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Archive for March, 2007

Model & Local action – Centre for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies (CERES), Brunswick

Posted in Models by Ferne Edwards on March 30th, 2007

The Centre for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies, also known as CERES, in Brunswick, is a  well-known community environment project that aims to foster awareness and action on environmental and social issues affecting urban areas. The site, established in the 1970s, has projects, displays and demonstrations on a range of environmental issues to show what can be achieved at household, community and global levels. These features include community gardens, an ‘EcoHouse’, an energy demonstration system, a permaculture and bushfood nursery and a collection of composting systems, amongst other displays. CERES is also home to many community environmental groups that all work towards achieving urban sustainability, such as the Bicycle ReCycle Shed, Moreland LETS, the Chook Group and the CERES Community Gardens Group.  Many popular events are also held at CERES such as the Kingfisher Festival and the CERES Harvest Festival.

Do you know of any other similar Centres such as CERES in other locations around Melbourne? Perhaps you’ve participated in some of their events or groups? Please feel free to post comments below.

Visions – The Future Cities project

Posted in Visions by Ferne Edwards on March 29th, 2007

The Future Cities Project is a visioning of a future Melbourne blending science with intelligent imagination "to create a series startling visions and intriguing possible future worlds."
The Future Cities project draws together environmentalists, designers, artists, writers, illustrators, design students and primary children to engage and rediscover creative potential for making a sustainable future. Previous participants include Moss Cass (Australia’s first Federal Environment Minister), Tricia Caswell (former Executive Director, Global Sustainability RMIT), Joy Murphy Wandin (Aboriginal Elder of the Wurundjeri), Peter Newton (Science Director, Built Environment, CSIRO) and Michael Krockenberger (Strategies Director, Australian Conservation Foundation). The collaborative project has now been going for four years with results including short stories, scientific opinion and articles, transcripts, illustrations, a DVD animation and large-scale sculptural installations.

Resource – The Alternative Technology Association

Posted in Research by Ferne Edwards on March 28th, 2007

Global warming calls for an absolute reduction of our greenhouse gas emissions. One way to achieve this is to reduce the total use of fossil fuels and to replace your energy sources with renewable energy sources. There are many sources of information in Melbourne with suggestions on how you can reduce your energy consumption.

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Model & Local action – Green Star buildings in Melbourne

Posted in Models, Visions by Ferne Edwards on March 27th, 2007

The Green Star Award is an Environmental Rating System for Buildings created by the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA). The GCBA is a national, not-for-profit organisation supported by both industry and governments across the country whose mission is to develop and encourage a sustainable property industry for Australia. Their Green Star Award aims to assist the building industry to transit into sustainable development by recognising and rewarding environmental leadership.

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Event – There’s been a spate of green building events lately….

Posted in Events, Models, Visions by Ferne Edwards on March 26th, 2007

There’s been a spate of green building events lately…. Following the Green Cities ’07 Australasian Conference and Expo in Sydney, 11-14 Feburary, Melbourne has hosted a Green Building Forum at Dockside and the launch of the Smart Energy Zones project by Sustainability Victoria.

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Model – A permaculture design for an energy descent future

Posted in Visions by Ferne Edwards on March 23rd, 2007

David Holmgren, co-orignator of the permaculture concept, presented his plan to achieve urban sustainability in an energy descent future at the Cities Feeding People: Grow it Where You Live Conference in Melbourne, 22 March. 

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Provocations – Accelerated drilling for water as drought continues

Posted in Policies by Ferne Edwards on March 22nd, 2007

As the drought continues, residents in Melbourne and around Australia are increasingly drilling for water in city centres. This accelerated water consumption raises issues of the lack of regulation, inequality of access and urban sustainability. Read more in an article by Taylor, J. (2007) Victorian residents start drilling for water,The World Today, 7 February.

What do you think should our priorities be for urban water use – private gardens or for drinking? Do we need greater regulations around bore water use? What quality of water do you think we should use for our gardens? How does recycled or greywater use fit into this debate? Comments welcome on

Event – The State of Australian Cities Conference 2007

Posted in Events, Research by Ferne Edwards on March 21st, 2007

The State of Australian Cities Conference 2007, 28 to 30 November, hosted by the University of South Australia, University of Adelaide and Flinders University. The purpose of the conference is to report on current research into urban and regional sustainability, to discuss the research with practitioners and policy makers, to identify research gaps and to improve understanding of the state of Australian cities. The conference will be based around the four themes; to review the condition of the contemporary Australian city, to identify research gaps, to showcase policy relevant research and to provide a space for dialogue between researchers, policy makers and practitioners.

Local action – Friends of the Earth campaigns

Posted in Events by Ferne Edwards on March 20th, 2007

Friends of the Earth Melbourne has a number of active campaigns that any member of the community is welcome to join. They include the Anti Nuclear Campaign, the Barmah Millewa – Justice for Land and People campaign, the Climate Justice Campaign, the Food Campaign and the Sustainability Working Group.

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Research & Local action – Sustainable transport in Melbourne

Posted in Research by Ferne Edwards on March 19th, 2007

There are a variety of research and advocacy groups that work to reduce car use and instill sustainable transport options based in Melbourne. Academic research groups include the Australasian Centre for the Governance and Management of Urban Transport (GAMUT) at the University of Melbourne.

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