Archive for March, 2011

Mapping Solar Potential of Rooftops in Germany

Posted in Events by Mark Ogge on March 31st, 2011

4 April , 2011
6:30 pmto8:00 pm

Image © SUN-AREA

The Zero Carbon Australia Buildings Plan research team is currently assessing the total solar potential of rooftops in Australia. Similar studies have been completed around the world. Germany’s SUN-AREA project estimates that solar photovoltaic (PV – solar panels) power could meet the entire energy needs of residential homes throughout the country. It is sponsored by the University of Osnabrück and the TOPSCAN topographical information company.

Project director and geomatics engineer Professor Martina Klärle, will join us via Skype video conference to present their findings. Detlef Gerdts, environmental manager for the city of Osnabrück will also be presenting the experiences with the results.

Time: 6:30- 8pm Monday 4 April 2011

Fritz Loewe Theatre (entry via level 2)
McCoy Building
University of Melbourne
Cnr Elgin & Swanston Streets, Carlton

Thank you to the University of Melbourne Energy Research Institute, our Zero Carbon Australia project partners for joinig us in bringing you this event.

Entry: Gold coin donation

Further reading:

Garage Sale Trail 2011

Posted in Events, Movements by Kate Archdeacon on March 31st, 2011

10 April , 2011

What if all the garage sales in your area were held on the same day? You could plan your route and visit heaps of different sales easily – maybe even with a bike and a trailer.


The Garage Sale Trail is about sustainability, community and fun. By getting people together to turn their old stuff into someone else’s new stuff, the day not only proves that second hand items can still have value, it keeps rubbish off the street, removes clutter from cupboards, stops a bunch of new things being brought into the world (along with the environmental impact that creates) and gives everyone good reason to meet the neighbours and have a good natter at the same time.

The Garage Sale Trail is on Sunday April 10 all around Australia – check out the map to see sales in your area or add your own.  The site also has a free app to let you navigate easily on the day using your phone.

Increasing Access to Public Transport: Melbourne Medical Companion Project

Posted in Models, Movements by Kate Archdeacon on March 30th, 2011

Source: Victoria Walks

Image: RaeA via flickr CC

It is believed that the new Melbourne Medical Companion Project will improve access for many people who live in rural Victoria, who are frail, disabled, ill, or anxious about their journey, and will encourage many people to consider using public transport to attend their health care appointments instead of using the family car.

Volunteer companions are now available to accompany people from the Flinders Street Station and the Southern Cross Station train and bus terminals to health care appointments in central Melbourne.

As part of the Melbourne Medical Companion Project, Travellers Aid volunteers will meet passengers at the Flinders Street Station and the Southern Cross Station train and bus platforms, and accompany them to their Melbourne health care appointments and back again. Passengers will have the choice of using taxis, trams or buses whilst in Melbourne, and the volunteer companions will be experienced in using all three modes of transport. It is believed that the new Melbourne Medical Companion Project will improve access for many people who live in rural Victoria, who are frail, disabled, ill, or anxious about their journey, and will encourage many people to consider using public transport to attend their health care appointments instead of using the family car.

It is Free

Mr Robert Bulmer (Chief Executive Officer, Cohuna District Hospital) said that “the new volunteer service will be free throughout the trial period, with the program designed to take the worry out of travelling to Melbourne for health care”. Ms Thorson (Executive Officer, Southern Mallee Transport Connections Partnership) added that “it was hoped that the program would be extended beyond its initial trial period of March – December, 2011, however this was dependent upon further funding”.

Help Is Only A Phone Call Away

People interested in accessing the new volunteer-assisted service when travelling to Melbourne should telephone Travellers Aid on 1300 700 399 at least 24 hours prior to their expected travel date.

Regional Assistance

If travellers also need a volunteer to accompany them on the bus or train from their rural town to Melbourne, then a small number of rural volunteers from the Buloke, Gannawarra and Swan Hill municipalities will be available from April, 2011. For more information, please refer to the Regional Companions tab on the Melbourne Medical Companion Project webpage.

About the Project

Thirteen transport connections projects from across Victoria have formed a partnership to develop this new trial service. The Cohuna District Hospital has undertaken a lead agency role in the new project (on behalf of the Southern Mallee Transport Connections Partnership), and Travellers Aid Australia have been engaged to provide the day-to-day coordination and delivery of the project.  Travellers Aid already provide a range of travel related assistance and information at the Flinders Street and Southern Cross Stations in Melbourne, and will now provide this additional volunteer service for people who are unfamiliar with Melbourne and its health and transport systems.

The new Melbourne Medical Companion Project is funded through the Victorian Government’s Transport Connections Program, which is a cross government initiative that helps communities work together to improve access and local transport options.

Employment, Mobility and Living in a Growing City: Melbourne Conversations

Posted in Events, Opinion by Kate Archdeacon on March 29th, 2011

30 March , 2011
6:00 pmto7:30 pm

Image: Hammarby Sjostad by La Citta Vita via flickr CC

Melbourne is expanding to the inner north and west and the notion and dominance of a CBD is changing. What type and proportions of living, working and playing places should be provided, and how will mobility in these renewed areas be facilitated? How do comparable cities cope and thrive? Join the conversation about jobs, dwellings, services, planning, and improved public transport, walking and cycling.

6.00pm to 7.30pm, entry from 5.30pm Wednesday 30 March 2011
BMW Edge, Federation Square, Corner Swanston and Flinders Streets, Melbourne

More details:


  • Professor Graham Currie – Chair in Public Transport, Monash University
  • Halvard Dalheim – Director State Strategy, Department of Planning & Community Development, Melbourne
  • Professor Moura Quayle – UBC Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia, Canada
  • Dr Marcus Spiller – Director SGS Economics, Melbourne

Moderator: Peter Mares – Journalist and Presenter ABC Radio National.
Discussant: Dr Ruth Fincher – Professor of Geography University of Melbourne

Reuse Your Television competition: ReNew Magazine

Posted in Seeking by sashashtargot on March 28th, 2011

Send your ideas on how to reuse TVs to ReNew magazine.

As the humble old idiot box is replaced by the flatscreen and Australia prepares to switch to digital, televisions are popping up on nature strips across the country, ready for someone to take them away. Sadly, a lot of these boxes end up in landfill, leaching polluting metals and toxins.  Send ReNew magazine your ideas, realistic or completely mad, for reusing old television sets.

Describe in 100 words or less what an old TV can be recycled into for the good of the planet: the main aims are to keep it out of landfill and to be something fun, useful or completely ridiculous. Ideas for what to do with particular parts are welcome too.

Entries close May 1, 2011. Email entries to

Diagrams or photos at high resolution 250 dpi are welcome.  Winning entry receives a $200 gift voucher from Enviroshop.

ReNew is published by the Alternative Technology Association, a not-for-profit consumer-based organisation that advocates for renewable energy, sustainable building and water conservation.

For more information or comment contact ReNew editor Jacinta Cleary on (03) 9631 5415;

If you don’t work weekends, Earth Hour starts tonight!

Posted in Events, Movements by Kate Archdeacon on March 25th, 2011

25 March , 2011 5:00 pmto26 March , 2011 9:30 pm


Melbourne City Skyline before and during Earth Hour 2010 Credit: © WWF / Jones 2010

This Earth Hour announcement was written for the Architecture, Building & Planning Faculty staff here at the University of Melbourne, by Sarah Zappia, Facilities Assistant.  I realised I needed the reminder that it really starts tonight, and Sarah graciously allowed me to republish it here.  KA

Officially, Earth Hour begins at 8:30PM tomorrow night during which time lights will be switched off around the world for one hour as people unite in a global sustainability movement.

Unless you plan on being at work on a Saturday evening, our Earth Hour starts tonight!

What you can do TONIGHT

  • Turn off your computer (including monitors!)
  • Turn off computers and projectors in teaching spaces
  • Turn off all lights
  • Turn off air conditioning or heating
  • Turn off any other electrical items
  • Of course, taking steps to help the environment shouldn’t be only for one hour of the year.

What you can do ALL THE TIME

  • Use the correct bins to minimise landfill
  • Use the battery and mobile phone recycling stations offered across campus
  • Minimise printing and use digital alternatives wherever possible
  • Use a KeepCup or mug for your morning coffee
  • Refuse plastic bags or additional unnecessary packaging wherever possible

Thank you for your support!

Earth Hour 2011 with the Port Phillip Eco-Centre

Posted in Events, Movements by Kate Archdeacon on March 24th, 2011

26 March , 2011
8:15 pmto9:30 pm

People and candlelight in São Paulo, during Earth Hour 2010. Credit: © WWF-Brasil / Juvenal Pereira

On Saturday 26 March between 8.30-9.30pm the Port Phillip community is warmly invited to gather at Point Ormond to mark Earth Hour 2011.

Join us, along with indigenous elder, Aunty Carolyn Briggs, for stories about the land and sea, food by candlelight, and songs from the beautiful voices of The Gathering Choir, founded by members of the award-winning Choir of Hard Knocks. We will look toward the city to see if and how many lights switch off!

Candles and delicious vegetarian food will be provided, along with an open-wall marquee in case of wet-weather.

Please arrive 8.15pm for an 8.30 kick-off and please RSVP for catering purposes to: 9209 6548 or email:

Saturday, 26 March 2011 – 8:30pm
Point Ormond, Elwood

Urban Renewal, Urban Growth and Creative Opportunities: Melbourne Conversations

Posted in Events, Opinion, Policies by Kate Archdeacon on March 23rd, 2011

23 March , 2011
6:00 pmto7:30 pm

Photo of Fishermans Bend by novakreo via flickr CC

Parts of North and West Melbourne, Kensington, Fishermans Bend and Docklands have been identified for renewal, but will this relieve the strain on the metropolitan fringe? What forms could it take, and who might it provide for? Informed commentators will discuss the types of development, ‘up versus out’ and multi-centred cities, residential densities, appropriate business spaces, affordable spaces for artists and heritage in the city’s old industrial zones.


  • Jeff Gilmore – Executive Director Strategic Policy, Research and Forecasting, Department of Planning and Community Development, Melbourne
  • David Moloney – Industrial Historian, National Trust of Victoria
  • Dr Kate Shaw – ARC Research Fellow, Architecture Building and Planning, University of Melbourne
  • David Waldren – General Manager, Grocon Carlton Brewery Development

Moderator: Peter Mares – Journalist and Presenter ABC Radio National.
Discussant: Dr Ruth Fincher – Professor of Geography, University of Melbourne

6.00pm to 7.30pm. Entry from 5.30pm, Wednesday 23 March 2011
BMW Edge, Federation Square, Corner Swanston and Flinders Streets, Melbourne

More details:

Water Wise City Landscapes of the Future: Public Forum

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on March 23rd, 2011

23 March , 2011
6:30 pmto8:00 pm

Image: jkay2 via flickr CC

This forum will examine a range of urban water issues such as urban water demand, sustainable water planning in urban landscapes, potable water for cities, city planning and greenscapes, irrigation of city gardens and the health of urban ecosystem and flows. This is part of our 2011 Water Security and Sustainability forum series.


Dr Chris Walsh, Resource Management and Geography, Melbourne School of Land and Environment
A/Prof Tim Fletcher, Faculty of Engineering, Monash University
Prof Chris Ryan, University of Melbourne, VEIL

6.30pm-8.00pm, Wednesday, 23 March 2011
Lower Lecture Theatre, B:01, Melbourne School of Land and Environment (Building 142), Tin Alley/Royal Parade, University of Melbourne

More details: the attached flyer, or this webpage:
Please send a simple RSVP email to:

Achieving Sustainable Transport: ATA EV Meeting

Posted in Events, Movements by Kate Archdeacon on March 23rd, 2011

23 March , 2011
7:00 pmto9:00 pm

Image: Electric Bike On An Electric Train by Buddhabless via flickr CC

Speaker – Patrick Hearps of BZE (
Convenor: Mario Giannattilio

  • How can we achieve an emission free transport system?
  • Where do bikes and e-bikes fit in?
  • What do we do with freight deliveries?
  • What about long distance travel?
  • What are the problems that have to be overcome?

Patrick Hearps is a Chemical Engineer and is currently a Research Fellow in Energy & Transport Systems at the University of Melbourne Energy Research Institute. He was a lead author on the Zero Carbon Australia Stationary Energy Plan and is now co-ordinating the ZCA Transport Plan.
Patrick will give a brief overview of the Zero Carbon Australia Stationary Energy Plan, released in mid 2010 which details how Australia could be powered by 100% renewable energy in ten years. He will then talk about the progress to date on the Zero Carbon Australia Transport plan, currently underway, which will detail the requirements for a transport system compatible with a zero-emissions future. The main focus of this is electric vehicles in combination with upgraded and extended electric rail networks for freight & passenger transport, covering all aspects of intracity and inter-regional travel, which can be run of 100% renewable electricity.

Wednesday 23rd February at 7pm, in the Engineering Faculty, Swinburne University, Hawthorn Campus.

See the ATA EV website for more information.