Our towns, cities and the built environment industries that create, fund, manage and maintain them will need to respond to a number of drivers of change over the next generation and in doing so, reconcile a series of challenges. In part, the drivers of change will be ongoing: a continuation of issues that cities struggle to mediate, for example the challenges of housing affordability and social inclusion. However these are increasingly shaped and reinforced by our built environments demanding more innovative responses to sustainability and climate change agendas. Movement towards more ‘carbon constrained’ economies presents both challenges and opportunities to our cities and our built environment (BE) industries, and ensuring that Australia takes a lead in understanding, facilitating and delivering sustainable urban change will be central to continued global competitiveness. Many of the changes likely to be seen will be incremental, but transformation in a number of areas will be required. Given the timescales involved in financing, designing and delivering the built environment, decisions made over the coming years will be fundamental in establishing frameworks for next generation best practice.