Archive for June, 2010

The Cities We Need: Report

Posted in Research by Kate Archdeacon on June 30th, 2010

The Grattan Institute has released their report, “The Cities We Need”.  This is the first report from the Cities Program, and aims to set an agenda for thinking about the future of Australia’s cities.

The report asks how our cities meet the individual needs of their residents, both material and psychological, and identifies emerging challenges to meeting these needs. One conclusion that emerges is that while social interaction is critical for human thriving, it has not been a focus of analysis about cities in the past.

The report also describes cities as systems with complex interdependencies. As a result, attempts to meet one need may have unintended consequences for other needs. The governance and management of our cities has not always taken these interdependencies – and resultant trade-offs – into account.

The report does not conclude with solutions or prescriptions, but rather lays out ten questions about our urban future that we must get serious about.

As we manage growth and change in Australian cities, how bold are we prepared to be to get the cities we really need?

Queen Vic Market: Plastic-bag free

Posted in Events, Movements by Kate Archdeacon on June 29th, 2010

Image: avlxyz via flickr CC

From July, Deli Hall and Meat Hall traders at Queen Victoria Market will be going plastic bag free with a campaign to ‘Bag the (Plastic) Bag’.   In an effort to encourage patrons to rethink their use of plastic bags and their impact on the environment, traders will be offering alternatives such as biodegradable cornstarch bags in place of regular plastic.

There’s much more to the Market’s sustainable practices than many people may realise. When the solar panels were installed onto the shed rooves in 2003 the project was the largest urban gridconnected solar photovoltaic installation in the southern hemisphere.  The rainwater harvesting project reduces the Market’s potable water consumption by around 25%; saving approximately 6 Olympic swimming pools of water each year.

The Market team has been working closely with traders in the Deli and Meat Halls on the plastic bag project and now has a full time Sustainability Officer on board to work with traders and staff on initiatives to further the sustainability efforts including the Bag the (Plastic) Bag campaign. The goal is to encourage patrons to bring re-usable bags into the Market and eventually have the entire Market plastic bag free – an ambitious goal but an important one.  The aim is to provide customers with a high quality, lifestyle experience, and we consider running a sustainable operation to be very much a part of that experience. Plastic bags will be phased out of the Deli Hall and Meat Hall from July.

Queen Victoria Market will be holding a plastic bag amnesty on Thursday July 1 and Friday July 2, giving shoppers the chance to pick up a FREE re-usable QVM bag in exchange for making a pledge to use less plastic bags.

Market Staff will be at the following locations from 10am to 11am:-

* Therry Street entrance Deli Hall
* Queen Street entrance Meat Hall
* Market office, 513 Elizabeth Street Melbourne

Patrons can also hand in their old plastic bags for recycling in the Market office.

Merri Corner Community Garden: Dig Day Out

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on June 28th, 2010

Designing Innovation: Social Innovator Dialogues

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on June 28th, 2010

Source: The Australian Centre for Social Innovation

The Australian Centre for Social Innovation, in collaboration with the Centre for Social Impact and the Australian Social Innovation Exchange invite you to join us for the inaugural Social Innovator Dialogues. The Social Innovator Dialogues aim to bring internationally renowned leaders in social innovation together with local changemakers and challenge us to think differently about the big issues affecting our communities and to test practical ways to integrate innovative approaches into our responses to unmet social needs.

This July for our Designing Innovation tour, we’re bringing leading thinker, Ezio Manzini, to our shores for masterclasses and free public forums that look at where social innovation, design and sustainability meet. Ezio is perhaps best known for his skills in practical scenario building towards solutions that encompass both environmental and social quality and the Designing Innovation tour will give you the opportunity to engage with him on both the theory and practice of building socially innovative responses.

July 14 Free Public Forum: Small, local, open, connected

The only sustainable way to get out of the current global financial and ecological crisis is to promote new economic models, new production systems and new ideas of wellbeing. To define and implement these new models is, of course, very difficult. But it is not impossible. And we do not have to start from zero.  What is the meaning of locality and community today? Can localities and communities be designed? How can bottom-up initiatives positively interplay with top-down ones? For discussion on these questions and more, register and come along to the Designing Innovation Public Forum.  The forum will be half lecture, half Q&A.

July 14 Melbourne Masterclass:  Next economy – enabling sustainable ways of living

This masterclass will explore how the interplay between social and technical innovation is opening up brand new opportunities. How can we conceive and deliver “enabling solutions”? How can individuals, businesses, institutions, associations and communities collaborate in the framework of viable business models to support sustainable ways of living?  This masterclass is for policy-makers and practitioners who are interested in sustainability, social innovation and cross-disciplinary collaboration.  Attendees will have the opportunity to workshop some of these ideas and approaches, including how to reframe problems to inspire creative thinking about solutions, as well as understanding how ‘design thinking’ can help us experiment and prototype.

Places are limited so please visit the website for more detailed information and to register for your place.

Sustainability on Show

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on June 25th, 2010

Building or renovating a home? Come and see the latest energy efficient products at Sustainability on Show.  See first-hand hundreds of green ideas to introduce into your home to improve your energy efficiency and minimise your costs.  Discover the latest solar technology, grey water systems, heating and cooling, energy conservation and energy efficiency technologies, and more.  Held in conjunction with the Building & Home Improvement Expo, Sustainability on Show includes over 300 companies with the latest building and renovation products and services including bathrooms, kitchens, building materials, flooring, heating & cooling, lighting, doors, windows, roofing, fencing, landscaping and more.

With a focus on building and renovation, choose from the best products and services on the market. Meet the exhibitors and speak face to face about building or renovation projects.  Learn more at our free demonstration stages where experts in DIY, sustainability and building technology will be available to demonstrate the best of what’s new.

Book tickets (includes the Building & Home Improvement Expo) on the website.

Fri 9 – Sun 11 July 2010 at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre.

Open Fri 10am – 9pm; Sat 10am – 9pm; Sun 10am – 5pm

‘Climate Justice for a Changing Planet’: Report Discussion

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on June 24th, 2010

Where: Allens Arthur Robinson, Level 34, 530 Collins St, Melbourne
Tuesday 29 June, 2010
Drinks & canapes

RSVP before 5pm, Friday 25 June.
UNAA Victoria, GPO Box 45, Melbourne VIC 3001
Ph: (03) 9670 7878 Fax: (03) 9670 9993

See the report.

Street Directories designed for Public Transport Users

Posted in Models by Kate Archdeacon on June 24th, 2010

Public Transport Guides was started by two unemployed people in the town of Castlemaine, Victoria, Australia:

“While living in Perth, Western Australia, we did not know the local public transport network. After visiting the public transport information centre in the CBD, we were handed 500 A4 paper timetables and were told to buy a street directory, or alternatively, to get on to the government authority’s website. Both of these methods are unsuitable for tourists, people who rely totally on public transport, and those with no internet access. There had to be another way, so Public Transport Guides was born!”

The directory is designed just like a regular street directory, with detailed maps, a street and Facilites index , and all current timetables for each area are in this directory.  The directory is designed with both the regular commuter and occasional user in mind. Inside you will find all the urban and country bus and connecting train services throughout, Victoria, Australia.  The book is in A5 format for ease of carrying in backpacks, briefcases etc.

Visit the website for more information.

Managing Victoria’s Electricity Demand: Seminar

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on June 22nd, 2010

Source: Climate Action Calendar

Read the rest of this entry »

Cultivating Sustainability: Behaviour Change Training for Sustainability Advocates

Posted in Events by timc on June 21st, 2010

Cultivating Sustainability is a 1-day workshop which provides sustainability advocates with insights, models and tools to trigger the psychological drivers of sustainable behaviour. This workshop will assist you to: * Identify what people need in order to embrace sustainability * Target your efforts and resources to the points of most leverage * Incorporate psychological principles to your sustainability programs * Communicate about sustainability more effectively * Meet others who are dealing with similar challenges and share ideas and success stories. Presented by Tim Cotter, a psychologist specialising in behaviour change in an organisational and environmental context.

Tuesday  July 6th,  2010,  9:30am – 4:30pm

Abbotsford Convent, 1 St Heliers St, Abbotsford, Melbourne

$120 Individuals/Community Groups – $200 Not for profits/Govt – $250 Corporates/For profit

More info at


Relocalisation: Film Screening

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on June 18th, 2010

Source: Climate Action Calendar

Relocalisation:  How Peak Oil can lead to Permaculture

David Holmgren explains permaculture as a design system to relocalise our economies and communities in the face of the twin threats of Peak Oil and Climate Change.  In part I, David outlines the history of permaculture as a design concept and a global environmental movement in the context of the emerging energy descent brought on by the peaking and decline of global oil supply and the whole spectrum of environmental, economic and social crises. Relocalisation of our economies and communities is highlighted as the central organising strategy for creative grass roots adaptive response to the energy descent future, both to build resilience and capacity in the face of unprecedented threats, and grasp the creative opportunities from energy descent.  In part II, David uses his photos of examples of the diversity of permaculture design solutions from his own property Melliodora as well as the wider world of permaculture to show the scope and depth of permaculture design in the home, garden, farm, forest, community and ecomomy.

Manningham Carbon Rationing Action Group (CRAG) Discussion Group: Discussion led by Indy Lingham

Thu 24 June 6.45pm- 9 pm

Council Chambers
699 Doncaster Rd

Free Event; All welcome; Bookings Essential: 9840 4400 or