Europe, North America, and the Asia Pacific region make Brisbane easily accessible. Brisbane’s public transport is assured by an extensive interwoven transit network that includes ferries, buses, metro, as well as trains connecting to the key tourist regions surrounding the city.

The focus of Brisbane’s open-air lifestyle is the sinuous Brisbane River, which winds its languid way through the city to the coast. Many of Brisbane’s hotel and venue facilities are located close to the water, with over 21,000 accommodation rooms, ranging from budget to 5-star. The same area also houses five different riverside dining precincts, all easily accessible on foot. 

Awarded convention centre

The Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC) is situated in the heart of the South Bank area. It was here that the 2014 G20 summit – to name just one among many prestigious events – was held. Voted multiple times among the top three global convention centres, the BCEC is a prime example of the Brisbane’s world-class infrastructure, holding the record as Australia’s most consistently awarded convention centre. 26 international conferences are heading to BCEC in 2023, including the World Mining Congress (WMC), the International Symposium on Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism & Brain (PET), the 12th IAS Conference on HIV Science, and the Society for Freshwater Science Annual Meeting.

Conference organizers can receive a range of services to support the delegate experience. These include discounted tickets for the AirTrain – which connects the airport directly to the city centre – airport welcome signage, free ferries and bus loops, free city tours, and discounts at eateries and bars in the South Bank Convention Precinct. Additionally, Brisbane City Council can arrange for organizers to have access to local universities, a wide-ranging network of industry and government leaders, and an Asia-Pacific city network. 

Brisbane offers a holistic cost of hosting in Australia, and financial support from all three levels of government for events of over 400 delegates. The city also has legacy options such as activating delegate networking hubs, environmental legacy options, and public awareness activations.

Brisbane is a city that is going places, with excellent infrastructure offering an unparalleled delegate experience for both business and leisure. In addition to year-round international and local festivals, the city also hosts major sporting, and cultural events. Surrounded by rainforest, islands, and with easy access to unique wildlife and indigenous culture, Brisbane gives event organizers and delegates a truly unique Australian experience.

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