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Posts Tagged ‘green cities’

Human Effect: Public Installation

Posted in Events, Visions by Kate Archdeacon on October 9th, 2012

11 October , 2012 7:00 pmto27 October , 2012 12:00 am

Presented by Experimenta in association with Melbourne Festival

Yandell Walton (Australia)



Accomplished projection installation artist Yandell Walton has collaborated with animator Tobias J Edwards and software developer Jayson Haebich to bring Festival-goers a spectacular new interactive artwork.

Mapping the contours of an urban laneway, Walton repurposes it as a canvas for a series of vibrantly animated projections, creating a paradise of verdant growth. Flowering vines twine up pipes, moss and ferns spread across the walls, while vividly coloured butterflies alight on window ledges.

An echo of ages before human inhabitation, the scene entices viewers to move closer: an approach that sees the new life wither and slowly die, destroyed by the human presence, only to be renewed once more in a riot of foliage and motion as viewers move away.

Make the discovery of this remarkable loop of growth and decay, a visual arts gem hidden amid Melbourne’s secluded backstreets and laneways.

>>Find out more here.

Melbourne’s Urban Forest: Eco-City Forum

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on November 29th, 2011

30 November , 2011
6:30 pmto8:30 pm

Extract from the CoM Urban Forest Infographic

The City of Melbourne has released the first draft Urban Forest Strategy for community consultation. It responds to the large changes that are currently affecting our city’s tree population in the wake of climate change and urban growth. Within 20 years, Melbourne expects to lose 44 per cent of its trees. The draft Urban Forest Strategy seeks to manage this change and protect against future vulnerability and risk.

Have your say on how best to manage these changes in our municipality into the future by attending an Eco-City forum on the strategy.

Wednesday November 30, 6:30 to 8:30pm
Melbourne Town Hall

This is a free event.

Download the Urban Forest Infographic or the Draft Strategy

Wildflower Festival: Uplift your mind and body

Posted in Events by John Myers on September 19th, 2011

9 October , 2011

Photo courtesy of Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne

Spring clean your mind and body at the Wildflower Festival at the Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne on Sunday 9 October.

This year’s annual Wildflower Festival will make the most of getting people outdoors and into the Australian Garden for many different activities designed to lighten the body and soul.  From yoga among the wildflowers through to bushwalks, photography and botanical art, there is something for everyone to get involved in and enjoy.

Best of all is the chance to enjoy the eruption of colour of wildflowers throughout the bushland and in the Australian Garden, inspiration for the recent gold medal award-winning Australian Garden Show Garden at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show.  Winning gold at Chelsea is seen as the pinnacle of excellence for landscape design and horticultural display. Over 150,000 people saw the show garden in London this year.

Among the spring wildflower display are the Circus Triggerplant (Stylidium bulbiferum), a dazzling plant from Western Australia that is covered with a layer of many small pink flowers; as well as a spectacular flowering lily with no common name (Thelionema grande) which in spring produces gorgeous deep blue star-like flowers, which open over a number of weeks.

Wildflower Festival highlights:

  • Wildflower photography
  • Yoga among the wildflowers
  • Fabulously addicted to massage
  • Wonderful wildflower walk
  • Botanical Illustrators
  • Continuous Colour Native Garden
  • Blakes Feast
Sunday October 9

Entry fees no longer apply for the Australian Garden.

Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne
Corner of Ballarto Road and Botanic Drive
off South Gippsland Highway
Melway Map 133, K10

Bookings are required on 03 5990 2245.

Photo courtesy of Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne

Green Your Laneway: City of Melbourne Guide

Posted in Models, Visions by Kate Archdeacon on September 14th, 2011

Source: City of Melbourne

Photo by Tokyo Green Space

Green Your Laneway

Do you live or work off a laneway? Are you interested in laneway greening? Anyone can improve their laneway for the benefit of everyone. Many people in the central city don’t have traditional gardens but that doesn’t mean you can’t have any plants. There are many opportunities to green your home or business; you just need to know where to start. Green Your Laneway is a guide to inform laneway communities on greening using planter boxes, wall creepers and green roofs and walls within their properties.

The article includes links and further information:

  • What can I green?
  • What can I plant in my laneway garden?
  • Have you considered maintenance?
  • Do I need permission for greening?
  • Have you considered access and safety?
  • Are you seeking funding?  (!!!)
Check out the page on the CoM website for more information, and check out Tokyo Green Space for more inspiration.

Photo by Tokyo Green Space

Photo by Tokyo Green Space


Greening a Changing City: Urban forest, health, liveability

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on July 27th, 2011

28 July , 2011
6:00 pmto7:30 pm

Image: stevendepolo via flickr CC

Greening a changing city: urban forest, health, liveability:

As Melbourne inevitably grows, central to its environmental and economic sustainability, is its capacity to have green spaces that can be the lungs of the city. Appropriate tree planting can serve to reduce the heat island effect, as climate change affects our city. The benefits of an enhanced urban forest and green infrastructure will be part of the solution to future changes, as we grow and old trees need replacement. Commentators will discuss how a future urban forest might evolve. Better places and spaces, healthy trees and water storage contribute to human health, wellbeing and economic sustainability.

Panellists include: Dr Cecil C. Konijnendijk, Danish Centre for Forest, Landscape and Planning, University of Copenhagen; Dr Kate Auty, Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability, Melbourne; Rod Marsh from Net Balance, Joy Murphy AO a Wurundjeri elder and traditional owner and GP Dr Dimity Williams the Secretary of Doctors for the Environment Aust.

Thursday July 28, 6 – 7:30 pm

Melbourne Town Hall

No RSVP required

Where Are They Now? Ben Nicholson, Groof

Posted in Models, Research by Kate Archdeacon on June 30th, 2011

Here at Sustainable Melbourne we’ve been contacting Sustainable Cities Round Tables (SCRT) presenters, to find out how their projects and ideas have grown and changed since Ferne Edwards first launched the Round Tables in May 2007.

Ben Nicholson gave a presentation at the SCRT in November 2008, after spending two months studying green roofs in cities around the world as a Churchill Fellow. During this time, Ben met green roofs advocates; planners, environmentalists and designers, and he visited research sites and commercial sites, some of which have been in existence since the early 1990s. In his presentation, “Vital Signs for a Healthy City”, he described Melbourne as an adolescent city at risk of on-going health problems due to its large energy requirements, poor water management lack of biodiversity. Green roofs would change this prognosis by cooling the city, increasing urban food-growing space and wildlife habitat, and conserving storm water and energy.

In 2007, Ben established his own green roof consultancy, Groof, providing designs and advice to green roof developments in Victoria and overseas.

We caught up with Ben to ask about the changes in green roof implementation and acceptance in Australia since his presentation in 2008. There have been some notable green roof and wall projects developed in that time, including the vertical garden we sat next to in the foyer of the Gauge building in Docklands. During our conversation, Ben reiterated the importance of solid research and demonstration projects for industry players to assist in the development and maintenance of a successful Green Roof program in Australia’s cities.

Below are some extracts from Ben’s Churchill Trust Report:

Just as the ant spends a lifetime crawling up and down a tree without ever comprehending the tree’s full scale or its place in the wider world, so we spend our lives in cities without ever comprehending their true size or the impacts they are having on the planet… imagine for a moment you are sitting on a hill, watching a tree grow that, one day, will be crawled upon by an the ant mentioned above. And from this hill, imagine that you can fast-forward time as quickly as you like, so you sit and watch this tree grow from a tiny seed to a sapling to a huge, spreading lemon-scented gum in only a few short minutes. Now imagine that from the same hill you are watching your own city grow up from its earliest days of a few tents and dusty tracks into the sprawling suburbs, skyscrapers, freeways, factories and warehouses that it has become today. From this perspective, it is suddenly much easier to comprehend the amount of disruption that has occurred to all the other living things and natural systems forced to make way for the people and non-living things that make up your city today. We may never be able to bring everything back, but from the vantage of this hill we can at least start to imagine what our cities would look like when transformed into thriving eco-systems.

In many cities around the world, harm is being reducing by people as they build each new piece of eco-infrastructure into the city fabric. To do this properly, people first ask:

  • what does harm look like?
  • where is it most concentrated?
  • where is the worst of it coming from?


During the fellowship I learnt that the green roof and wall industry in each city has developed in the presence of local champions, detailed science, government support and an enlightened citizenry. The people in the cities I visited have developed policy responses and designed ‘eco-infrastructure’ that is unique to their local topography, climate and system of governance. In the more advanced cities, I observed some or all of the following activities taking place:

  1. Environmental indicators such as topography, temperature, rainfall and biodiversity are examined to understand the ways in which a city impacts upon its host environment. Using data sourced from early settlement to the current day, time-lapse analysis reveals the extent to which the city has affected its surrounds. Forecasting models are then used to predict future impacts with the key variable being extent of vegetation cover.
  2. Economic costs for the design, construction and maintenance of air conditioning/cleaning systems, water supply/removal systems and agricultural production/distribution systems are compared with the costs of using green roofs and walls to identify areas of city management that can be carried out more efficiently using green roof and wall technology.
  3. The benefits of green roofs and walls are tailored to address environmental and economic ‘trigger points’ specific to each city. These trigger points inform local green roof and wall design and assist in targeting the most effective locations for the placement of green roof and wall infrastructure.
  4. Demonstration and research projects raise awareness and provide information for public, private and government sectors.
  5. Political support for green roofs and walls leads to subsidies for the eco-infrastructure industry and the incorporation of built form standards and incentives.
  6. Environmental and economic indicators are regularly monitored to refine eco-infrastructure design and placement.
  7. Over time, the economic and environmental costs associated with the negative impacts of urbanisation are reduced and the benefits associated with an increase in vegetation cover are multiplied.


As eco-infrastructure projects begin to reduce harm, there will be an increase in the demand for high quality products and services. It is therefore up to the people and companies who stand to benefit the most from this demand to provide funding for eco-infrastructure research and demonstration projects in the early phase of the industry’s development. We can learn a lot from the failures and triumphs of other cities. Now is the time to transform our negative impacts into positive ones. And in doing so, we will transform ourselves from being harmful pests to welcome guests.

Download Ben’s report to read more about his research, including case studies from his tour and further reading and recommendations.

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

Green Cities 2010: People, Places, Performance

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on November 25th, 2009

Source: Green Building Council Australia (GBCA)

greencities copy

Green Cities 2010 – People, Places, Performance – is now taking bookings.

“Join us in Melbourne from the 21-24 February 2010 at the largest and most influential green building conference in the Asia Pacific region. Bringing together green building innovators and leaders from around Australia and internationally we will explore new ideas and share practical knowledge in the expanding sustainable building industry. ”

  • Hear from renowned global green building experts including: Malcolm Smith – Director of Integrated Urbanism, Arup UK;  Jerry Yudelson – Principal, Yudelson Associates USA
  • Learn about the latest industry developments, techniques and strategies
  • Network with global and domestic sustainability leaders
  • Visit some of Melbourne’s latest Green Star certified buildings including CH2, The Gauge and Goods Shed North
  • Brush up on your professional development at a Master Class