Australian cities rate highly internationally on liveability and well-being indices. State and metropolitan governments are keen to promote the liveability of their cities as a means of attracting mobile capital, skilled labour and tourists. An examination of the liveability-environmental sustainability nexus, however, suggests that Australia’s capital cities have gained their high liveability ratings while having high, and now unsustainable, levels of resource consumption. There are different ways to maintain liveability, while winding back unsustainable consumption. Peter Newton explores three of these pathways for Australian cities: technological innovation, built environment innovation and behaviour change.