Posts Tagged ‘resilience’

Urban food security, urban resilience and climate change: Australian report

Posted in Models, Research by Kate Archdeacon on August 2nd, 2013

Guerrilla Garden_fullyreclined_BY
Photo by fullyreclined via flickr CC

The National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF) report on urban food and climate change is now available for download.
Abstract:

Food security is increasingly recognised as a problem in developed countries like Australia as well as in developing countries of the global south, and as a problem facing cities and urban populations in these countries. Despite producing more food than is consumed in Australia, certain groups in particular, places are finding it increasingly difficult to access nutritious and healthy food at affordable prices. Moreover, whole urban populations have found their food supply lines severely compromised by major disasters such as floods and cyclones which are expected to have greater impacts as the climate changes.

This changing landscape of food production, distribution and consumption has drawn attention to the nature of contemporary urban food systems in general and to the security and resilience of urban food systems in particular. This has in turn highlighted the extent of urban agriculture and its potential to play a greater role in strengthening the food security of Australian cities and building urban resilience in a changing climate.

This report presents the results of a synthesis and integrative research project that explored these issues through a critical review of relevant literature and case study research in two cities. It had three main aims:

  • to increase our knowledge of the current extent of urban agriculture in Australian cities;
  • to review its capacity to play a more prominent role in enhancing urban food security and urban resilience and;
  • to assess the impacts of climate change on the capacity of urban agriculture to enhance food security and urban resilience.

The research provides much needed up-to-date information on the extent of current urban agricultural practices, a critical review of good practice in Australia and beyond and an analysis of the opportunities and barriers to the expansion of these practices, especially in the face of climate change.

Visit the website to download the full report.

Please cite this report as:
Burton, P, Lyons, K, Richards, C, Amati, M, Rose, N, Desfours, L, Pires, V, Barclay, R, 2013, Urban food security, urban resilience and climate change, National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility, Gold Coast, pp.176.


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


EcoCity Food Forum: Melbourne

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on March 7th, 2013

22 March , 2013
9:00 amto5:00 pm

ecocity forum

EcoCity Food Forum Melbourne

Doing Something Good

Friday, March 22, 2013 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (EST)

Healthy food systems are the foundation for healthy lives, communities, economies and ecosystems. In order to build a future for Melbourne in which we can all thrive, we need a food system that is sustainable, resilient and equitable.

Doing Something Good in partnership with City of Melbourne, are hosting a one day forum for those working toward a better food system. We’re bringing together people and organisations from across the food industry, with health and environmental advocates, government representatives and community members to:

  • discover socially innovative and sustainable initiatives transforming food systems in Melbourne, across Australia and around the world
  • envision what a sustainable, resilient and equitable food system for Melbourne might look like
  • discuss what we can all do to create opportunities, enable success and accelerate change
  • learn how we can better cooperate, collaborate and coordinate our efforts
  • make plans for individual and collective action

The EcoCity Food Forum is perfectly timed to take place immediately after the National Sustainable Food Summit in Melbourne, and will give participants the chance to continue building valuable connections, knowledge, capability and opportunities.  Based on the design of successful ‘Unconferences’, Gathering ‘11 and CoMConnect (also with the City of Melbourne), The EcoCity Food Forum will be a full day of participant led conversations, presentations, workshops and planning sessions with passionate change makers and thought leaders from all over the city, around the state and across the country.

Find out more and register at http://www.eventbrite.com/event/5405865088

Friday, March 22, 2013 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (EST)


Edible Weeds in Australia: Guidebook

Posted in Research by Kate Archdeacon on November 2nd, 2012

The Weed Forager’s Handbook: A Guide to Edible and Medicinal Weeds in Australia

Step into the world of our least-admired botanical companions, peel back the layers of prejudice, and discover the finer side of the plants we call weeds. An astonishing number are either edible or medicinal, and have deep and sometimes bizarre connections to human history.

  • But how do you distinguish a tasty sandwich-filler from its dangerous look-alike?
  • Which of these garden familiars is the most nutritious vegetable ever tested by the US Dept of Agriculture?
  • How do you cook with delicious nettles without fear of being stung?

This book reveals all this and more, and will forever change your concept of where to go looking for lunch.

Authors: Adam Grubb and Annie Raser-Rowland (foreword by Costa Georgiadis)

>> eatthatweed.com


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.


The New Resource Game in the Indo-Pacific

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on August 22nd, 2012

23 August , 2012
7:30 pmto8:30 pm

From the history the 17th Century Nutmeg Wars between the British and the Dutch in Indonesia, through the 19th century Opium Wars between the British, French and Chinese, and past the 20th century Oil Wars between the US and the Arabs, the tactics of the New Game players have not changed much because the market imperative forbids it.

In the markets of resources and raw materials, Australia depends for its survival in competition with the interests of Russia, China, India, and several African states. If these market dynamics do not make the level playing field which Australian governments claim they expect and demand from the global trading system; if force, fraud, corruption and subversion are pervasive in deciding who wins, what then are the scenarios for Australia’s future as a resource exporter?

What do Australian policymakers need to know and do to say in the game?

What lessons, what demands do Indian policymakers insist Canberra should learn, or else?

About the speaker:

John Helmer is visiting professor at the University of Melbourne and this semester he is teaching investigative journalism at the Institute of Advanced Journalism. He is the longest continuously serving foreign correspondent in Russia, and the only Western journalist to direct his own bureau independent of single national or commercial ties. Born and educated in Australia, then at Harvard University, he has also been a professor of political science, and an advisor to government heads in Greece, United States, and Asia. He has published several books and anthologies of essays.

7:30pm 23 August 2012

Institute of Postcolonial Studies

78-80 Curzon Street North Melbourne 3051

Charges: Waged: $5, Unwaged:$3, Members free


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.


Cost-Effective Distributed Energy Systems in Australia

Posted in Opinion, Research by Kate Archdeacon on December 15th, 2011

Source: Climate Spectator


Photo by twicepix via flickr CC

From It’s time for a smarter grid by Giles Parkinson:

Imagine for a moment that you are the head of a large group of network operators, faced with a decision about what to do about rising peak electricity demand. And you are presented with a choice: invest $2.6 billion over five years on upgrading your network – the route you would normally take; or spend a comparable amount on solar power and energy storage, distributed throughout the network.  This was the question posed by Professor John Bell, of the Queensland University of Technology, and Warwick Johnston, a leading solar analyst with Sunwiz, when they sought to find out if there was a better way than the traditional response of building more poles and wires to cope with rising peak demand.

Using Queensland network operator Energex as an example, and its forecast peak demand growth of 1.25GW over the five years to 2014/15, the study analysed the existing approach of spending $2.6 billion augmenting the grid, or investing a comparable amount in either 25GWh of storage, or 1.25GW of solar PV and 10GWh of storage.  The study concluded that a combination of battery and solar PV produced a far better outcome, because of the ability to generate revenue from the energy produced, and the use of battery storage to resell energy. Over a five year period, the net present value (NPV) of the poles and wires solution was negative $2 billion, while the NPV of the solar/storage solution was negative $750 million. But because these could produce revenue over a 20-year period, the solar/storage had a positive NPV of $2 billion over a 20 year period.

Bell and Johnston say the main take-home messages from this are that the integration of distributed PV and battery storage into the existing energy system has the potential to be cost effective now, and it underpins the case for reform of the National Electricity Market, to ensure that distributed generation is fairly treated and that network providers are encouraged to opt for the solutions that have greater market benefit, rather than simply being least upfront cost.

[…]

>>Read the full article by Giles Parkinson on Climate Spectator.

>>Read about VEIL’s work on Distributed Systems.


Social Exclusion Monitor: Community resilience

Posted in Research by Kate Archdeacon on November 9th, 2011

Source: Brotherhood of St Laurence


Image credit ‘The Brotherhood of St Laurence and the Melbourne Institute 2011′

More than one million Australians experience deep social exclusion.

Social exclusion occurs when someone experiences multiple, overlapping problems, such as unemployment, poor health and inadequate education, which stop them fully participating in society. Tackling social exclusion helps make Australia a better place to live for everyone.

The social exclusion monitor is a new approach to measuring social exclusion in Australia. Developed by the Brotherhood of St Laurence and the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research (MIAESR), it uses the annual Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey of 13,000 people. The monitor finds that more than one million Australians deal with deep social exclusion. This means that they experience at least four different sorts of disadvantage in their lives, such as being on a low income, having little work experience, not being involved in community clubs or associations and not being socially active. You can use the monitor to better understand who is missing out in Australia and to gauge the effectiveness of government social policy.

Read more about the Social Exclusion Monitor; the eight key groups who experience social exclusion; and the project’s background research: www.bsl.org.au/Social-exclusion-monitor

 


Fire and Rain: Social Innovation and Community Leadership

Posted in Events, Research by Kate Archdeacon on July 26th, 2011

1 August , 2011
2 August , 2011


Image: bootload via flickr CC

Fire And Rain: Social Innovation And Community Leadership In Natural Disaster Management And Emergency Services

This national conference will explore innovative community responses to Australia’s ongoing vulnerability to natural disasters and need for effective disaster risk management and emergency services. Its emphasis is on community-based innovation, self-help and leadership, with the aim of identifying and strengthening effective grassroots community responses to the ravages of fire, flood, drought and wind. The conference will identify cases around the country where social innovation and self-help are being implemented in creative ways. The conference will bring together community innovators and leaders, service practitioners, researchers, policy makers, social entrepreneurs and workers in community agencies who are interested in furthering social innovation and community self-help in these areas.

August 1 & 2

Angliss Conference Centre
Melbourne

Visit the website for more information