Posts Tagged ‘community’

Making Cities: A Synopsis of the Melbourne Roundtable Event

Posted in Models by missleeder on April 19th, 2013

Degraves II_¡kuba!_BY_NC_SA
Photo by ¡kuba! via flickr CC

The IFPH (International Foundation for Housing and Planning) are celebrating their centenary this year, with a series of worldwide events to discuss important urban design matters from local to global scale. They are focusing on the seven foundations they see to be crucial to creating more sustainable cities: ‘Making Cities: Smarter, Grow Green, Climate Resilient, Healthier, Globally Connected, Socially Cohesive and Safe and Secure.’

Melbourne was the location for the ‘Making Cities: Safer?‘ Roundtable event, moderated by Dr.Soren Smidt-Jensen of the Danish Architecture Centre, with panellists Jan Gehl (Gehl Architects,Denmark), Rob Adams (Director of City Design, City of Melbourne Council), Hugh Nicholson (Principal Urban Designer at Christchurch City Council, New Zealand) and Khoo Teng Chye (Centre for Liveable Cities (CLC), Singapore). An easy camaraderie, ensuing, no doubt from their numerous walking tours around the city in the previous days, added to the enjoyment of the evening.

Some key themes were addressed; the importance of both Government and Community approaches, the Docklands, small versus big developers, strategic retreats and most pertinently for its location, the implications, problems and ideas for Melbourne’s predicted growth.

This intriguing latter topic was expansive with ideas; one being the threat that a lack of social cohesion can have during growth, leading to a disparate city of the ‘haves and have-nots,’ according to Rob, who suggested mixed use, public realm, good connectivity and local character instead. Another threat, to both the aforementioned mixed use and public realm qualities, as well as active street frontages, was raised; that being the demise of the high street shop, in part due to supermarkets, the internet and out of town malls. Jan suggested new opportunities could arise from this, such as spaces for smaller scale businesses, voluntary organisations and creative outlets, whilst acknowledging that these would involve a new type of tenancy, and to a certain degree, economy. The work of Renew was mentioned as showing viable alternatives and opportunities to combat this issue, whilst Rob implored a move away from our current throw-away culture, to better, longer lasting products.

Read the rest of this entry »


Become a Green Ape Today

Posted in Movements by Kate Archdeacon on April 10th, 2013

Green Apes Screen Grab

Sustainable Melbourne’s mothership, the Victorian Eco-Innovation Lab (VEIL) has become a Green Apes Jungle Guardian (!!!) and so we’re doing a shout-out to our networks to let you know that the Green Apes app is now available online.

What’s a Green Ape and why would you want the app?

From the website

Build & share your green profile and kick some jungle butt!

    • get points for everyday sustainable actions
    • track your progress
    • compete and collaborate with friends
    • find answers, inspire and be inspired

Book your tree in the jungle! join the ultimate sustainable community

We (VEIL) are pretty interested in behaviour change tools that are appealing, fun, or just not mind-numbingly terrifying.  A quick look at the YouTube video and the website indicates that this app might be quite fun to use, although it’s pretty new (version 1.1) and may have a few issues. It also requires a facebook log-in. What will be really interesting is what happens if/when it reaches a large audience of users and glitches get ironed out.  Unexpected (and hopefully awesome) results should follow.

>> http://www.greenapes.com/en

>> https://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=597932602


Melbourne Electric Vehicle Expo

Posted in Events, Movements by sashashtargot on April 8th, 2013

13 April , 2013
10:00 amto4:00 pm

larger picture for expo

The Alternative Technology Association (ATA) warmly invites you to be part of our Electric Vehicle Expo.

What is the Electric Vehicle Expo? The Expo will be a one-day event presented jointly by the ATA, Swinburne University and Boroondara Council. The Expo will be a family friendly, relaxed and informative day exploring and showcasing Melbourne’s electric transport options, with a particular emphasis on electric bicycles.

When: Saturday 13 April 2013
Time: 10:00am – 4:00pm
Where: The Atrium at Swinburne University, Hawthorn Campus. Campus map.

The Expo will include up to 30 stalls, demonstrations, speakers and panel discussions relating to electric transport with a particular focus on electric bikes. There will also be a “Show & Shine“ display where you can show off your electric bike, car, motorbike or scooter (or other electric vehicle). There will be prizes for the Most Attractive Vehicle, Best Workmanship,  (conversions only) and Best Concept.

>>> Check out the EV Expo Facebook page and the ATA website for more information and to register for the “Show & Shine” display.


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/


Sprout Community Market in 2013! Support local community…

Posted in Events, Movements by Zanni on April 3rd, 2013

4 April , 2013
3:00 pmto7:00 pm
2 May , 2013
3:00 pmto7:00 pm
5 September , 2013
3:00 pmto7:00 pm
3 October , 2013
3:00 pmto7:00 pm
7 November , 2013
3:00 pmto7:00 pm
5 December , 2013
3:00 pmto7:00 pm

Sprout holds a diverse and vibrant local Community Market on the first Thursday of each month (except winter & Jan/Feb) at Sprout Community Gardens – corner of Clapham and Watt Sts, Thornbury (Mel ref 30 F4) from 3pm-7pm.  Sprout Market has a variety of stalls (organically grown produce, seedlings and plants; tasty Sprout made food & drink; kids activities/ workshops; local crafts, arts and designs), as well as great local  music. We sell produce that has been produced on site as well as offering stalls to vendors from the wider community, encouraging local community strength, connection and community enterprise with a focus on sustainability.

Sprout Open Gate – Each non-market Thursday from 1-4pm Sprout Opens the Gate for people to buy organically grown seedlings, dried and fresh herbs, plants, fresh produce from the site and other items produced on site or just to have a look around. (Closed one week each school holidays)

If you are interested in having a stall, volunteering or looking to sell local produce, or just want general information about Open Gate or the Market, please contact us on 9484-5565, or 0424 029 180 or email zwaldstein@mindaustralia.org.au

>>> Remaining markets for 2013: April 4th, May 2nd, September 5th, October 3rd, November 7th, December 5th.
>>> For more information about Sprout visit the Mind Australia website.


Life Beyond Single Use: eco-crafternoon

Posted in Events by TransitionTownPortPhillip on February 15th, 2013

23 February , 2013
12:00 pmto4:00 pm

Pre-loved PET pig

A local Sustainable Living Festival event, hosted by Transition Port Phillip.

Join us for an afternoon of creative workshops and transform waste into art. Learn how to make preloved PETs – upcycled clothing & jewellery – fused plastic flowers, purses & flags –  knit with plastic yarn (plarn)

Date: Saturday 23 February, 12-4pm.

Location: Port Phillip Eco Centre, 55a Blessington St, St Kilda

Bookings essential $5 earlybird (by 14 Feb) or $10 TryBooking.com

Transition Port Phillip is part of the Transition Town Network – our vision is to inspire and enhance connectedness and sustainable living.


Transitions Film Festival 2013

Posted in Events, Movements by Jessica Bird on February 14th, 2013

15 February , 2013 10:00 amto23 February , 2013 10:00 pm

Transitions-poster

TRANSITIONS FILM FESTIVAL, 15 to 23 February 2013
“See the change you want to be in the world”

Featuring an amazing line-up of films including Matt Damon and Gus Van Sant’s feature narrative Promised Land, The Sundance Institute’s A Fierce Green Fire and the highly anticipated Chasing Ice, the Transitions Film Festival runs from February 15-23rd at Federation Square, ACMI and Cinema Nova. The program also features introductions and panel discussions with international filmmakers and Australia’s sustainability leaders. Key guests include Bob Brown (former leader of The Australian Greens), Drew Hutton (Lock The Gate), John Wiseman (Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute), Anna Rose (AYCC) and Velcrow Ripper via satellite (Director of Occupy Love).

Transitions Film Festival is dedicated to showcasing powerful, inspiring and ground-breaking films from around the world that highlight the awe-inspiring global transformations that are taking place every day. Covering topics such as social entrepreneurship, energy politics, climate change, social justice and technological innovation, the festival hopes to inspire the transition to a sustainable world. To encourage low emissions transport, audience members riding bikes to Cinema Nova screenings will receive cyclist’s concession prices.

Important Dates:
Federation Square Free Screenings: 15-16 February 2013
Cinema Nova Program: 17 -23 February 2013
ACMI Shorts: 18 February 2013

>>> For more information and to view the program visit the Transitions Film Festival website.


Creative Suburbs Forum

Posted in Events by Jessica Bird on February 12th, 2013

15 February , 2013
2:00 pmto3:00 pm

6. Creative Suburbs

Are growing, liveable cities and neighbourhoods achievable? Join this interactive forum to find out.

How old will you be in 2040? What sort of place do you want Melbourne to be? It is now obvious that Melbourne’s population will continue to grow. It is also obvious that climate change will have a major effect on how we live. The changes to our lives, and costs, are likely to be significant. Think: transport, electricity, gas and water. However, population growth can be comfortably accommodated, and can positively lead to thriving communities within existing urban growth boundaries. Many of the necessary processes and technologies already exist. The catch is: we must effectively plan now.

That’s where you come in. This is not just a matter for the government, developers, and planning ‘experts’. This forum gives you the chance to nurture the positive ideas, put a blowtorch to the negative ideas, and learn about what can be done to maintain Melbourne as a sustainable and liveable city.

Forum collaborators include: Urban Design Forum, Urban Rethink, Heart Foundation, Deakin University and Planning Institute of Australia and Creative Suburbs.

When:  2pm – 3pm, Friday 15th February
Where: The Shed
River Promenade, Fed Square
>>> This forum is being held as part of the Sustainable Living Festival, check the website to find out more.


Sustainable Living Festival 2013

Posted in Events, Movements by Jessica Bird on February 7th, 2013

9 February , 2013to24 February , 2013
Source: Sustainable Living Festival 2013.

SLF_Festival2013Posters
Poster from the SLF 2013 wesbsite.

From “A guide to unpacking your festival program” by Festival Team 2013.

Australia’s largest sustainable living celebration is back with a jam-packed program with more than 300 events over two weeks across Victoria. This year’s diverse program includes delightfully different perspectives bound to challenge, engage and inspire action. As a guide to this ocean of events, we hope this blog post will help you navigate the program better.

Big Weekend: At the heart of the Festival, the Big Weekend program at Federation Square on 15 -17 Feb includes high quality food for thought in The Great Debate, influential thought leaders, such as Annie Leonard behind the widespread online animation The Story of Stuff, and a laughter guarantee at the Steaming Toad Variety Show with HG Nelson and Dan Ilic. By buying a ticket to these key Festival events, curated by the Festival’s operations team itself, you’re supporting the future of this non-profit Festival. Other event highlights of this year’s Big Weekend program we are really excited about bringing to you include Jason Roberts’ Better Block Keynote, The World’s Biggest Organic Feast hosted by ABC TV’s Costa Georgiadis, the Fix it! Workshop. While forums, talks and interactives like The Heat is On, Activating Community Energy, Playing God with the Planet, Green Inventors, The Gratitude Box and No Place like Homelands are sure to inspire and educate. Over the Big Weekend, Birrarung Marr and River Promenade are transformed into a bustling mini-village, complete with The Green Market and Bikefest Treadlie Market. In the weekend’s open community program stream, there’s a multitude of exhibitions, forums, kids activities, performances and workshops to discover.

Melbourne CBD: The second layer of the Festival takes place across Melbourne’s CBD, as the city comes to life with events throughout 9 – 24 Feb. This year, the Sustainable Living Festival, together with City of Melbourne and CrowdSpot, are launching My EcoCity Map, a collaborative online map for residents and visitors to capture and share sustainable projects, events, shops and organisations in the city. Check out the map and add you own favourite EcoCity spots! As part of the Festival’s film program, the Transition Film Festival kicks off on 15 Feb and runs til 24 Feb with solutions focused movies at several cinemas across town. Sign up to be part of the nationwide synchronised screening of Transition 2.0, a movie that tells an inspiring story of Transition Towns initiatives from around the world.

Statewide: In the second week of the statewide Festival program, the Festival’s first ever regional Victorian tour program – The Better Block Tour – heads out to regional locations (18 – 24 Feb) to help kickstart a revitalization of neighborhoods and communities across Victoria by inspiring, connecting and supporting local changemakers. Across the State of Victoria, there are a huge range of events taking place, feeding conversations and generating new ideas on how you can find and create your own ‘state of sustainability’!

>>> You can read the original post here.
>>> You can find out more about SLF 2013 on the website or via the festival program.


Coffee for crops: Cafes joining the swap movement

Posted in Models, Movements by Jessica Bird on January 11th, 2013

Source: Good Food via GreenNationAus

Photo by Joseph Feil (Good Food)
Photo by Joseph Feil (from the Good Food article)

From ‘Swapping herbs for lattes in the new suburban good life‘ by Justine Costigan.

When Helen Howard drops into Melbourne’s Lady Bower café for a coffee, she’ll sometimes ask for a free bag of coffee beans to take home. No, she’s not being cheeky – Lady Bower co-owner Vanessa Nitsos is happy to oblige. It’s an informal trade for the bunches of herbs Howard drops off to the cafe regularly. A coffee, breakfast, maybe even a three-course dinner, are some of the trades regularly made between local gardeners and savvy café owners with both a desire to source local products and an eye on the bottom-line. After all, what could be better than sourcing fruit from a garden just down the road? Usually harvested the day it’s eaten, trading excess fruit, herbs, vegetables and flowers for a meal, or coffee or a jar of jam, is a deal that seems to work beautifully for both the local gardeners and the restaurants.

James Hird, co-owner of Buzo and Wine Library in the Sydney suburb of Woollahra, keeps an eye on what’s growing in his local neighbourhood. If he knows it’s a good year for lush rosemary, plump backyard lemons or juicy mulberries, he’ll put out the word to his customers that he’d love to have any excess from their gardens. As well as sourcing locally, he also has his own rooftop garden and a beehive. Hird says his garden, plus local backyard produce, can only ever supplement his stockroom needs. But he says the effort to source produce which doesn’t require anyone to get into a car is worth it. “It’s a huge untapped resource. We go through about six market bunches of rosemary a day. To take out the cost of this alone has an effect on the bottom-line.” There’s a benefit for the growers too. Hird always offers something in return, but says there are no hard-and-fast rules to the exchange. “I might offer dinner for the harvest from a whole mulberry tree – that’s three months worth of jam for us – or it might be an offer of coffee or breakfast. It’s pretty fluid.”

In Melbourne, Nitsos alerted locals to her interest in local produce before the café even opened, and by the time it was ready for business in February 2012, she already had a couple of nearby gardening enthusiasts willing to share. When Helen Howard started dropping in bunches of herbs from her garden, Nitsos would always offer a cup of coffee in return. “When I started bringing in stuff, Vanessa would ask me to stay and have a coffee, but as I was usually on my way to work, I couldn’t stop. So I asked them if I could have a 250g bag of coffee every couple of weeks in return. It’s a handy arrangement. I (wouldn’t) do it for money, but it’s good to do a trade.”

Kate van der Drift donates figs and lemons from her garden to Lady Bower and loves to see “Marchant Avenue figs” on descriptions of the café’s jam. “It’s just giving for the pleasure of giving. Plus, I like seeing the things that Lady Bower does with my ingredients – it’s often something I would never have thought of.” Nitsos says that in the hospitality game, every little bit helps. “The local produce helps us to put things on the menu we couldn’t usually afford, such as micro-herbs. And it reinforces our commitment to seasonality. Although, a customer did come in once and asks us why every cake we had was made with orange.” […]

Cafes are only now catching on to a trend that has been quietly flourishing in Australian suburbs for decades. Canberra nurse and blogger Bec Pollock swaps fruit and vegetables with other members of the Urban Homesteading Club. At its monthly meetings a swap table is filled with produce, homemade preserves, seeds and seedlings to share. “We also trade details of potential urban foraging sites, including blackberries, quince and apple trees, and have been wanting to develop a local Food Foraging Map,” she says. […]

>>> You can read the full article and discover cafes already swapping produce on Good Food.