Archive for the ‘Visions’ Category

Visions refer to ideas for a sustainable future in Melbourne. Visions links in strongly with the overall Victorian Eco-Innovation Lab (VEIL) project, which designs visions to change our current direction towards a more sustainable future. Posts here on Sustainable Melbourne relate to visions produced by people and organisations based in Melbourne, while more information can be found about the VEIL visions on the VEIL website. If you are involved with a local environmental visioning project you are welcome to post information about your work on Sustainable Melbourne. To do so visit the “How to use this site” page and follow the prompts.



Food-Security and Water-Security in the Urban Context

Posted in Research, Visions by Kate Archdeacon on June 20th, 2013

 

Image: CRC for Water-Sensitive Cities

Image: CRC for Water-Sensitive Cities

From The urban water-energy-food nexus by Prof. Tony Wong:

[…]

Australia’s water consumption is dominated by agricultural uses, followed by consumptions in cities (domestic and industrial) and for electricity generation principally to meet demands in our cities. Our communities have an important role in managing demands. Our consumption of food, energy and water remains inefficient. We waste more than 30% of food produced, we are only beginning to recycle our wastewater for non-drinking purposes, and we do not capture and use the ‘waste heat’ from our electricity production. Transforming our cities to a more sustainable and efficient consumption of resources require socio-technical approaches, starting with a concerted effort to foster community awareness and behavioural change for efficient consumption of water, energy and food. Exploiting the water-energy nexus in urban development, such as district-level tri-generation and the further utilisation of available heat for water disinfection and production of district-level reticulation of hot water, are simple cathartic initiatives to lead this transformation.

The creation of productive landscapes is emerging as a core element of urban green infrastructure strategies. Our cities are water supply catchments with the combined stormwater and wastewater resources exceeding the water consumption in most Australian cities. These resources may be exploited to support a greener city for a multitude of liveability objectives, including the support of productive landscapes ranging from community gardens, to orchards and urban forests.

>> Read the full article by Prof. Tony Wong on the CRC for Water-Sensitive Cities website.


(How Do We Develop) Post Carbon Pathways? Learning from international research & policy

Posted in Movements, Policies, Research, Visions by Kate Archdeacon on June 3rd, 2013

PostCarbon Pathways

Post Carbon Pathways: Towards a Just and Resilient Post Carbon Future

Learning from leading international post carbon economy researchers and policy makers

 

Key messages

1. The probability and risks of global warming of four degrees or more are rapidly increasing. This is, however, an argument for visionary leadership and decisive action – not political paralysis and buck-passing.

2. The technological and economic roadmaps showing the actions we need to take to avoid catastrophic global warming are now widely understood. From Germany to California and from the United Kingdom to China the global momentum for implementation of large scale de-carbonisation strategies is rapidly accelerating.

3. The biggest roadblocks preventing implementation of large-scale de-carbonisation strategies at the speed required to prevent runaway climate change are primarily political not technological. The key roadblocks are:

  • Climate science denial
  • The power of the fossil fuel industry and its allies
  • Political paralysis
  • Unsustainable consumption of energy and resources
  • Path dependencies and outdated infrastructure
  • Financial and governance constraints

4. The key actions needed to overcome these political roadblocks are:

  • Clear understanding of the necessity and possibility of an emergency speed transition to a just and resilient post-carbon future
  • Broad recognition of the potentially enormous social and economic benefits of switching investment from fossil fuels to energy efficiency, renewable energy and carbon sequestration
  • Game changing social and technological innovation
  • Decisive leadership and skilful implementation by communities, business and government at every level of society
>> Go to the PostCarbon Pathways site to read more, download the Report, or download the Interview Transcripts


Singing the Changes? Melbourne Mussel Choir

Posted in Models, Research, Visions by Kate Archdeacon on May 27th, 2013

The ATA flagged this project in their recent ReNew newsletter as being worth a look, and we agree!

Melbourne mussel choir_Natalie Jeremijenko
Photo: Natalie Jeremijenko

From the Melbourne Mussel Choir:

The Melbourne Mussel Choir enables members of the public to monitor and celebrate the tremendous environmental services these organisms can provide.

Carbon Arts is working with the Australian Network for Art and Technology (ANAT) and artist Natalie Jeremijenko to realise her concept for a public artwork that uses marine organisms to collect data about and represent the real-time water quality – or, as Jeremijenko, likes to call it, the Qualities of Water – of the Melbourne Docklands’ aquatic ecosystem.

One mussel can filter as much as 6-9 litres of water/ hour. By instrumenting mussels with hall effect sensors, which indicate the opening and closing of their shells, and by giving them each a voice, converting the data into sound, the artwork uses the behavior of the organisms themselves as a biologically meaningful measure of pollutant exposure in order to produce a public spectacle.

Storm water run-off, local weather, and seasons will have evident effects on the Choir’s performances. The songs will map parameters such as water depth to sound pitch, presence of pollutants to sound timbre, and the rate of the opening and closing of mussel shells to sound tempo, for example. The mussels will become rock stars.

Planning work has begun with a final launch expected in 2014. The Melbourne Mussel Choir was the winning work of the Echology: Making Sense of Data initiative, a partnership between Carbon Arts, the Australian Network of Art and Technology and developer, Lend Lease.

>> www.carbonarts.org/projects/melbourne-mussel-choir


Florence 2035: A VEIL exhibition

Posted in Events, Visions by Kate Archdeacon on May 21st, 2013

18 May , 2013 10:00 amto9 August , 2013 5:00 pm

Vision Florence 2032 Exhibition Flyer 2013-1
Images by Andrew Wong, Nikaya Lewis, Tom Shield

Vision: Florence 2035 – Eco-Acupuncture: Developing Sites of Urban Intervention is a free exhibition of selected Architecture and Urban Planning projects developed as part of the Victorian Eco Innovation Lab’s Eco-Acupuncture travelling studio in Florence 2012. The projects envision a sustainable and resilient future for Florence.

18 May – 09 August

Museo Italiano, 199 Faraday Street, Carlton

Open Tuesday-Friday 10am-5pm
Saturday 12noon-5pm

>> Download the exhibition flyer


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.


Reclaim the Curb Competition

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

rtc_competitionflyer

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/


Ethical Paper Pledge: Seeking Signatories!

Posted in Movements, Policies, Visions by ethicalpaper on March 27th, 2013

Ethical Paper

Paper production is the main driver of native forest logging in Australia. Native forest logging destroys crucial habitat for our native wildlife, degrades water catchments and releases vast amounts of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere.

The main domestic purchaser of native forest pulp logs in Victoria is Australian Paper. Australian Paper produces Reflex brand office papers. Companies and individuals that have taken the Ethical Paper Pledge are making a commitment not to purchase Reflex papers until Australian Paper commits to moving out of irreplaceable native forests and into plantation resources. This will send a strong message to Australian Paper that it is time to move towards a sustainable future.

To sign the Ethical Paper Pledge or to find out more, please visit www.ethicalpaper.com.au or send an email to mail@ethicalpaper.com.au.


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.

 


Sunshine in 2032: Short Films from VEIL

Posted in Visions by Kate Archdeacon on October 31st, 2012

In February 2011, the Victorian Eco Innovation Lab (VEIL) released a series of one-minute films showcasing the work of design students and practitioners looking at a sustainable future for Melbourne.  Now VEIL has released another set of short movies, this time focusing on the suburb of Sunshine, in Melbourne’s West.  The films show work from landscape architecture and architecture students at the University of Melbourne.  Check them out on the VEIL website or on Vimeo!

Sustainable Melbourne is a project of the Victorian Eco Innovation Lab.


Visions of Resilience: Anglesea 2037

Posted in Research, Visions by Jessica Bird on October 23rd, 2012


Image by D. Armellin

A local resilience-building project about climate extremes.

Visions of Resilience: Anglesea 2037 is part of a larger research project Transforming Institutions for Climate Extremes. This project is led by Che Biggs at the Victorian Eco-Innovation Lab (VEIL) at the University of Melbourne. It aims to understand how communities and institutions can prepare and become more resilient to disruptive climate conditions. Anglesea was chosen as an ideal case-study site because it faces multiple climate hazards such as fire, drought and sea level rise but it also has a creative community and a strong local identity.

What is the Visions of Resilience: Anglesea 2037 blog about?

The images and articles you see on the Visions of Resilience: Anglesea 2037 blog are glimpses of possible futures. They depict strategies and ideas about how Anglesea could become more resilient to the more extreme possible impacts of climate change. The ideas represented have been developed from a workshop involving Anglesea community members. In the workshop people were asked to propose adaptation strategies in response to a series of challenging future scenarios that describe Anglesea in the year 2037. These scenarios were built from an assessment of climate model projections, historical records from along the Great Ocean Road and interviews with Anglesea residents. The small number of glimpses you see were combined and synthesised from more than 100 ideas developed in the workshop. Treat them as a window into a range of possible futures that might exist. We encourage you to comment on what is good or not good about the way they respond to challenges from climate change.

Why this project? When managing disaster risk, government and private sector organisations often rely heavily on ‘probability’ or ‘expert’ assessments of the likely type, extent and frequency of negative impacts. This can come unstuck when disasters occur outside what has been predicted and planned for. Transforming Institutions for Climate Extremes is a response to this problem. It responds to the call for new methods to improve community resilience and help communities improve disaster planning. It seeks to explore how prepared our communities, our decision-makers and decision-making processes are for the challenges of ‘new’ climate conditions. It will consider what institutional changes are needed to meet those challenges whilst ensuring community ownership.

Climate change in Anglesea? Anglesea lies in an area of southern Australia that will be affected by climate change in many ways. Climate models project that the most likely direct impacts will include changes to rainfall (drier but with more intense rainfall events), changes in temperature (warmer with more heatwaves), increasing acidity of oceans and rising sea levels. In-turn, these impacts are expected to affect a whole range of factors including increases in coastal erosion and days of extreme fire danger to increased risk of heat-stroke and changes to when plants flower and birds migrate. Climate Change is the effect of heat from the sun being trapped in the Earth’s atmosphere by gases produced by human activity. While some of these gases (like carbon dioxide) are found naturally in the atmosphere, as we increase their concentration above natural levels, they trap more heat from the sun – a bit like an insulation blanket.

You can view the glimpses of a resilient Anglesea in 2037 and comment at www.anglesea2037.com. You can also like the Facebook page to be kept up to date with the project.