Archive for the ‘RDAG’ Category

Water at WestWyck – An integration of small and large scale water systems

Posted in RDAG by CBiggs on July 13th, 2009

This ‘eco-village’ project is the brainchild of the WestWyck developers and originated from a community effort to preserve a historic local school building in Brunswick. Resource efficiency has played a major role in shaping the site’s design and construction. The village consists of 5 townhouses and seven apartments with a second stage planned. VEIL has been particularly interested in how water is managed there.

Water is handled on the site using a series of different methods to harvest, minimise use, treat, recycle and manage discharge from the site. Drinking water is supplied via the mains distribution system but unlike most residences in Melbourne, demand for mains water is substantially reduced through the integration of multiple on-site water technologies.

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Collingwood Children’s Farm – Bringing the Country to the City

Posted in Models, RDAG by Virginia on May 5th, 2009

The Collingwood Children’s Farm is a not-for-profit community resource providing country experiences for city people. It was established in 1979 when a community committee, with support from the former Collingwood City Council, leased a small area of the convent for a Children’s Farm.

Collingwood Children's FarmCollingwood Children's FarmCollingwood Children's Farm

The Committee hoped children living in an urban environment, often without backyards, could learn to care for animals and nature and also have fun outdoors. Local schools and other groups helped with fencing, gardening and animal care. Members of the Greek Elderly Citizens and the Turkish Welfare Group helped clear weeds and carve out the community plots.

Since the 1980s, state and local governments have funded some of the Farm’s costs. State and Federal Labour governments supported the successful bid for a much larger area of land. Now the Collingwood Children’s Farm Committee of Management manages this Crown land site. Service clubs and philanthropic trusts help, but always the largest part of our operational costs comes from entry fees, donations and through the work of volunteers.

This is from “Social Innovations in Victorian Food Systems”, case studies by Ferne Edwards.

VicHealth- Good Health for All

Posted in Models, RDAG by Virginia on May 4th, 2009

The Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth) is a statutory authority with an independent chair and board of governance established by the Victorian Parliament as part of the Tobacco Act 1987.


VicHealth works in partnership with organisations, communities and individuals to promote good health and prevent ill-health. VicHealth funds local councils to improve access to nutritious food and to influence the cultural, social, economic and environmental barriers poor and disadvantaged communities face in eating healthily.

In terms of landuse planning, VicHealth and the Planning Institute of Australia have also established the Planning for Health and Wellbeing project to advocate for planning systems to promote economically, socially and environmentally sustainable communities.

For more information about the Planning for Health and Wellbeing project see

To find out more about VicHealth’s Food for All project visit Program.aspx.

This is from “Social Innovations in Victorian Food Systems”, case studies by Ferne Edwards.

Victorian Local Government Association

Posted in Models, RDAG by Devin Maeztri on May 1st, 2009

The Victorian Local Government Association (VLGA) is a unique peak body for councillors,community leaders and local governments working to build and strengthen their capacity to work together for progressive social change.


They have established the Food Security Network to provide support for local governments and other stakeholders, who are working with their communities to reduce barriers to local food access for healthy eating and to improve food security. The Food Security Network, supported by The Victorian Health Promotion Foundation and auspiced by VLGA, runs a dynamic mailing list and regular meetings to support the officers and municipalities who are participating in the VicHealth Food for All program, and the many others who are also addressing food security issues in their local areas.

This is from “Social Innovations in Victorian Food Systems”, case studies by Ferne Edwards.

Cultivating Community – Developing community gardening

Posted in Models, RDAG by Virginia on April 30th, 2009

Cultivating Community is a not-for-profit organisation that has grown out of support for community garden projects in inner-city public housing estates.

It has evolved into an organisation to promote and support the development of community garden projects, community fresh food markets and school gardens across Melbourne. Cultivating community consists of a management committee, paid workers and volunteers. Their work is based around encouraging the development of sustainable agricultural practices in urban areas and promoting the cultural richness of food, plants and people through community gardens. Due to their extensive expertise in urban agriculture, Cultivating Community are often employed to work with other projects as consultants such as the Brotherhood of Saint Laurence’s Food
PAD project and the Yarra Community Food System Project. To find out more about Cultivating Community visit

This is from “Social Innovations in Victorian Food Systems”, case studies by Ferne Edwards.

Tiffins – Light lunch or midday meal

Posted in Models, RDAG by Devin Maeztri on April 29th, 2009

‘Tiffin, an Anglo-Indian term meaning ‘light lunch or midday meal, originates in Mumbai,India, where everyday hundreds of thousands of office workers receive hand-delivered meals prepared by their families.


These meals arrive in airtight containers that are stacked one atop the other for easy delivery by tricycle. The Tiffins business replicates this Indian model in Melbourne providing city workers and residents with meals on (tricycle) wheels. Cooked by chefs from fresh seasonal ingredients, this service is environmentally-friendly as it does not consume energy through transport or by reheating meals and prevents waste by using reusable containers with reasonable portions preventing much food wastage.

To find out more about Tiffins visit their website at

This is from “Social Innovations in Victorian Food Systems”, case studies by Ferne Edwards.

Mountain Goat Brewery

Posted in Models, RDAG by Virginia on April 28th, 2009

The Mountain Goat Brewery is a microbrewery based in Richmond, Melbourne. Microbreweries are typically small industrial operations that craft unique beer – more than twenty microbreweries exist in Victoria. Microbreweries consume a lot of power and water and often have significant levels of emissions yet their range of sizes and diversity creates potential for new, more sustainable products, production processes and distribution methods.

The Mountain Goat Brewery is a successful example producing 400,000 litres of beer per year with an annual sales growth of approximately twenty percent. Mountain Goat goes beyond simple carbon offsetting to incorporate many other sustainable techniques such as choosing an existing building with north-facing solar orientation to allow winter sunlight and to fuel the nine solar panels and installing an 11,000 litre tank for drinking and toilet flushing. Mountain Goat adheres to localism values by retaining eighty percent of their beer within a twenty-kilometre radius of the brewery and strives to purchase local, good quality ingredients. They also consider social sustainability with the company encouraging their employees to ride to work. To find out more about the Mountain Goat Brewery visit their website at

This is from “Social Innovations of Victorian Food Systems’ case studies by Ferne Edwards.

Aquaponics – Collaboration of fish and greens

Posted in Models, RDAG by Devin Maeztri on April 27th, 2009

Aquaponics is the integration of fish and hydroponic plant production in a circular system,where nutrient-rich water is removed from the fish tank to grow plants, which, once cleansed by the plants, reticulates back to the fish culture where the cycle begins again.


Aquaponic systems thus provide a closed resource loop that conserves both organic matter and water. They are designed for both commercial and domestic use existing at different scales and are able to provide enough fresh fish and greens to feed a family or more each year. Examples of aquaponic production in Melbourne include the semi-commercial trial aquaponic system at CERES Community Environment Park and various household systems able which are purchased from various suppliers.

To find out more about aquaponics visit the CERES website at or Aquaponics Solutions at

This is from “Social Innovations in Victorian Food Systems”, case studies by Ferne Edwards.

Sharing Backyards – Share to grow

Posted in Models, RDAG by Virginia on April 24th, 2009

People have begun to share their backyards in order to produce more homegrown foods. In North America and Canada this activity has been extended by using online technologies linking people with unused yard space to grow food.

Access to land is believed to be one of the biggest barriers to food production as stated by Patrick Hayes from MapsWest. Land must be local for the gardeners while trust is also important enhanced through proximity. The ‘Sharing Backyards’ concept aims to make maximum use of the city by identifying wasted space suitable for food production.

Sharing backyard sites apply geocoding and web mapping technologies to reveal potential garden plots. Sharing backyard sites include,,

This is from “Social Innovations in Victorian Food Systems,’ case studies by Ferne Edwards

VEIL Food Map – Can You Locate Your Local Food Resources?

Posted in Models, RDAG by Virginia on April 23rd, 2009

The VEIL Food Map is an online, urban food production map of Melbourne using google map technologies established by the Victorian Eco Innovation Lab in 2008.

The purpose of the VEIL food map is to record the quantity and variety of urban food production present within Melbourne, to encourage Melbournians to contribute data to this site, providing evidence of the extent of urban food production within Melbourne. Produce recorded on the website is fresh food that has not been value-added or processed on a scale larger than household production.

Models of urban food production recorded on the site include community gardens, commercial production and market gardens, shared private gardens, and food produced on public space. Approximately 200 food production sites have been recorded since the site was established. To learn more information about the VEIL Food Map visit

This is from “Social Innovations in Victorian Food Systems’ case studies by Ferne Edwards