A new suburb in Melbourne, Australia is bringing a mix of traditional design and modern technologies together to create the "suburb of the future," says Gizmag contributor Stu Robarts. Yarrabend, developed by Glenvill, will be designed with green spaces, solar-powered homes with battery backup, a tech concierge and its own app.

The neighborhood will be four miles from Melbourne's central business district and will have access to public transportation and bike paths to the city.

The area includes the former site of a paper mill, which was built in 1918. Materials from the original mill are to be recycled and reused as Yarrabend is developed. Prospective residents are able to choose from a range of so-called premium homes, town homes and apartments, ranging in size from three- to six-bedrooms. It's possible for people to pick homes that are already completed, or to have one designed to their own tastes and requirements. Materials for interiors include oak floorboards, wool carpets, stone benchtops and custom-designed fixtures and fittings.

Among the area's sustainability credentials are photovoltaic panels on homes coupled with Tesla Powerwalls that can store excess energy to further improve efficiency. Homes are also fitted with energy efficient lighting and there are charging points for electric vehicles.

Read more >