Posts Tagged ‘water sensitive cities’

Singing the Changes? Melbourne Mussel Choir

Posted in Models, Research, Visions by Kate Archdeacon on May 27th, 2013

The ATA flagged this project in their recent ReNew newsletter as being worth a look, and we agree!

Melbourne mussel choir_Natalie Jeremijenko
Photo: Natalie Jeremijenko

From the Melbourne Mussel Choir:

The Melbourne Mussel Choir enables members of the public to monitor and celebrate the tremendous environmental services these organisms can provide.

Carbon Arts is working with the Australian Network for Art and Technology (ANAT) and artist Natalie Jeremijenko to realise her concept for a public artwork that uses marine organisms to collect data about and represent the real-time water quality – or, as Jeremijenko, likes to call it, the Qualities of Water – of the Melbourne Docklands’ aquatic ecosystem.

One mussel can filter as much as 6-9 litres of water/ hour. By instrumenting mussels with hall effect sensors, which indicate the opening and closing of their shells, and by giving them each a voice, converting the data into sound, the artwork uses the behavior of the organisms themselves as a biologically meaningful measure of pollutant exposure in order to produce a public spectacle.

Storm water run-off, local weather, and seasons will have evident effects on the Choir’s performances. The songs will map parameters such as water depth to sound pitch, presence of pollutants to sound timbre, and the rate of the opening and closing of mussel shells to sound tempo, for example. The mussels will become rock stars.

Planning work has begun with a final launch expected in 2014. The Melbourne Mussel Choir was the winning work of the Echology: Making Sense of Data initiative, a partnership between Carbon Arts, the Australian Network of Art and Technology and developer, Lend Lease.


Melbourne’s Transition to a Water Sensitive City: Recommendations for Strategic Action

Posted in Research by Kate Archdeacon on September 3rd, 2012

Source: Clearwater

The report Melbourne’s Transition to a Water Sensitive City: Recommendations for Strategic Action provides an interpretation of the outcomes of the Melbourne’s Transition to a Water Sensitive City project, led by Monash Water for Liveability. The project involved a series of four workshops in the Yarra Valley region of Melbourne and a series of five workshops in the South East region of Melbourne.

The workshop participants were from a range of organisations that have a role in the planning, design, management and use of Melbourne’s water system. This report presents the authors’ interpretation and synthesis of outcomes from the two workshops series and translates them to provide recommendations for coordinated strategic action across key stakeholder groups to enable transformative change in Melbourne’s water system.

From the report:

50-Year Vision of Melbourne as a Water Sensitive City

Developing a shared long-term vision of a desired future is an important step in recognising that everyone is connected through shared desires and concerns. Workshop participants were asked to identify the principles that will guide how we plan, invest, design, manage, regulate, monitor and evaluate our actions in this desired future. Building on the Living Melbourne, Living Victoria Roadmap principles (Living Victoria Ministerial Advisory Council, 2011), the working groups of the participants developed a 50-year vision of Melbourne as a Water Sensitive City, underpinned by four overlapping themes: Social and Ecological Health, Connected Communities, Shared Prosperity and Our Water System.

>>Visit the Clearwater site to download the full report.

Water Sensitive Cities Tour 2012: Project snapshots

Posted in Research by Kate Archdeacon on June 21st, 2012

Photo of the Isar River in Munich by Marcio Cabral de Moura via flickr CC

From “Water Sensitive Cities 2012 Study Tour Group return home“:

The Water Sensitive Cities 2012 Study Tour group, comprising of 18 young water professionals from across Australia, have now completed the overseas leg of their trip. The group travelled to Singapore, the UK, Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands to develop their knowledge of integrated water management and to draw out relevant learnings that can aid Australia in moving towards a Water Sensitive City.

Tour participant Nicole Sexton, Senior Planner Strategy and Sustainability from Barwon Water, produced a poster presentation for the Healthy Cities Conference in Geelong on 6-8 June. The poster provides a snapshot of the sites that the group visited.

Click here to view the poster.

What is a Water-Sensitive City? Workshop

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on May 24th, 2012

5 June , 2012
4:00 pmto6:00 pm

Clearwater, in partnership with Warrnambool City Council and Horizon 21, will be delivering a free workshop to learn about the benefits of applying Water Sensitive Urban Design, a range of sustainable water management techniques, and relevant policy and legislation.

Tuesday June 5th, 4-6pm

This workshop is appropriate for those who plan and manage the urban built environment (streetscape, carpark and parkland elements) and are looking for ways to utilise stormwater and improve the quality of run off stormwater and create a water sensitive City.  This session is ideal for planners, engineers, drafts people, architects, horticulturalists, builders and site supervisors. At the end of this session you will:

  • become familiar with the concepts required to design an effective stormwater harvesting project
  • learn about the latest research in stormwater pollutants
  • gain an understanding of how to plan for and apply stormwater technologies
  • learn about an innovative water harvesting project underway in the South West.
RSVP by Friday 1 June 2012 via the Clearwater website.

Living Rivers: Funding for council WSUD projects

Posted in Movements, Seeking by Kate Archdeacon on February 2nd, 2012

Living Rivers is a Melbourne Water program offering tailored packages of technical and funding support for the implementation of strategic and structural water-sensitive urban design (WSUD) projects. They have recently developed fact sheets detailing the program aims, funding packages and frequently asked questions. Living Rivers works in partnership with 38 local councils across Melbourne to increase council’s capacity to deliver sustainable stormwater management outcomes. They are a proud supporter of the Clearwater program and we work closely together to develop and deliver complimentary council capacity building initiatives to accelerate the uptake of WSUD.

Click here to view Living Rivers Fact Sheets which have details such as FAQs, various funding packages, and Program contacts.

Water Sensitive Cities Study Tour: Applications Open

Posted in Research, Seeking by Kate Archdeacon on July 15th, 2011

The Study Tour is an excellent opportunity to develop your leadership skills, learn about water sensitive cities, see what change looks like on the ground, and develop networks within Australia and overseas.

This is the third time such a tour has been run. The first tour travelled to North America in 2005, the second tour travelled to Europe in 2009. Participants came from water authorities, local governments, environmental NGOs, consultants and academia and represented Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and New Zealand. The tour group will be made up of young professionals from across Australia who will:

  • Travel to another Australian city to review innovative approaches to water
  • Report to the WSUD12 conference in February 2012 on ideas and successes within Australia
  • Travel overseas to further seek examples of cutting edge of sustainable cities.
  • Report back and engage with decision makers to progress your ideas

Who should apply

Although it is an industry based study tour, it is open to young leaders who are passionate about water, cities, and making a difference. This means anyone from engineers, scientists, landscape architects, social scientists to policy advisors, urban planners, designers, ecologists, and chemists.


Approximately $10,000 (excl GST) is required. This is expected to cover the initial trip within Australian, and overseas trip, and the evaluation and reporting costs and conference registration fees for WSUD 2012.

The benefits

The benefits are huge: personal development, exposure to some of the best thinking in urban water management, ability to manage teams, engagement with key influencers within Australia, and the opportunity to go through an experiential learning approach.

Key Dates

  • 15 August, 2011 – Applications close
  • 6 September, 2011 – Successful applicants attend a group briefing and planning session in Melbourne
Visit the website or download the flyer for more information.

Water Sensitive Cities: Winter School

Posted in Events, Research by Kate Archdeacon on May 25th, 2011

11 July , 2011 9:00 amto15 July , 2011 5:30 pm

The Water Sensitive Cities Winter School is a unique opportunity to hear from Australia’s leading researchers and thought-leaders on key actions in delivering water sensitive and liveable cities. Lectures and workshops will present latest solutions and concepts on required technologies for stormwater treatment, urban design and modelling, climate change adaptation, behavioural change, and social and government engagement. These cross disciplinary topics will all be linked to broader urban sustainability issues and lessons from the international community.

Many of today’s societal challenges may be classified as wicked problems where it is often inappropriate to reduce these problems to a perceived single dimension for which a solution is developed. The perceptions of the causes of these challenges differ from one discipline to another and yet they are all relevant. We now recognise the complex dynamics of the socio-technical dimensions of challenges we face today and our cities are expressions of our efforts in solving many of these wicked problems. Water management in our cities plays a key role in defining and shaping our cities’ future prosperity and well-being, as almost every aspect of our urban environment and quality of life is affected by the way we manage urban water.

Visit the Water Sensitive Cities program for the brochure, or Clearwater to register for the event.

Early Bird Registration closes May 31.

Starting an Asset Register for Water Sensitive Urban Design

Posted in Events, Movements by Kate Archdeacon on May 18th, 2011

3 June , 2011
9:00 amto1:00 pm

Image: Greywater Treatment System at Inkerman Oasis, St Kilda

Is your council keen to gain a better understanding of its Water Sensitive Urban Design assets? Are you interested in exploring ways of recording information necessary for effective WSUD management? Do you want to hear how local councils are starting asset registers to manage Water Sensitive Urban Design across departments?

This Clearwater Hot Topic is a terrific opportunity to hear about the importance of developing a WSUD asset register in council. Presentations throughout the day will be supported with facilitated discussion and workshop activities. Suitable for asset managers, open space managers, technology/communications staff, engineers, environment and maintenance staff.

As an attendee you will:

  • Realise the value of starting an asset register that incorporates Water Sensitive Urban Design along with drainage infrastructure.
  • View examples of WSUD asset registers developed by local councils and see how they are being used to share information, support maintenance and future planning.
  • Have the opportunity to discuss different ways to capture, manage and use data for Water Sensitive Urban Design.

Government/not for profit – $ 80.00 (Inc. GST) Commerical – $ 90.00 (Inc. GST)

Inclusions: Arrival tea and coffee, morning tea and lunch

Friday 3rd June 2011 9:00AM – 1:00PM Fenix Restaurant, 680 Victoria Street, Richmond, 3121
RSVP: Friday 27th May 2011 through the website

This event is being jointly run in partnership with the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia (IPWEA) and Melbourne Water.


Water Wise City Landscapes of the Future: Public Forum

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on March 23rd, 2011

23 March , 2011
6:30 pmto8:00 pm

Image: jkay2 via flickr CC

This forum will examine a range of urban water issues such as urban water demand, sustainable water planning in urban landscapes, potable water for cities, city planning and greenscapes, irrigation of city gardens and the health of urban ecosystem and flows. This is part of our 2011 Water Security and Sustainability forum series.


Dr Chris Walsh, Resource Management and Geography, Melbourne School of Land and Environment
A/Prof Tim Fletcher, Faculty of Engineering, Monash University
Prof Chris Ryan, University of Melbourne, VEIL

6.30pm-8.00pm, Wednesday, 23 March 2011
Lower Lecture Theatre, B:01, Melbourne School of Land and Environment (Building 142), Tin Alley/Royal Parade, University of Melbourne

More details: the attached flyer, or this webpage:
Please send a simple RSVP email to:

Water For Cities: World Water Day, March 22

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on March 15th, 2011

22 March , 2011

International World Water Day is held annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.  Each year, World Water Day highlights a specific aspect of freshwater.

World Water Day 2011:

This is the first time in human history that most of the world’s population live in cities: 3.3 billion people …and the urban landscape continues to grow. 38% of the growth is represented by expanding slums, while the city populations are increasing faster than city infrastructure can adapt. The objective of World Water Day 2011 is to focus international attention on the impact of rapid urban population growth, industrialization and uncertainties caused by climate change, conflicts and natural disasters on urban water systems. This year’s theme, Water for cities: responding to the urban challenge, aims to spotlight and encourage governments, organizations, communities, and individuals to actively engage in addressing the defy of urban water management.

Visit the website to learn more or register an event or check out their photostream on Flickr.