Archive for October, 2007

Resource – Presentations now available from the Renewable Energy Conference, Bendigo

Posted in Events, Models, Movements, Research by Ferne Edwards on October 31st, 2007

Following the wonderful, recent Renewable Energy Conference in Bendigo, many of the presentations from the conference have now been posted on to the website. Go to, look up “Speakers” and the presentations are attached under each presenters name. Be aware that some of these presentations are rather large and may take a few minutes to download.

Renewable Energy and Regional Australia

Update & Resource – the Urban 45 Summit – available for download

Posted in Events, Models, Policies, Research, Visions by Ferne Edwards on October 30th, 2007

At a recent summit in Melbourne, the Urban 45 put forward 45 challenging ideas to address 15 urban issues in Australia’s cities. The Urban 45, its summit and the resulting manifesto were organised by a coordinating committee of academics – from RMIT University in Melbourne and the University of Tasmania in Hobart.

The Urban 45 manifesto is available for download here

Three of the key ideas to come out of the Urban 45 initiative are:

1. Leadership
Urban 45 is looking for real leadership at the Commonwealth government level with a view to shaping sustainable cities. This should be recognised with a presence at Cabinet level and the creation of a strategic urban policy making capacity. This capacity is seriously deficient in Australia, where we lag behind other countries such as the USA and the UK.

2. Cooperation
Urban 45 urges cooperation between the three tiers of government – Local, State and Federal – with an emphasis on working together to achieve real results. The problems of housing affordability stress, traffic congestion and other symptoms of dysfunctional urban structures can only be effectively tackled if the three tiers of government work together.

3. Renewal and investment
Australias urban infrastructure has been neglected and requires renewal – from public transport to the supply of rental housing and age care services – investment is urgently required.

The Urban 45 consists of 15 academics who are leaders in their fields of expertise. Each has written on a thematic area of city life to which three high-impact policy initiatives are attached (hence the 45 of the title). The aim of this document (see is to bring the academy and its analysts into closer contact with policy makers, journalists and practitioners in the public sector and industry. The key objective is to generate consensus and a cumulative weight to evidence-based ideas designed to jump-start policy intervention into the areas of our daily lives and livelihoods.

Update – Melbourne 2030 Audit

Posted in Models, Policies, Research, Visions by Ferne Edwards on October 29th, 2007

Melbourne 2030 Audit: Analysis of Progress and Findings from the 2006 Census

The Department of Planning and Community Development has released the report Melbourne 2030 Audit: Analysis of Progress and Findings from the 2006 Census. It is available for viewing and download from the Melbourne 2030 website,

The report outlines key findings of the 2006 Census and provides an analysis of progress made in implementing Melbourne 2030. These findings have been informed by early analysis of 2006 Census data, a review of Victorian Government actions in implementing Melbourne 2030 and the views of key stakeholders.

Detailed information about the findings of the Audit will be provided when it is completed in 2008. Visit
for more information about Melbourne 2030.

Melbourne 2030

Event & Local Action – The Roundtables Are Back! – 1 November

Posted in Events, Research, Visions by Ferne Edwards on October 26th, 2007

Re-energising the Sustainability Education Roundtables

Following previous successful Roundtables, the Victorian Association for Environmental Education is keen to foster the development of a dialogue amongst practitioners about what is most effective and efficient for sustainability learning and change to occur. The November Roundtable process is supported by Sustainability Victoria and the Department of Sustainability and Environment.

The climate has now changed for our work as facilitators of sustainability learning and change.
The community view of environmental issues has shifted in major ways. The need for action has become more urgent. We as practitioners and change agents have now had several years of experience of trying out what works best in this new climate – What have we learnt and what can we now share?
There are also new limiting factors and barriers – What are these?
The government has new agencies, policies and strategies: Sustainability Victoria and the Department of Sustainability and Environment are looking for ways to engage with practitioners to support effective change efforts – What are the best arrangements for this?
Much can be learnt from sharing our experiences, knowledge and practice – How we can all become more effective and coordinate our efforts?

We invite you to be part of this re-vitalised process. Come and have your say! Share your ideas with others. Help shape the future of sustainability learning & change in Victoria.

Introduction by Mike Hill – chair of previous Roundtables
Updates from Dept. Sustainability & Environment and Sustainability Victoria
Facilitators: Colin Hocking & Pat Armstrong

This and other Roundtables, implemented through VAEE, are a legacy of the original Victorian Sustainability Education Roundtable process. The November Roundtable has been organised as part of the Guide Beside Professional Development project, a VAEE-based project funded by Dept Sustainability and Environment.

Thursday 1st November 9.15 am – 12.30 (refreshments provided)
Meeting Room, Ground Level, 60L Green Building 60 Leicester St, Carlton
To ensure a place, RSVP to Bridgid Soames, Victorian Association for Environmental Education
Phone 9349 1806 or bsoames

Sustainability Education Round Tables pdf

Reminder – EcoEdge Conference – Early bird due date 31 October & new website –

Posted in Events, Models, Movements, Policies, Research, Visions by Ferne Edwards on October 25th, 2007

The EcoEDGE 2 Conference Early Bird rates will cut off on the 31 October! Book now to ensure a cheaper price to attend an event of the year! There is also a new website dedicated to this event; Find more details about the event below.

The EcoEDGE 2 Conference will engage the worlds leading sustainability experts in tackling the economic, aesthetic and ethical dimensions in making sustainable cities. Topics include green urban design; green urban energy systems; green housing; and green government.

Through specific local and international case studies, the CityEDGE series provide a forum for architects, landscape architects, urban designers and planners to review the rapid and radical development of contemporary metropolises.

EcoEDGE 2 is happening at Federation Square in Melbourne on 14-16 February 2008. Early bird registrations close 31 October.

To register your place at the conference, please go to:
Email: ecoedge2
Telephone: (03) 9658 9658


Comment – Car pooling

Posted in Models, Policies, Visions by Ferne Edwards on October 25th, 2007

The section below is republished with permission from the Going Solar Transport Newsletter #33, 23 October 2007. Going Solar,

Car Pooling
In Transport Newsletter #29, Darren McClelland noted that local governments have some reservations about taking on a role to promote car pooling to residents and businesses in their municipality through an on-line, car pool database of choice. One of the perceived barriers is the fear of travelling with strangers. Security, safety and privacy can all be resolved by recommending some best practice steps for car poolers to take to reassure themselves. For example, passengers could seek character references, take their partners to meet the driver at their home, meet at a common public place as an alternative to home addresses, advise friends and family of their drivers details and so on. Some initial nervousness about sharing with strangers should be reconciled with other aspects of public life that readily accept engagement with the unknown.

Another concern is that car pooling is not feasible given that many people work irregular hours. However, if every single car commuter agreed to try car pooling only one day a week and commit to it, this would potentially result in a 20% reduction in traffic. It has been identified that a like commitment by Canada’s driving commuters would meet the Canadian Government’s Kyoto Protocol commitment.

Also, car pooling databases can be tailored to meet special needs such as dropping off children at schools. Some councils are also concerned about their public liability for any mishaps that might occur in a car pooling scheme that they promote. However appropriate precautions, such as effective disclaimers, may alleviate these concerns.

Thanks to Darren McClelland for this item.

CAR POOL by tangential

Event – The concept of “Re-imagining the Australian Suburb” – 13 November

Posted in Events, Models, Research, Visions by Ferne Edwards on October 24th, 2007

A free event featuring a series of short presentations followed by an open discussion of current theory and practice as well as future research opportunities.

Presentation topics include:
The Ecological Footprint as an Assessment Tool for Urban Development;
Extinction in the suburbs: Can we avoid it? New scientific tools for better biodiversity planning in the urban fringe;
Innovation, agency and structure: creating a tool to make the Australian building industry more sustainable;
Metropolitan Governance and Cooperation for Transit-Oriented Development in City Regions.

Who should attend: Academics, government, councils, developers, industry and community groups, interested individuals.

Guest speaker – Dr Dominique Hes
Our feature presenter is academic and lecturer Dr Dominique Hes. Dominique was one of the key people in bringing industry partners and academics together to create the Re-imagining the Suburbs project. As the project draws to its end, it is a time to look back on what has been achieved so far as well as contemplate the future.

Dominique has carried out research on Victorian residential projects such as the Commonwealth Games Village and Aurora; commercial projects such as Melbourne City Councils Council House Two and local government projects such as Reservoir Civic Centre. Her research interests are identifying and filling the knowledge gaps in sustainability practice and application.

Date: 13 November 2007, 1pm-5pm
Location: Activity Rooms A and B Melbourne Museum, 11 Nicholson St Carlton
RSVP 9 November, Margaret Bates, margaret.bates
Light refreshments will be served

For further information about the research project and for information on last years seminar go to:

Re-imagining the Australian Suburb pdf

Re-imagining the Australian Suburb

Event REMINDER – the first of three Climate 2020 Forums in Manningham starts TODAY

Posted in Events, Policies, Visions by Ferne Edwards on October 23rd, 2007

A reminder that the first of three Climate 2020 Forums starts TODAY. This is the chance for you and/or your community group to shape Manningham’s response to Climate Change. All welcome!

1. Wed 24Oct – Climate 2020 Forum – the first of three visioning sessions – to help create a climate wise & carbon neutral Manningham – 6:45pm to 9:00pm
2. Thu 25 Oct – Sustainable Cities: Re-imagining the Australian Suburb – Council Chambers – 6:15 to 7:30pm
3. Sat 27 Oct – Warrandyte CAN Sustainability Expo – 10am to 4pm – Warrandyte Community Centre


Resource – New book on transport disadvantage and social alienation

Posted in Policies, Research by Ferne Edwards on October 23rd, 2007

No way to go: transport and social disadvantage in Australian communities” by Graham Currie, Janet Stanley and John Stanley has recently been published at Monash University. This book researches the important and often overlooked (by city-siders) issues of transport disadvantage and social exclusion. We speak of public transport and bicycles – but are these options really possible for people living in the outer suburbs?

A brief synopsis from the APO website can be read below. The foreword and introduction are available online and the ebook is available for purchase. Visit

“This book brings together international and Australian researchers to examine links between transport disadvantage and impacts on social exclusion in the Australian context.

A major aim of the book is to explore the issue of transport disadvantage. Unemployment, poor skills, low income, bad housing, old age and poor health have been identified as factors limiting participation of individuals in social and economic life as well as access to transport. It is not the intention of this book to see the adequate provision of transport as the ultimate or only solution to social disadvantage. Rather, the proposed focus is to provide a factual basis for its influence such that the appropriate position of transport as part of the solution might be identified.”

Event – The Role of Landscape Visualisation in Climate Change – 29 October

Posted in Models, Research, Visions by Ferne Edwards on October 22nd, 2007

Faculty of Engineering, Sustainable Systems Initiative – Tewkesbury Lecture
Presented by: Professor Stephen R.J. Sheppard
Collaborative for Advanced Landscape Planning, University of British Columbia
Old Engineering A1 Theatre – 5:00 pm Monday, 29 October 2007

The Role of Landscape Visualisation in Climate Change: Visioning and Decision-Support
Urgent climate change imperatives call for rapid response in developing more sustainable systems at the community level. Recent research focuses on 4D Visioning Processes, using landscape visualisation techniques based on digital mapping, scientific, and engineering data, to engage, inform, and assist policy-makers and communities in tackling climate change. These future visioning processes with 3D modelling tools offer novel ways to make climate change explicit to local communities, support decision-making, and perhaps to accelerate policy implementation. Collaborative research has been conducted with coastal and mountain communities in southwest British Columbia, facing growing threats from sea-level rise, snowpack reduction, weather-related geotechnical hazards, and socioeconomic pressures. The approach taken has been to visualize holistic alternative future scenarios out to 2100, at the neighbourhood or community level; this effort integrates climate change impacts, adaptation responses, and mitigation responses, and is based on available modelling, GIS mapping, expert advice, and local stakeholder involvement. The study has evaluated the impact of these methods on perceptions of local engineers, planners, and community residents. Initial results with the coastal community of Delta suggest that this visioning process is credible, sustains high levels of community engagement, builds awareness of local effects, increases motivation to support climate change response, and can reveal social barriers to change as well as potential solutions. This suggests we have a powerful additional tool with which to confront the often overwhelming complexity and uncertainty of climate change, and articulate the choices facing every community.

Stephen Sheppard
Stephen Sheppard teaches in sustainable landscape planning, aesthetics, and visualization in the Faculty of Forestry and Landscape Architecture programme at UBC. He directs the Collaborative for Advanced Landscape Planning (CALP), an interdisciplinary research group using perception-testing and immersive/interactive visualization to support public awareness and collaborative planning on sustainability issues. He has over 25 years’ experience in environmental assessment and public participation internationally. He is currently contributing to the BC Chapter of Canada’s National Assessment of climate change impacts and adaptation. Current research interests lie in perceptions of climate change, the aesthetics of sustainability, and visualization theory and ethics.