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

Can Families Afford to Live in Rural areas: the Inequity of Food Distribution

There are many incentives for lower income people to move to urban centres. Often there are more employment opportunities, especially in less skilled areas. Government departments often seem to focus their resources on urban areas and public transport options in the urban centres make mobility possible for low income earners. However, competition for housing and the rental prices associated with a city address often make basic needs inaccessible for the low income urban family.

Are low income rural families any better off? Although housing is often more accessible and more affordable, this paper presents findings from a food equity analysis undertaken at ten locations across the Northern Rivers region in NSW. Our results indicate that a family without a car and with the median household income (for that particular town) will need to spend well over one third of their income to buy food for their family. Our study reveals the dramatic difference in the cost of a nutritionally adequate, low cost weekly diet, for urban families in comparison to rural families.

Dr Lila Singh Peterson, Regional Futures Institute 

Healthy Cities: 4th Making Cities Liveable Conference
Wednesday 27th to Friday 29th July 2011
The Outrigger Little Hastings Street Resort & Spa NOOSA, Queensland