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Archive for December, 2012

Vision of a Water-Sensitive City: Video

Posted in Research, Visions by Kate Archdeacon on December 19th, 2012

Water Sensitive City_CRC

The Water-Sensitive Cities Collaborative Research Centre (CRC) has launched its new website, complete with research papers and videos.  It’s all worth a look, but the video on the front page, inviting viewers to “Fly through a Water-Sensitive City” is particularly inspiring.  Stay with it past the first minute, which is about the CRC, and you get to the design elements that are really interesting – and the last fifteen seconds are fantastic.  It’s not clear who produced the video, but they should be proud!

>> Watch the video here or go and explore the CRC Water Sensitive Cities website.


Tassivore tasting trail – for bike riders and foodies

Posted in Models, Movements by Jessica Bird on December 14th, 2012

Photo from the Tassivore Tasting Trail Map.

From the Tassivore Eat Local Challenge:

If you live in southern Tasmania, or are just passing through, and love eating fantastic local food and zipping around on your treadlie (bicycle) then this is the trail for you!

Eight of our best eateries and Hobart’s fabulous Farm Gate Market will be showcasing at least one Tassievore dish (see definition below) for four months from the first of January until the end of April 2013. […]

How does it work? The venues listed on the map are all passionate about Tasmanian produce and have committed to supplying at least one Tassievore dish for the duration of the trail. How you follow the trail is up to you. You can aim for a big day and ride the length of the trail to MONA and back (a 50km commitment) and drop in at the venues that suit your need to rest and eat, or you can pick and choose, and take your time to visit a range of the fabulous establishments involved. Equally you can take pot luck with what Tasmanian delights await you or phone ahead to work out what type of dishes there are to suit your mood.

What is a Tassievore dish? A Tassievore dish is totally Tasmanian (exceptions for minor ingredients such as spices and raising agents) and will be identified by the Tassievore logo or enquiry with staff at the venue. Updates about dishes on offer will be posted on the Tassievore Eat Local Challenge facebook page and Tassievore twitter feed.

Riding notes: If you are an inexperienced rider, or don’t have many gears on your bike, stick to the restaurants around the waterfront and along the bike path to MONA. If you have a bit more experience, and more gears, then the whole trail is up for grabs. […]

>> You can find out more on the Tassivore blog.
>> You can also download the Tasting Trail map and notes.

Social Traders GOOD gift Guide

Posted in Models by Kate Archdeacon on December 13th, 2012

Photo by Jilligan86 via flickr cc

From the Good Gift Catalogue by Social Traders:

The Good Gift Christmas Catalogue is Social Traders’ initiative to encourage people to support social enterprise by facilitating online Christmas shopping.

The strategic power of purchasing is becoming one of the most effective ways that organisations and individuals can achieve social change.  To harness this collective purchasing power, earlier this year Social traders launched The Social Enterprise Finder – the first online directory of social enterprises in Australia with over 5000 listings.

An extension of The SE Finder, the GOOD Gift Catalogue enables people to browse products and services offered by over 50 Australian social enterprises and to learn about the different purposes of these organisations.  A social enterprise gift gives good to more than just the recipient.  Purchasing these goods supports businesses that exist for a community benefit.

This Christmas, why not give a gift that gives a stuff?

>> View the Good Gift Christmas Catalogue online.

Moreland Community Solar: Looking for a Roof

Posted in Models, Seeking by Kate Archdeacon on December 6th, 2012

Source: Moreland Energy Foundation

Solar engineers from the Barefoot College: Photo by Barefoot Photographers of Tilonia via flickr CC

From Moreland community solar:

As we have reported previously, solar electricity panels are sprouting on roofs all around the country. However, not everyone has the ready cash, or a suitable roof space, to install solar. That’s where community solar comes in. Instead of having your own small solar array, you can invest in a larger communally-owned facility. This model has been used successfully in many communities worldwide. The photo shows a community solar installation on a church roof in the appropriately named town of Greenbelt, (Maryland, USA). Closer to home, Hepburn Wind has applied the same model to a wind-power facility.

The Moreland Community Solar project is an initiative of Climate Action Moreland (CAM) and supported by MEFL, to establish a medium-scale solar photovoltaic array in the Moreland community. The solar panels will be installed on the roof of a local building.

Project capital costs will be funded by members of the community in a cooperative-type arrangement, for which investors will receive a return. The project supports the generation of locally produced renewable energy.

Community involvement

The project supports the generation of locally produced renewable energy. The Moreland Community Solar project will offer Moreland community members the chance to make a significant, collective contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Community members will be able to purchase shares in the project and receive returns on their investment. Importantly, the board of Moreland Community Solar will be made up of those who have invested in the project.

We need a roof

Moreland Community Solar is currently seeking a business partner to form an agreement with to host the solar panels on their roof. The roof owner will buy the power generated by the panels at an agreed price, and ideally will use all of the power on site. Moreland Community Solar will install panels on their roof at no cost and will take responsibility for maintenance. If your business is interested in hosting, feel free to get in touch.

The Moreland Community Solar Project will:

  • Reduce greenhouse emissions in the Moreland municipality
  • Provide an inclusive opportunity for community investment in and ownership of solar energy.
  • Increase community awareness about the viability of solar energy compared to traditional generation.
>> Go to the website to find out more and get involved.

Keep the Federal Government accountable for the Environment: Get Up Campaign

Posted in Movements, Policies by Kate Archdeacon on December 5th, 2012

Keep Federal Government Environment Power!

At a meeting this week the Federal Government will further its plan to hand over its environmental oversight and protection responsibilities to the States. The Business Council of Australia, who came up with the idea, want a blank permission slip to mine, log, or develop wherever they like. It beggars belief that the Prime Minister would want to hand over power to the States at a time like this. Former NSW government ministers are being investigated for multi-million dollar corruption in relation to Hunter Valley mining licenses. Queensland’s Campbell Newman is trying to allow giant coal ports inside the Great Barrier Reef. While in Tasmania miners want to dig up the ancient rainforests of the Tarkine.

If it weren’t for the protection of the Federal government, we would have lost places like the Great Barrier Reef, the Franklin River, the Daintree Rainforest and Fraser Island a long time ago. Don’t let this happen! With your support we’ll take out full-page ads, starting in The Australian on the day of the COAG meeting, asking the Prime Minister and Environment Minister Tony Burke to step up to their responsibilities, not hand them over to Barry O’Farrell, Campbell Newman and the other Premiers.

>> You can chip to help run the ads using the secure tool on the site.

Community Carsharing makes a debut in Melbourne

Posted in Movements by RideEco on December 5th, 2012

Peer-to-peer carsharing is an international movement making huge strides in reducing carbon emissions. It has been shown to increase public transport usage and decrease car ownership, leading to reduced road congestion and CO2 emissions.  It’s a concept that has finally made its way to Melbourne, with the launch of locally-run, RideEco.

RideEco is a platform that allows car owners to safely rent their cars to vetted members of their community, all by using a smart phone app. Recent research from RideEco revealed it’s a concept Melbournian’s would get on board – with 63% of respondents saying they would lend their car to a stranger if it meant benefits for the environment.

Carsharing has huge potential for reducing CO2 emissions and road congestion in Melbourne. Similar programs run internationally have been shown to reduce the number of cars on the road by nine to 13 cars for each car shared.  This happens as members substitute car ownership for carsharing, borrowing a car in their neighbourhood when they really need one, and using more public transport on days they don’t.

An average car, driving 15,000kms per year, produces around three tonnes of CO2. So if RideEco can reduce nine cars on the road for every car that joins the programme, it would save 27 tonnes of CO2 emissions per car shared.

In Australia a small car costs around $7000 a year to run, but according to recent RideEco research most cars in Melbourne are used for only 11 hours a week. On top of the environmental benefits, carsharing helps owners recoup some of these costs while their cars sit idle and gives those who don’t own a car an economical way to get around.

To create a more sustainable transport option for Melbournian’s, the company’s goal is to reach a critical mass so that in the future anyone can walk down the street in their neighbourhood and access a car to borrow on a short-term basis.

More information can be found at

Melbourne’s Metropolitan Strategy: Discussion paper open for contributions

Posted in Policies, Seeking by Kate Archdeacon on December 3rd, 2012

Photo by elizabethdonoghue via flickr CC

Information drawn from Urbis Think Tank and Plan Melbourne:

The Discussion Paper, “Melbourne – let’s talk about the future,” is part of the work currently underway in preparation for a new Metropolitan Strategy for Melbourne’s next 3 decades of growth and change.  The paper is intended to stimulate dialogue across the community, private sector and industry around a series of ideas and principles for the future of the city. A draft Metropolitan Plan will then be shaped from the current consultation around these principles, due for release in Autumn 2013.

The Government is calling for input on the proposed principles, which raise fundamental issues around the growth and structure of the city, including:

  • The structure and location of job clusters in the new economy;
  • Opportunities for strategic renewal in areas that are ripe for urban transformation;
  • Partnership opportunities to realise new ways of funding for urban infrastructure;
  • The potential for long term containment of the city by a permanent green belt.

The 9 principles are focused around three key themes:

  • “What most people value about Melbourne”, (principles 1 to 5) exploring ideas that could inform a future vision for Melbourne,
  • “What needs to change”, (principles 6 & 7), focusing on how Melbourne’s urban form should be managed at a metropolitan and local scale.
  • Implementation considerations (principles 8 & 9), focusing on leadership and partnerships.
Opportunities to comment through online forums or event attendance are currently open, with comments closing on March 1, 2013.
>> Read the Discussion Paper
>> Get Involved