Archive for the ‘Seeking’ Category

Seeking is the category used by people and organisations who are looking for a response to a local sustainability issue or initiative. For example, contributors may be holding a competition and requiring applications, there may be a conference with a call for papers, or there may be a campaign that’s drumming up support. Alternatively, you may like to know the answer to a local environmental issue – you are welcome to post your question on the site using the “seeking” category. To do so visit the “How to use this site” page and follow the prompts.



Future Housing in Melbourne – Discussion paper

Posted in Models, Seeking by Kate Archdeacon on July 2nd, 2013

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From the City of Melbourne website:

The City of Melbourne is growing quickly. By 2031, it is estimated that an additional 42,000 homes will be built within the municipality to house an additional 80,000 people. Our aspiration is for an inner and central city where housing is affordable, well-designed and meets the diverse needs of our residents. Our housing will play a critical role in realising our urban renewal areas as sustainable, liveable and welcoming places for future living.

Future Living opens a discussion on the role of the City of Melbourne and other key influencers, including the Australian and Victorian Governments, developers, investors and residents in meeting these goals.

>>> You can download the discussion paper from the City of Melbourne website.
>>> You can participate in the discussion and find out about the ‘Future Living’ pop up homes online.


Premier’s Sustainability Awards 2013

Posted in Seeking by Jessica Bird on June 26th, 2013

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Cape Paterson Eco Village, winner of the Design category, Premier’s Sustainability Awards, 2012.

From the media release ‘Eco-leaders encouraged to enter Premier’s Sustainability Awards':

Individuals, businesses, community or government groups who have shown commitment to sustainability are encouraged to enter the Premier’s Sustainability Awards as positive role models for all Victorians. Now in their 11th year, the Premier’s Sustainability Awards celebrate efficient use of water, resources and energy, better waste management and recycling practices, the enhancement of the environment and effective, practical community action. The winner of last year’s Premier’s Sustainability Awards, Brightgreen, is urging Victorians who have developed a sustainable product or service to enter this year’s awards program, saying “it is a real thrill to be recognised on a state level… We entered the awards last year because they celebrate sustainable innovation – the whole driving force behind Brightgreen. We’re on a mission not just to make the most efficient or the brightest light but to actually change the way people think about lighting – encouraging them to see it as investment rather than something that’s disposable,” said Brightgreen Co-founder and CEO, David O’Driscoll. “The Premier’s Sustainability Awards align perfectly with everything that we set out to achieve.”

CEO of Sustainability Victoria, Stan Krpan, said that the awards are a great way to recognise and celebrate leadership in sustainability. This year the awards provide even more opportunities for recognition. Entries are open in eight categories: Infrastructure and Buildings, Tourism, Environmental Protection, Education, Innovative Product and Services, Small and Medium Enterprises (SME), Large Business, and Community.

>>> Entries close at 2pm Monday 15 July, 2013.
>>> Visit sustainabilityawards.vic.gov.au for entry criteria and kits, and queries.

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Position Available: Visions and Pathways for Low Carbon Built Environment and Urban Living

Posted in Research, Seeking, Visions by Kate Archdeacon on May 15th, 2013

Post Doctoral Researcher: Visions and Pathways for Low Carbon Built Environment and Urban Living.

A flagship project of the Victorian Eco-Innovation Lab and the CRC for Low Carbon Living.

(Melbourne University Position Number 0031360 – see: http://jobs.unimelb.edu.au/jobSearch.asp?stp=AW)

Join a ground-breaking flagship project to explore and articulate visions, scenarios and pathways for a low-carbon resilient urban environment linked to a dynamic program of engagement with industry and government.

This project is lead from the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning at the University of Melbourne in collaboration with researchers from the University of New South Wales and Swinburne University. It is supported by a grant from the Cooperative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living, a major research initiative bringing together key property, planning, engineering and policy organisations with leading Australian researchers to develop new social, technological and policy tools for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the built environment.

The challenge of the decarbonisation of the built environment involves no less than a transition from one set of technologies, infrastructures, practices, perceptions, values, policies and regulations to a (potentially very) different set. This research project will investigate the diversity and complex systems dynamics of technological and societal changes required to pursue a low-carbon resilient society.

The project will use scenario thinking within a twenty-five to thirty year horizon. Over its life, we will road-map potential transitions and disruptive change, articulate and refine scenarios for Australia’s future, guide designers in the production of visualisations of the future built environment, provide strategic input to the scoping of the CRC research program and publish for academic, professional and general media.

The successful candidate will focus on the investigation and elaboration of approaches to the design of ‘eco-cities’ and the technological, social and infrastructural innovations that could provide the basis for the transformation of both new and existing built environments. Reporting to the project leader, Professor Chris Ryan, the position will connect closely with researchers in the Victorian Eco Innovation Lab (VEIL) and will be located within the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning.

>> Application deadline extended to May 22, 2013

>> Download the Position Description or apply online

Sustainable Melbourne and Sustainable Cities Net are projects of the Victorian Eco-Innovation Lab (VEIL).  Occasionally we cross-promote projects or events in order to reach as many of the right people as possible.


International Green IT Awareness Week: Speakers wanted

Posted in Seeking by Kate Archdeacon on April 25th, 2013

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The 2013 Green IT Awareness Week Virtual Conference currently has a call out for speakers.

Technology has positively changed the lives of millions of people globally. However with everything “good”, comes some “bad”. But it isn’t hopeless. There are simple steps you can do to help reduce the impact of technology on the following:

Every modern information based technology runs on electricity.

Electricity use that is based on non-renewable sources such as coal fired plants, creates greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse gas emissions increase global warming and result in issues such as rising sea levels. For the individual, modifying your computers’ power management settings and turning your PC off when it isn’t in use can save both money and the environment. Switching to renewable energy sources are another great way to avoid greenhouse gas emissions associated with technology.

Every year millions and millions of computers and electronics are thrown into landfill.

For example, in Australia in 2008 over 16 million TVs and computers were thrown into landfill. Within computers and electronics are toxins and contaminants such as lead. They also contain precious non-renewable metals such as gold, silver and copper, which could otherwise be recycled.

You might not think water is a problem for technology however water is used in vast amounts to cool large data centres.

Data Centres are simply buildings specially built to host servers and computers. These server and computers might run your corporate network, or even your Hotmail and Google email accounts. Fresh water is a valuable resource – more valuable than oil in many countries around the world.

From the Green IT website:

What is International Green IT Awareness Week?

The International Green IT Awareness Week is a seven day, multi-time zone, global, online event held annually 1st-7th June. The main outcome of this week is to encourage individuals and organisations to demand more from themselves and their partners, holding each other to account for our impact on the environment.

International Green IT Awareness Week showcases a variety of programs, activities and initiatives hosted both by public and private sector organisations, and individuals globally. The Foundation for IT Sustainability (FFITS.ORG), the initiative organiser, also hosts a major virtual (online) conference during the week that is scheduled across global time zones.

There are speakers from across the globe including: green IT experts, IT industry heavy weights, celebrities, government officials, our board of advisors and our founder speaking through live video conferencing, webcasts, live Q&A sessions and recorded videos. They address critical issues including: the cultural change around green IT, showcasing case studies, discussing research, presenting on practical implementation and implementing best practices for both home and business technology users.

>> www.greenitweek.org


Creative Suburbs consultation project

Posted in Movements, Seeking by Creative Suburbs on April 15th, 2013

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Ever wondered how your suburb and Melbourne could look like if you had a chance to design it? Where would you start? Maybe with a basketball court in your local park, a tramline or a veggie patch on your nature strip?

There’s finally a site to share and support ideas on how to enhance our suburbs and identify the places and things we love about them. CreativeSuburbs.com.au offers ways to connect with people and organisations who want the same thing, share knowledge and resources and make good things happen.

Let relevant organisations know how you think your suburbs can evolve, how much you love them and other ideas you may have on planning our city’s future.

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Creative Suburbs has also launched the first consultation project: Our Love of the Queen Victoria Market. The marke is a thriving and vital place pulsating with life Creative Suburbs wants to know what you love about the Queen Victoria Market, why you shop at the market, the places you love and if there are any special secrets you know about. The space will be used to share and support ideas on what we love about the market and ideas will be communicated to our Lord Mayor Robert Doyle.

If you want to consult a specific issue, write us an email. We can customise what and how you consult for any amount of time.


Crowdfund a Local Documentary: Melbourne’s Growing Food Project

Posted in Seeking by Kate Archdeacon on April 11th, 2013

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The Growing Food Project is a short documentary exploring some of Melbourne’s urban agriculture practices and community food projects, where people are coming together to build local, fair and sustainable food systems.

There is a thriving energy of empowered local communities responding to food access and sustainability issues that aim to strengthen the way we produce and distribute local food. Community food projects improve the way we eat, reconnect us with nature, build relationships between neighbours and enhance our food culture.

The Growing Food Project is a documentary exploring some of Melbourne’s urban agriculture practices and alternative food systems, particularly those existing in the city’s inner north. By documenting and telling these amazing stories, this short film will capture the possibilities and practical solutions that lie in people’s hands & strengthen our local food system.

Our story so far… We have been filming at various community gardens and local food initiatives since Nov. 2012 and we now have a big job of editing ahead! Money raised from this campaign will go towards post-production and help us pay someone do a brilliant job at it.

Costs include: a professional editor, grading, sound design, sound mixing etc.

So far this project has been a labour of love by a team of committed volunteers, without any funding at all. However, we need your help to get the film out there!

>> http://pozible.com/growingfoodproject


Reclaim the Curb Competition

Posted in Movements, Seeking, Visions by Kate Archdeacon on April 5th, 2013

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We like food fresh, fair and free. We like curb-sides that enrich and connect people. We’d like to support people that are inspired by the same things.

Reclaim the Curb, with support from Cultivating Community is making a minimum of $1,500 available to share across 3 exciting projects that put people and food, together, on curb-sides across Australia.

Competition entries should address the following requirements:

  • The project must use food as a way to activate an existing curb-side, or build on already active curb-sides. For example, planting fruit trees or making planter boxes that enhance curb-sides and streetscapes.
  • Must be implemented by October 2013
  • Projects should consider how simple infrastructure can support social exchange around food – or example, a food box for protecting food stuffs that can be swapped and shared by passersby, or a table and chairs that people can sit at and enjoy
  • Demonstrate that residents and businesses local to the project have been consulted, and are supportive of the plan
  • Demonstrate that the plan complies with local council requirements, or at a minimum:
    • Is safe
    • Does not obstruct passing foot or vehicle traffic, including space for opening car-doors
    • Has a maintenance plan to ensure the space is well kept
  • And include:
    • Details of the site including the address, photos, video’s or drawings
    • Details of the project plan including visual and verbal descriptions
    • Documentation that shows the project requirements listed above have been addressed

Three winners will be selected by a panel with representatives across the food activist field (more details on this to come, tune into the blog and facebook).

The prize money is currently $1,500 and will grow by the time the finalists are announced in May 31. The money will be used to pay for trees, seeds and manure/compost/clean soil. Winners will be expected to source their own materials including timber, spades, tools and other equipment used to build structures required for the project. If you wish to support this project please email reclaimthecurb (at) gmail.com Send questions and entries to reclaimthecurb (at) gmail.

Deadline is 5pm 31st May 2013.

>> http://reclaimthecurb.org/competition/


Potential Urban Orchards: City of Melbourne’s Urban Forest Consultations

Posted in Events, Seeking by Kate Archdeacon on April 4th, 2013

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Photo: Roots to Fruit

If we want council to consider productive street trees in Melbourne, we need to ask for them – that was the message when some of the Urban Forest team participated in the EcoCity Food Forum a couple of weeks ago, and it was also clear that they are really keen to get diverse and plentiful public feedback on the Urban Forest Strategy.  There are three more workshops left to run in the consultation process.  Feedback can also be posted directly to the Urban Forest website.

From the Urban Forest Conversation website:

We invite you to share your thoughts and opinions about the development of the City of Melbourne’s Urban Forest.

The City’s Urban Forest Strategy provides a robust framework for the evolution and longevity of our urban forest but what will that look like at an individual street level? Join the conversation to influence the plan for your neighbourhood’s trees. In 2013, we are developing the plans for the urban forest in Carlton, East Melbourne, South Yarra and the CBD.

Join the conversation online through this forum, post your comments on our urban forest map or participate in a workshop to influence the plans for your neighbourhood’s trees. You can register for a workshop via the key links on the right hand side of the Urban Forest page.

Register for Upcoming Workshops:

 

Food for thought? Some thoughts on productive trees in public space:

“Edible Street Verge Gardening is something that has been going on for the past 20 years or so in our cities but is now capturing the public imagination such that the number of plantings is rapidly increasing.  For advocates of edible landscaping in our cities, this is good news but for local government the practice can be confusing. What has become apparent during the recent upsurge in the popularity of edible footpath planting is that a set of design and planting guidelines are desperately needed.  Most verge plantings to date have been created by gardeners who know what they are doing. The possibility emerging from the current boost in popularity is that those less knowledgeable will create gardens with inappropriate plants and without considering other footpath users.”

“The biggest objections to planting food-bearing plants in public spaces have always been, and will likely continue to be, maintenance and aesthetics.  Public officials are quick to point out that edibles are messy and difficult to maintain, precluding their use in the urban environment. … These concerns are often based largely on misconception and subjectivity.  still, many of these concerns can be addressed with an understanding that maintenance and aesthetics can be balanced by choosing certain plants over others, mixing edibles with ornamentals, utilizing existing maintenance staff and methods, and properly gauging community demand for fresh, local produce.”

“The City of Yarra recognises the importance of urban agriculture in supporting community sustainability, especially in times of changing climate and the myriad of associated issues such as food security due to diminishing oil supplies. Neighbourhood gardening using productive trees1 is recognised by Council as a form of Urban Agriculture that can be used by local communities to create sustainable, resilient and liveable neighbourhoods in an effective and meaningful way. Planting productive trees is considered by Council to be an effective, means of inspiring and enabling community food production in the City of Yarra by generating environmental, social and economic wellbeing from the ground up – created for and by local people. Planting productive trees can be initiated, operated and maintained by the local community with support from Council. Council’s Guidelines and registration process will assist in making neighbourhood gardening with productive trees effective, enjoyable and safe for all.”

“We’ve all seen trees over laden with fruit that the trees owner isn’t eating. Generally the tree is in somebody’s garden where it can’t be reached from the street, and in these days of lost community and increasing crime it’s kind of hard to randomly approach people for fruits. There must be a way that more community food can be grown. There are many families where the kids don’t get enough nutrition, especially in the form of fruit, where dinner is straight from the freezer into the microwave. Yuck! I know of two parks where fruit is grown for the public to eat. One is Gourley Park in East Freo, the other is King William Park in South Freo. There must be scope for more. I know some people are concerned about fruit fly (and others who unfortunately aren’t concerned enough), but not all fruit attracts those rotten pests. It’s already common to see tasty loquats ignored in gardens , so we don’t need to add to the burden of fruit fly. There’s plenty of other varieties to choose from and if it was well known that the fruit was available and folk were educated about when to pick it there wouldn’t be lots of rotten fruit around to attract nasties. […]

Free fruit could be the only fruit so what can be grown that wouldn’t cause problems? Some nuts would be a good start. Almonds are good and grow well around here. Macadamias do well in some areas around Perth. They’ll also feed black cockatoos. Bunya pine nuts are pretty good, but need cordoning off in autumn (as they do in Hyde Park, Perth) because people have been killed when the huge cones of seeds drop on their head! Not a tree to sit under at the best of times with their wickedly spiny leaves, but much more useful that its oft’ planted relative the Norfolk Island pine!! Many kinds of citrus would be suitable with the right care. […] There’s a fantastic tree called Ziziphus jujuba, commonly called Chinese date, which grows numerous little apple like fruit about the size of olives. They are a tough species which provide a common meeting place in some desert countries, providing shade and food that can be eaten fresh or preserved for later use. Olives are good public trees with very useful fruit (though obviously not good for hand to mouth browsing). There are a few bush tucker foods that could be grown too, such as muntries/muntari (Kunzea pomifera), a creeping member of the Myrtaceae family, which has pretty white flowers followed by tasty little apple like berries. It grows on the east coast and is often sold in Perth. Quandongs are a native species which has deep red skins on pretty nuts. Some bush foods require some retraining of the taste buds, but they are generally pest and disease free, and don’t need help once established. Obviously somebody would need to be looking after these things, but if parks had more community input and a little council money to feed the trees a few times a year and have them drip irrigated they could become important meeting and snacking places. Parks could even be designed to be useful on purpose!!”

 

 


UNAA World Environment Day Awards 2013

Posted in Seeking by UNAAVictoria on March 6th, 2013

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CALL FOR NOMINATIONS – UNAA 2013 WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY AWARDS

Nominations for the 2013 World Environment Day Awards are NOW OPEN

This year we are pleased to announce the two new Prime Minister’s Awards and the Swinburne University of Technology Award (see below).

Businesses, local governments, community organisations, individuals, schools and the media are invited to nominate in the following Award categories:

  • *New* Prime Minister’s Environmentalist of the Year Award (Entry Deadline Monday 22 April)
  • *New* Prime Minister’s Young Environmentalist of the Year Award (Entry Deadline Monday 22 April)
  • *New* Swinburne University of Technology Excellence in Sustainable Product Design Award
  • NSW Office of Environment and Heritage Sustainability Leadership Awards
  • Virgin Australia Community Award
  • Biodiversity Award
  • Business Awards
  • Environmental School Award
  • Excellence in Sustainable Water Management Award
  • Green Building Award
  • Local Government Awards
  • Media Award for Environmental Reporting
  • Sustainability Education Award

Nominations close on Monday, 22 April for the two Prime Minister’s Awards – For all other categories nominations close Wednesday 1, May 2013.

Winners will be announced at the Awards Presentation Dinner to be held on Friday, 7 June 2013 at the Park Hyatt Melbourne.

For more information and to enter, visit www.unaavictoria.org.au

 

 


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.