Posts Tagged ‘cities’

Forget Superheroes: Local Government to the Rescue

Posted in Movements, Research by Jessica Bird on March 6th, 2012

Image from: CDP Cities

CDP Cities is a voluntary reporting platform for cities around the world to document their actions on climate change. An initiative of the Carbon Disclosure Project, CDP Cities have produced this neat infographic compiling data from the 48 participating cities in 2011. Melbourne features in the section on individual cities, citing ‘creating urban and rooftop gardens, lighter buildings, and lightening roof and road colours to lessen urban heat island effect’ as actions being taken by the City council.

Walking Maps for the Holidays

Posted in Movements by Kate Archdeacon on December 23rd, 2011

From the Victoria Walks December Newsletter:

How about letting your own two feet take you on a few adventures these holidays? There’s no better way to get the wind in your hair while taking a sticky beak at what’s going on around you.

If you’re heading out of town:

Or, if you’re wandering closer to Melbourne:

Better still, show off your own walks to by creating a walk on!

Check out the Victoria Walks site.

On The Edge: A forum on food and sustainability around Australian cities

Posted in Events, Movements, Research by Kate Archdeacon on September 22nd, 2011

25 October , 2011
8:30 amto5:30 pm

Whichever way you look at it, food production forms the basis for physical, environmental, economic, social and cultural health. How we preserve, manage and develop our agricultural resources close to where a majority of people now live worldwide- in cities- will determine the future health, sustainability and conviviality of our communities. Our peri-urban agriculture is a key component of what makes Melbourne the most liveable city in the world, and it’s worth protecting, now.

Key discussions on the day:

  • Setting the scene for peri-urban agriculture in Australia- where are we at? What are the key challenges and opportunities? – Trevor Budge & Michael Buxton
  • British Columbia Agricultural Land Reserve and Strengthening Farming Program (Vancouver, Canada) – Dave Sands
  • Parc Agrari del Baix Llobregat, an instrument for preserving, developing and managing a peri-urban agricultural area (Barcelona, Spain) – Sonia Callau-Berenguer
  • Feeding Milano; energy for change (Milan, Italy) – Anna Meroni
  • The expansion of the Urban Growth Boundary in Melbourne’s outer South East and its impact on jobs, food security and the Bunyip Foodbelt – David Wilkinson
  • Promotion, protection and enhancement of food production on the Mornington Peninsula – Kevin Wyatt and Gillian Stewart
  • CERES Fair Food- connecting local producers and local eaters – Chris Ennis
  • Peri-urban areas and zoning options – Michael Tudball
  • Keeping commercial farming viable in peri-urban areas – Susan Finger
  • Farmlands trusts; an innovative vehicle for securing land for sustainable agricultural use on the urban fringe – Robert Pekin
8:30 – 5:30pm, Tuesday 25 October, 2011

Hume Global Learning Centre 1093 Pascoe Vale Road Broadmeadows (Melways 6, 8H)

Early Bird until 25 September $495 Full Fee $660

Click here for the full program and registration.

Changing Places: Responsive housing, mobility systems, and networked intelligence for future cities

Posted in Events, Research, Visions by Kate Archdeacon on July 7th, 2011

22 July , 2011
6:15 pmto7:15 pm

CityHome Image,  © Daekwon Park for MIT Media Lab

Changing Places: Responsive housing, mobility systems, and networked intelligence for future cities

Professor Kent Larson, Director of the Changing Places Research Group, MIT Media Lab

To meet the profound sustainability, demographic, and health challenges of the future, new strategies must be found for creating responsive places where people live and work, and the mobility systems that connect them.

Professor Kent Larson will present the work of his MIT Media Lab research group to explore the intersection of high-performance housing with urban mobility-on-demand systems, including persuasive electric bike-lane vehicles to encourage exercise, the transformable live-work “CityHome” that functions as if it were much larger, and autonomous parking/charging technology. He will also review the group’s “Living Lab” experiments to better understand and respond to human activity in natural environments including sensing, algorithms, and interfaces for proactive health and energy conservation.

Friday 22 July 2011

Prince Philip Theatre
Ground Floor, Architecture Building
The University of Melbourne

To RSVP or to find out more about the lecture, go to the Melbourne School of Design site.

The Housing We’d Choose: Grattan Report Launch

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on June 20th, 2011

27 June , 2011
5:45 pmto7:00 pm

Image: via flickr CC

Ask Australians what kind of home they want, and odds are they will say a detached house on a big block. The new report from the Grattan Cities Program, The Housing We’d Choose, shows that when residents are asked to make real-world trade-offs between housing and location, the picture is far more varied. The report examines both what Australians say they want from housing in their cities, and the incentives that make it difficult for new construction to meet this demand. Come and hear Grattan Cities Program Director Jane-Frances Kelly in conversation with John Daley on the challenges to Australian cities and governments presented by The Housing We’d Choose.

Monday 27 June 2011

Registration at 5:45 pm Seminar 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm

The Wheeler Centre 176 Little Lonsdale Street Melbourne VIC 3000

For further information please telephone 03 8344 3637 or visit our website at

Living Closer Together in Australian Cities

Posted in Movements, Opinion by Kate Archdeacon on June 14th, 2011

Source: The Age

Image: xenization via flickr CC

From “Love thy neighbour. Gen Y embraces closeness of urban living” by Tarsha Finney:

Research released last week entitled ”Why We Buy”, published by RAMS Home Loans and the market research firm, IPSOS, has shown that despite the increase in the value of residential property, young Australians still want to own their own home. But now, they are just as happy living in and buying apartments as they are houses.  This is exciting news for a couple of reasons. The first is that it is the beginning of the de-coupling of our domestic fantasies from an economic pragmatism that sees wealth generation in the ownership of property. This is good for the city; it’s good for the production of housing, for the creation of density and for the making of public space.

With the loosening of the grip of this fantasy over our capacity to imagine a future, we can now as a community and as planning and design professionals start on the real work we need to do in our cities — to plan for two inevitables: population growth and climate change.  Whacking a couple of solar panels on the roof doesn’t cut it (although I agree it makes some of us feel good). We need to fundamentally rethink our cities in terms of transport infrastructure and density. And to do that, we need to begin to rethink the issue of housing and what that means: how we organise our private space.

But, probably more importantly, this news of the beginnings of a shift from houses to apartments is indicative of what might seem like an astounding fact. Actually, most of the time, we really like each other and we like living together. We like being known by our neighbours, but also I would argue, we like the anonymity of the civilised urban crowd. Apartment living, despite the myth of isolation, is actually about less private space coupled with more collective urban living space. This is sociable space. Space where we get together in groups and hang out.

Gen X and Gen Y Australians know this. They know it from their experience as backpackers, not consumers of organised tour groups, who in their early 20s and 30s, have spent weeks if not months gloriously bumming around cities in Asia and Europe. There’s an exciting creative dynamism to this shared space and being together, where we get to look at each other and engage in civic life — even if it’s just for 20 minutes of lazy gossip while we get some sun on our backs and grab a coffee. But in a more profound sense, it’s this collective public space and environment in which we get together and look at each other; where we work out who ”we” are as a collective: as a neighbourhood, as communities of interest, as city dwellers and as citizens of a nation.

In small, but important moments, these informal meetings are known as the ”bump” factor. Interestingly bio-medical research institutions all over the country have examined these creative ”bump” scenarios. What these institutions have noticed is that some of the most important exchanges we make with each other happen in informal settings — over coffee, walking together up the stairs, over lunch, at the gym — they don’t happen at conferences or when we sit in our own private offices. These ideas have been harnessed by organisations such as the Queensland Brain Institute at the University of Queensland when building new research and work spaces.

Read the full article by Tarsha Finney in The Age.


Green Cities 2011 Conference

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on February 16th, 2011

27 February , 2011 5:30 pmto2 March , 2011 5:30 pm

Green Cities 2011 is the leading green building conference and expo in the Asia Pacific region – and it’s happening in Melbourne!  This year, Green Cities will stimulate new industry partnerships and dialogue, reinvigorate your thinking, and inspire a fresh ingenuity in environmentally sustainable building.  With a stellar line up of international and local speakers, sector specialists, leading green strategists and innovators, can you afford to miss this year’s conference?

Don’t miss this important green building event.  Book your tickets now!

For more information, check out

The Cities We Need: Report

Posted in Research by Kate Archdeacon on June 30th, 2010

The Grattan Institute has released their report, “The Cities We Need”.  This is the first report from the Cities Program, and aims to set an agenda for thinking about the future of Australia’s cities.

The report asks how our cities meet the individual needs of their residents, both material and psychological, and identifies emerging challenges to meeting these needs. One conclusion that emerges is that while social interaction is critical for human thriving, it has not been a focus of analysis about cities in the past.

The report also describes cities as systems with complex interdependencies. As a result, attempts to meet one need may have unintended consequences for other needs. The governance and management of our cities has not always taken these interdependencies – and resultant trade-offs – into account.

The report does not conclude with solutions or prescriptions, but rather lays out ten questions about our urban future that we must get serious about.

As we manage growth and change in Australian cities, how bold are we prepared to be to get the cities we really need?

Innovation and the city: challenges for the built environment industry

Posted in Research by Devin Maeztri on November 5th, 2008

This abstract was recently listed on Australian Policy Online. To see the original document visit Innovation and the city: challenges for the built environment industry.

Innovation and the city: challenges for the built environment industry
Simon Pinnegar, Jane Marceau and Bill Randolph / City Futures Research Centre
Posted: 16-10-2008

The built environment, especially our largest cities, faces substantial change in the next twenty years if it is to meet the increasing demands for carbon neutrality, reduced water consumption and more efficient resource consumption. The industries that design, build, retrofit, manage and maintain the built environment face equally significant changes in organisation, working practices and skills development, approaches to design and construction and materials development if they are to meet these challenges.

Read the rest of this entry »

Troubled waters: confronting the water crisis in Australia’s cities

Posted in Policies by Devin Maeztri on October 17th, 2008

This abstract was recently listed on Australian Policy Online. To see the original document visit Troubled waters: confronting the water crisis in Australia’s cities.

Troubled waters: confronting the water crisis in Australia’s cities
Patrick Troy (ed) / ANU E Press
Posted: 02-10-2008

Australian cities have traditionally relied for their water on a ‘predict-and-provide philosophy that gives primacy to big engineering solutions. In more recent years privatised water authorities, seeking to maximise consumption and profits, have reinforced the emphasis on increasing supply. Now the cities must cope with the stresses these policies have imposed on the eco-systems from which they harvest water, into which they discharge wastes, and on which they are located. Residents are having to pay more for their water, while the cities themselves are becoming less sustainable. Must we build more dams and desalination plants, or should we be managing the demand for urban water more prudently? This book explores the demand for urban water and how it has changed in response to shifting social mores over the past century. It explains how demand for centralised provision of water might be reshaped to enable the cities to better cope with expected changes in supply as our climate changes. And it discusses the implications of property rights in water for proposals to privatise water services.

To read the full document visit The Australian National University E Press – download full document