The Garden of Villages – a new approach to Regional Development in Peri Urban Areas

Tomato (Tamatar)Garden of Villages™ is an integrated system that delivers sustainable regional development. It is a leading innovative and wholistic approach to tackling the issues of food and water security – a paradigm shift in the way that village and farm development is integrated, facilitated by new funding structures, advanced training programs, and the application of clean technologies to farming methods.

We take the seeds of the world’s best master planned sustainable cities and cross them with our experience in rural towns, and with developing and operating intensive sustainable farms. The resulting vigorous hybrid is the Garden of Villages™. Integration of food, living centres, energy production, industry, water capture and recycling establishes new paradigms. Garden of Villages™ has been designed to transition regional and rural areas close to growing cities into vibrant, secure food growing, processing and distribution centres.

These village scaled “food baskets” protect and enhance land of high agricultural value, produce high quality clean fresh food, catch rainfall and reuse water after appropriate treatment, generate energy from solar and gas sources, are hubs for light food processing and preparation of food for market that minimises waste in rapidly growing cities, and provide quality employment in regions. We are building our first Garden of Villages™ in the Mary Valley, Queensland. We have support of universities and we are identifying master farmers and supporting technology businesses to participate.

The project has earned recognition and support of local, state and federal government. Over time we will help create a global network of sustainable productive family based farms and villages producing and securing food, water, energy and homes for millions while managing waste efficiently and effectively.

Dr Julian Bolleter, Assistant Professor, Australian Urban Design Research Centre will speak at the Making Cities Liveable Conference, 17th – 19th June 2013 at Novotel Melbourne St Kilda


Green infrastructure thinking – a lifeline and values system for ‘liveable’ cities

Landscape architecture/Paris

Landscape architecture

Governments ‘value’ personal and environmental health but debate the level and priority of their provision. ‘The Market’ cannot make these decisions as our economies built on trading cannot deal with these often intangible elements unless they can be a priced. The risks of non-provision remain unassessed. In this paper a landscape architect reflects on this thought against a back-drop of personal experience in the context of the last 20 years of planning, design and construction of new urban areas between Geelong and Melbourne, some of the most rapidly developed areas in Australia.

This period of valuing liveability began with the ‘Rio Earth Summit’ and the Australian Government’s ‘Building Better Cities’ initiative: it closes with the UN ‘Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity’ and the Australian Government’s ‘Urban Design Protocol’. Lessons learned and opportunities lost are extrapolated into the future promised by the conference themes of ‘health’, ‘working together’ and ‘liveable cities’, a future in which hitherto abstract environmental and cultural values will be translated into dollar values on our national balance sheets.

There has indeed been a reawakening to the truth that the health of our communities remains firmly tethered to the networked environmental and cultural qualities that support them. The UN calculates that an annual outlay of $45bn on environmental conservation will yield $4tr to $5tr annual benefits.  Multi-disciplinary collaborations have provided city building solutions of unquestioned and measurable value.

However, our governance systems are ill-equipped to promote, measure and integrate the simultaneously realised values of mental and physical health, water quality, habitat, carbon, climate change adaptation and others. Pioneer governments are turning to the concept of Green Infrastructure thinking – to what extent does it provide the 21 st Century with the framework of thinking to redress problems and confront the complexity of measuring and managing these often obscure yet essential values?

You can download the full paper presented by Robert P Cooper Senior Principal, Landscape Architecture and Urban Design at CPG Australia Pty Ltd… here

Paper presented at the Australian Liveable Cities Conference

Jason Corburn’s Keynote Address at The International Conference of Urban Health in 2010

Jason is Associate Professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning and the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley. He also co-directs UC Berkeley’s joint Masters in City Planning/Masters in Public Health degree program.

He is the author of “Towards the Healthy City”.

Jason Corburn at the ICUH 2010 from The New York Academy of Medicine on Vimeo.

Healthy Cities Conference heads to Geelong in 2012

Healthy Cities Conference 2012 – 6th to the 8th of June Mecure Hotel and Conference Centre, Geelong

The 5th Healthy Cities: Working Together to Achieve Liveable Cities Conference will be a platform for Government and Industry sector professionals to discuss causes, effects and solutions that relate to population health, sustainability,  natural resource management, transport, climate change, urban design, bio security and more.

Conference host Geelong, is Victoria’s second largest city and offers a diverse range of food, wine, cultural and recreation attractions and colonial history.  A waterfront city, it is also the major gateway to the Bellarine Peninsula and  Great Ocean Road.  Beautifully preserved historic buildings capture the region’s colourful past at towns such as Queenscliff, Port Fairy and Portland. There are a number of National Trust properties open to the public which offer a  fascinating insight into the early colonial days.  Geelong takes full advantage of its unique north-facing bay with fabulous waterfront eateries, landscaped Geelong beach-gardens and walking paths set against the backdrop of  Corio Bay.

Issues that will addressed at the conference include;

  • Healthy urban design
  • Food security, buying local, urban agriculture
  • Connecting people and places
  • Urban renewal – green buildings
  • Harnessing social capital
  • Education, motivation and incentives for behaviour change
  • Government and business leadership
  • Regional Cities – interconnectivity – technology – heritage
  • Population growth
  • Political cycles
  • Urban landscapes, public spaces, natural resource management
  • Working with climate change, energy consumption, generation and other challenges
  • Innovation, process Vs people
  • Urban planning and social equity

The Conference will examine public policy and social/community outcomes and consider what actions we can take to positively influence the ongoing debate.

There will be over 80 Keynote Presentations, Concurrent Sessions, Case Studies, Regional Study Tours and Posters.

Mayor Cr Mitchell

“This is a fantastic opportunity for professionals in the public and  private sector,” said Mayor Cr John Mitchell.    

“Everyone from social planners and urban designers to waste  management professionals and environmental groups will benefit  from attending this conference,” he said.

 “The conference will feature a variety of presentations and  workshops that will trigger plenty of new ideas and solutions for the future development of our region.”

“I look forward to listening to some of the speakers and seeing the innovations and strategies that come out of this national conference,” said Mayor Cr Mitchell

Who Should Attend

Policy Makers, Politicians, Senior Public Servants, City Governance Personnel, Public Health Administrators, Academics, Waste Management Professionals, National Resources Administrators, Planning Professionals, Environmental Groups,  Engineers, Urban Designers, Consultants, Social Planners, Disaster Management Groups, Elected Representatives, Mayors, Non-Government Agencies, Community and Industry Groups, Students, Coastal Resource Managers, Place Makers,  Sustainability Practitioners

Committee 2012

  • Philip D. Allsopp, RIBA, FRSA Co-founder of Transpolis Global, Arizona USA
  • Cr Debbie Blumel, Sunshine Coast Regional Council Qld , Chair of Regional Development Australia Sunshine Coast and represents Queensland local governments on the National Sea Change Taskforce
  • Ms Elaine Carbines, Chief Executive Office, Geelong Region Alliance, Vic
  • Dr Kate Kerkin, Director K2 Planning, Vic
  • Stuart Ord, Director, Healthy Parks Healthy People, Vic
  • A/Prof Susan Thompson, City Futures Research Centre, University of NSW
  • Peter Sugg, CEO, Australian and New Zealand Mental Health Association, Qld

National Library of Australia – Canberra

The conference papers will be included in the PANDORA Archive to provide public ccess to them in perpetuity.  The Library will take the necessary reservation action to keep the papers accessible as hardware and software  changes over time.  The Library will catalogue the papers and add the records to the National ibliographic Database (a database of catalogue records shared by over 5,200 Australian ibraries), as well as their own online catalogue. This will increase wareness of the papers/authors among researchers.