Posts Tagged ‘governance’

Transport Systems and Governance: Melbourne Emergence Monthly Meetup

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on July 31st, 2013

8 August , 2013
5:30 pmto7:00 pm
Image via sourceable.net

Image via sourceable.net

How can ideas from complex systems and multiple scales inform the governance and decision-making around transport systems and infrastructure?

The focus of this Emergence Meetup will be a follow-up to the previous month’s theme of urban planning and design, but this time applied to transport systems in particular.  We believe this is a timely theme given the current debate around several possible major transport infrastructure investments in Melbourne that may shape our region for decades to come.

  • Dr Russell Thompson will join us to give a talk on “Investigating sustainable transport in Melbourne using information portals”. This will provide illustrations of how we can discover how sustainable our local areas are using publicly available databases and analysis tools such as the VISTA portal, ABS Census and VicRoads CrashStats.
  • Tony Smith’s presentation will be focused on the western tunnel portal of the proposed East-West motorway, and consequent disruption of showcase areas of Royal Park West, significant Parkville West housing assets and ‘black comedic duplication of the lower Moonee Ponds Creek disaster zone’.

After presentations and discussion we expect to head to a nearby cafe/restaurant for those interested in a meal and further conversation.

Thursday, August 8, 2013, 5:30 PM
RMIT Room 56.06.87 (Building 56, Level 6, Room 87), cnr. Queensberry and Lygon St, Carlton South
Info and RSVP at: www.meetup.com/emergence-24


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.


Food City: City of Melbourne Food Policy available online

Posted in Policies by Kate Archdeacon on November 14th, 2012


Photo from the City of Melbourne Food Policy

Over the past year, the City of Melbourne has been developing its Food Policy, with requests for public input at two different stages during that time – first, as responses to the discussion paper, and second, as responses to the draft policy.  Now the final policy is available online.  The sections of the policy are:

  • Policy statement
  • Introduction
  • Vision
  • Themes and ambitions
    • a strong, food secure community
    • healthy food choices for all
    • a sustainable and resilient food system
    • a thriving local food economy
    • a city that celebrates food
  • Implementation and evaluation
  • References
  • Glossary

The next stage will involve the development of the Implementation Plan – register for updates with the Food Policy team at foodpolicy@melbourne.vic.gov.au.

>> Food Policy website.

How can instinctive preferences improve policy outcomes?

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on August 6th, 2012

21 August , 2012
6:00 pmto7:00 pm


Photo by bupowski via flickr CC

Hosted by Grattan Institute and The Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG)

Why do people in some countries donate organs more than in others? Why do we not save enough for retirement even when we can afford to? Why don’t we buy energy-efficient appliances that save us money in the long run? How can more people be encouraged to live healthily?

Around the world, policy makers have begun to pay attention to the growing field of behavioural economics. Instead of assuming that citizens are the rational, interest-maximising agents of economics textbooks, behavioural economics starts with the more realistic assumption that people are shaped by cognitive biases, complications and limitations. Our rationality, self-control and self-interest are all bounded in ways that have implications for the way we design and implement public policies.

In this seminar John Daley will discuss with Donald Low and George Argyrous how behavioural economics can be applied to the design of public policy.

August 21, 6pm – 7pm
BMW Edge, Federation Square

>> Register to attend this free event here.


The Future of Coal and Gas in Australia: Seminar

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on June 15th, 2012

27 June , 2012
6:30 pmto8:00 pm


Coal-seam gas pipe-laying machine photo by Jeremy Buckingham MLC via flickr CC

Energy analysts and commentators envisage coal and gas playing major, if not dominant roles in supplying an energy hungry world for many decades. Australia is a major exporter of coal, and coal-based electricity underpins our standard of living. Gas development is undergoing a revolution driven by technologies that extract it from coal seams and shales and the scale is mind boggling. Yet an effective response to climate change means the combustion of coal and gas as we know it today must cease by mid-century.

This seminar in our Energy Futures Series will examine this conundrum, one of the major challenges of our time.

6.30-8pm Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Carrillo Gantner Theatre, Sidney Myer Asia Centre, The University of Melbourne

Register here for this free event or visit the website to find out more.


Growing Green Guide for Melbourne

Posted in Movements, Policies by Kate Archdeacon on May 23rd, 2012


Photoshop image from Do It On The Roof, a campaign for (public) green roofs in Melbourne
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From an InDesignLive article by Annie Reid:

Picture this – Melbourne’s city rooftops covered in lush greenery. It may sound fanciful, but a new project launched last week by the City of Melbourne is hoping to green our buildings and houses for good.

The Growing Green Guide for Melbourne was fittingly presented on the rooftop garden of the council’s CH2 building, and will be produced by the Inner Melbourne Action Plan (IMAP) comprising the 4 inner city councils – Melbourne, Yarra, Stonnington and Port Phillip – as well as the University of Melbourne.

The project will comprise a ‘how to’ handbook guide on constructing a green roof or wall, and help people consider all the aspects they need to cover before transforming these spaces into vegetated, leafy habitats. It will also identify prime sites for the future development of green roofs, walls and façades in inner Melbourne, says The University of Melbourne’s senior lecturer, John Rayner.

[...]

Read the full article by Annie Reid or visit the City of Melbourne Growing Green Guide site.


A smart and resilient water system for a liveable, sustainable and productive Melbourne

Posted in Policies, Research, Visions by Kate Archdeacon on April 26th, 2012


Image from the Implementation Plan summary

The Living Melbourne, Living Victoria Roadmap was released in March 2011. It outlined the recommended priorities for reform to support achievement of the Government’s objectives for urban water. The newly released Living Melbourne Living Victoria Implementation Plan outlines the [Ministerial Advisory Council] MAC’s final recommendations for changes needed to the urban water system to achieve a more sustainable, liveable Melbourne and Victoria.

-

From “Sense breaks through water debate” by Carolyn Boyd:

[A] new report in Victoria finds this: “the current system does not adequately support the use of alternative water sources (e.g. rainwater and storm water) for non-drinking needs”.

[...]

Among a raft of other suggestions, the findings push for stronger building controls to catch stormwater at its source and store it – in some cases in rainwater tanks at properties, and in others in storage tanks big enough for a whole urban precinct. When we have situations where more storm water flows out of a city each year than the city consumes (as is the case in Melbourne), it does seem crazy not to be tapping into the stuff as it falls from the sky.

The strategy aims to reduce the demand for mains water by using stormwater for non-drinking functions such as flushing toilets and washing clothes, and continues to support greater water efficiency in homes through low-use appliances and tap fittings.

The report suggests improved standards should apply to all new and significantly renovated buildings in Victoria. The report models the outcomes of capturing more storm water and provides some interesting insights. One of the scenarios uses a combination of enhanced household water efficiency and rainwater tanks to provide water for toilets, laundry and gardens. In this scenario, mains water was assumed to be used for personal washing and in the kitchen.

The modelling estimated these changes would cut potable water demand by 24 per cent, and lead to a 9 per cent drop in stormwater runoff and an 11 per cent fall in the amount of wastewater being discharged across greater Melbourne by 2050.

In another scenario, domestic rainwater was used for hot water and laundry, while storm water was collected and stored at a precinct or suburb-level, and supplied to households for toilet flushing and gardens. The modelling shows the above would deliver a 38 per cent cut in mains water demand, an 11 per cent drop ?in stormwater runoff and a 32 per cent fall in the wastewater being discharged across greater Melbourne by 2050.

Putting the argument for better water collection in residences, the report noted that larger infrastructure, such as dams and desal plants had a “lumpy, long lead time” and run “much higher risks of saddling customers and/or taxpayers with excessive or unneeded investment” – as many residents across Australia are arguing they are now finding with various desalination plants.

Read the full article by Carolyn Boyd, or read more about Living Melbourne, Living Victoria.


Mt.Buffalo Community Enterprise: Final Update

Posted in Movements, Policies by Kate Archdeacon on April 12th, 2012


2007 photo by SplaTT via flickr CC

Back in 2010, we started hearing about the Mt.Buffalo Community Enterprise (MBCE) – a group established to take over the lease of the Mt Buffalo Chalet.  At the time, David Brookes, Managing Director of Social Traders said, “The proposed redevelopment of the Chalet by the North East community has the potential to create an iconic social enterprise for Victoria and we welcome the opportunity to support the business planning process over the next 12 months.”

We received a final update from the group today, along with an open letter to the community which we reprint in full below.  The MBCE is wrapping up, but support for the Chalet to be used as accommodation is still strong, and the local community is discussing further public meetings with the shire council, so stay involved if you have the chance.

Open Letter to the Community

In 2009, a group of 17 North East residents got together to develop a plan to restore and rejuvenate Mt Buffalo Chalet. As most people know, Mt Buffalo Chalet is a 100 year old heritage listed guest house that closed down in 2007. Today, it remains closed and decaying behind cyclone wire fencing.

We formed a community-owned enterprise that could take over the Chalet and give it a new and viable future. We did it because the prevailing Government policy at the time seemed to rely on some ‘white knight developer’ riding in to save the Chalet. We didn’t and still don’t believe in that. We think the Government and community have to face up to the inherent limitations of the Chalet as a commercial proposition and take ownership of it as a core heritage and community asset. That needs a change in mind-set.

So we lodged a tender, put together a business plan, engaged architects and developed a concept to restore and reopen the Chalet. Our Plan was to cost some $50 million, of which we were seeking about $33.0 million from the State Government. Our community ownership model offered a way to pool Government and private investment with 51% of profits going back to into the community through a separate Mt Buffalo Community Foundation.

Unfortunately, the Government has not supported our proposal. In a recent announcement, Environment Minister Ryan Smith has allocated funds to do further research into options and what the future for the Chalet might be.

On this basis, the members of Mt Buffalo Community Enterprise Pty Ltd. formally resolved on 27 March 2012 to commence wind-up proceedings for our company. We have recognised that the Government has chosen to explore other directions and options and not to follow the community ownership path we proposed for the Chalet.

The Minister says that the Government does not believe that accommodation can be a viable option at Mt Buffalo in the future. We don’t agree. We think it can be viable if the Government is prepared to invest in the necessary infrastructure. More than that, accommodation is intrinsic to what the Chalet is. The situation the Chalet finds itself in can be put down to many decades –under governments of both persuasions – of inadequate investment.

Mt Buffalo Community Enterprise developed a Plan that would restore that Chalet to its former glory, respect its heritage status, and at the same time bring it up to being a 21st century visitor destination. Our vision was to get the people of Victoria and the North East to become actual shareholders in a community-owned, 21st Century Chalet. Under our plan, it would have a modern day visitor interpretative centre and cafe complex as well as accommodation. Our Plan would see the Chalet become –again – a ‘must-see’ visitor destination as a focal point for the whole North East.

The shareholders of Mt Buffalo Community Enterprise accept the Government’s decision. However, our passion and desire to save the Chalet has not diminished.

Our fear now is that the flawed presumption that accommodation can never again work up at the Chalet will gain legs. Our fear is that the accommodation at the Chalet will be demolished to make way for a limited, half-hearted cafe /parks office without first having a grand plan and institutional structure for ownership in place.

If that happens, it will mean that in fact we haven’t saved Mt Buffalo Chalet at all. We will have preserved some of the physical remnants of a former Chalet as some type of museum piece.

Our position remains that Mt Buffalo Chalet should be preserved and rejuvenated as an iconic guesthouse/accommodation and visitor destination for future generations to enjoy. It has the potential to be a significant generator of employment and economic benefit as well as community benefit. As a community, we need to find a way to make the significant investment necessary to achieve that. Indeed, if this is the Government’s goal, we will wholeheartedly support it.

The members of Mt Buffalo Community Enterprise would like to say thank you to everyone in the community who has supported us in our efforts over the past 2 years. We entered this process, in good faith, only because we care about Mt Buffalo Chalet. We are proud of the Plans we developed – they have stood up to significant financial, technical and heritage scrutiny.

What Happens Now?

There is clearly still a need for a broad-based community advocacy group to be formed to advocate into the Government on the communities behalf – “Save Our Chalet”. We have approached Alpine Shire to convene a public meeting in the next month or so to discuss what such a group might look like, ascertain interest and get things moving.

We hope like-minded people and institutions across Victoria and the North East will continue through other channels to advocate and agitate so our children and grand children can one day enjoy a genuine experience of Mt Buffalo Chalet.

Yours sincerely,

John Brown AO

Chairman

Mt Buffalo Community Enterprise Pty. Ltd.

www.mountbuffalocommunityenterprise.com.au

Australia’s transition to a post carbon future: Post Carbon Pathways report

Posted in Movements, Research by Jessica Bird on April 11th, 2012


Image source: AAP 

From What Australia can learn from the world’s best de-carbonisation policies by John Wiseman and Taegen Edwards

Around the world an increasing number of detailed policy road maps are demonstrating the possibility, necessity and urgency of a rapid transition to a just and sustainable post carbon future. The key barriers to this transition are social and political, not technological and financial.

The Post Carbon Pathways report, published by the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, University of Melbourne and the Centre for Policy Development has reviewed 18 of the most comprehensive and rigorous post carbon economy transition strategies. As Australia enters the next phase of the climate change policy debate, this report will provide vital information on how other jurisdictions are designing and implementing large-scale plans to remove carbon from their economies. The review focuses on transition road maps produced by governments with the strongest emissions reduction targets, such as Germany, Denmark and the UK. It also looks at the most comprehensive and influential non-government authored strategies such as Zero Carbon Britain, Zero Carbon Australia and World in Transition (German Advisory Council on Global Change). Our analysis of these diverse ways of reaching a post-carbon future highlights several key lessons.

The window is closing fast
A wide range of detailed national and global level strategies demonstrate the technological and economic feasibility of rapidly moving to a post carbon economy. This goal can still be achieved at the scale and speed required to significantly reduce the risk of runaway climate change. But the gateway for effective action is rapidly closing. Decisive action in the next five to ten years will be critical. There is a crucial difference between transition strategies that advocate a pragmatic and evolutionary approach and those that advocate more rapid and transformational change. [...]

Technology is not the most significant barrier
Analysis of these strategies shows that technological barriers are not the most significant obstacles to a fair and swift transition to a post carbon economy. The integrated suite of technological and systemic changes needed to reach a just and sustainable post carbon future will clearly need to include:

  • rapid reductions in energy consumption and improvements in energy efficiency
  • rapid replacement of fossil fuels by renewable energy
  • significant investment in forests and sustainable agriculture to draw down and sequester carbon into sustainable carbon sinks.

We already have the technologies to achieve emission reductions at the required speed and scale. Soaring investment in technological innovation, particularly in the United States, China and Germany, is driving down the price of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies at a remarkable speed.

Financial and economic barriers: significant but not insurmountable
The economic and social costs of failing to take action to reduce emissions are becoming increasingly clear – as are the multiple employment, health and environmental co-benefits of a swift transition to a post carbon economy. Most strategies advocate a mix of market based and regulatory mechanisms, underpinned by clear long-term emissions reduction targets. Some authors however remain cautious of relying too much on carbon pricing. They recommend additional, more direct interventions such as:

  • binding renewable energy targets
  • feed-in tariffs
  • eliminating fossil fuel subsidies
  • allocating the funds to close fossil fuel power stations.

Strategies with emissions reduction targets that are more strongly informed by climate science also commonly advocate a significant shift towards economic priorities which focus on improving social and ecological wellbeing rather than unconstrained growth in material consumption.  [...]

There is no solution to climate change without climate justice
Intergenerational justice – the need to respect and protect the livelihoods and opportunities of future generations – remains the most powerful ethical justification for taking prudent and decisive climate change action now. There is also widespread recognition that political support for a rapid transition to a post carbon economy depends on implementing policies to overcome key social equity challenges – within and beyond national borders.

The key barriers are social and political
The biggest barriers preventing a rapid transition to a post carbon future are social and political – not technological and financial. The difficulty of securing and sustaining broad social and political support is widely recognised as the greatest barrier to a swift transition to a post carbon economy. The most significant gap in post carbon economy transition strategies is a lack of detailed game plans for mobilising political leadership and public support. Worryingly, even the most optimistic of the social change theories underpinning these strategies, tend to rely on a variety of ‘Pearl Harbor’ scenarios in which one or more catastrophic ecological events would provide the necessary wake up call. [...] The development and communication of inspiring stories and compelling images of a just and sustainable post carbon future will be particularly crucial.

Australia’s post carbon pathway leadership challenge
The Australian Government’s 2020 emissions reduction target (a 5% decrease on 2000 levels) is clearly still far from the level required for Australia to make a responsible and fair contribution to global emissions reductions. Australia’s 2050 target (an 80% decrease on 2000 levels) is more robust. But there is no detail as yet as to how this target will be achieved. Evidence from the most promising transition strategies elsewhere suggests we need a more informed and thoughtful debate about the kind of economic growth and industry mix that Australia should aim for. We need to talk about the fairest approaches to mobilising the required levels of financial, human and social capital. Most importantly, a far more visionary level of political leadership will be required in order to drive an Australian climate change debate informed primarily by climate science rather than short-term calculations of political and economic feasibility. [...]

Read the article in full on The Conversation.
Read the Post Carbon Pathways briefing paper, summary report or full report.


Draft food policy consultation: City of Melbourne

Posted in Models, Seeking by Kate Archdeacon on March 28th, 2012

The City of Melbourne draft food policy is now available and we would like to hear your thoughts.

Attend our Draft Food Policy Conversation event to be held on:

When: Thursday 29 March 2012, 3–7pm
Where: City Library, Majorca Room, Level 1, 253 Flinders Lane (accessible venue)
Light refreshments provided

This event is self-directed, so stop in when it is convenient for you and visit the information stations and take up an opportunity to talk to staff and share your questions and comments.

About the Policy:

The draft food policy provides a vision and a framework to work towards a more sustainable food system in the City of Melbourne to ensure all residents, workers, students and visitors have sufficient access to healthy, safe and affordable food, now and into the future.

The development of the draft food policy has been informed by background research through the food policy discussion paper and a series of consultation processes including postcard surveys and forums where we collected community views on what food means to you.

The draft food policy identifies five key themes for action, these include:

  • Strong, food-secure communities
  • Health and wellness for all
  • A sustainable and resilient food system
  • A vibrant local economy
  • A city that celebrates food
Download the draft food policy and the discussion paper from the City of Melbourne website.

The closing date for feedback is 5pm on Friday 13 April 2012.