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


ABS population figures: we’re growing, especially in WA

12 February 2013 — Western Australian continues to record the fastest population growth rate of all states and territories, 3.3 per cent, according to the latest demographic figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, that will have an impact on planning for a more sustainable development industry.

Tasmania recorded the slowest growth rate at 0.2 per cent.

The figures, which cover from 30 June 2011 to 30 June 2012 and were released in December last year, found that Australia’s population increased to 22,683,600, up by 359,600 during the 12-month period.

This places the annual population growth rate for the year ended 30 June 2012 at 1.6 per cent, up from a low of 1.1 per cent for the year ending March 2011.

The Bureau says the growth of Australia’s population has two components: natural increase (the number of births minus the number of deaths) and net overseas migration.

To read the full story, click here

Council adopts forest management plan

Lisa and Darren

Cnr Lisa Bradley and Cnr Darren Power

Media Release | Published June 26

A plan guiding the future protection of one of Logan’s largest conservation areas has been adopted at today’s Ordinary Council Meeting.

The Cornubia Forest Management Plan 2011-2021, which has been shaped by the local community, will play a key role in protecting the 196 hectares of valued bushland over the next ten years.

Health, Environment and Sustainability Committee Chairperson, Councillor Lisa Bradley (Division 1), said following two rounds of community consultation the plan had now been formally adopted.

“Council initially invited interested residents to attend an open day last July in an effort to gain the community’s thoughts and feedback in the shaping of an effective plan from the outset,” she said.

“Following the open day, Council developed a draft management plan for the forest which was released to the community for feedback late last year, as part of the second phase of consultation.

“In total, the draft plan received 63 submissions, the majority of which included wholly positive comments supporting the development of the management plan. Most of the concerns raised by the community were addressed by the plan itself or were able to be included in it.

“It is hoped this particular management plan will be used as a template for others in the future.”

Division 10 Councillor, Darren Power, who was instrumental in the acquisition of additional land parcels and who also played a role in protecting the land from further housing developments, said he was pleased to see a management plan aimed at protecting and maintaining the valuable natural resource was now in place.

“The comments and feedback from the community has played an important role in the development of this plan,” he said.

“In the future, Cornubia Forest will be protected under a Koala Nature Refuge Agreement with the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection. Council’s management plan sets out a number of key actions for Cornubia Forest which will essentially protect its key values against current and future threats.

“The plan plays a vital role in addressing issues such as managing bushfire risk, weeds and pest animals while also maintaining and enhancing the area’s ecological assets.”

A copy of the Cornubia Forest Management Plan will soon be available on Council’s website.

Full Conference Program Available from the Healthy Cities Website

With speakers from the USA, United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia, and Posters from South Korea, China, Japan and Iran, this year’s conference will feature over 70 presentations and be our most comprehensive yet.

This year we have also included a delegate forum to identify actions and goals we can address over the next twelve months.

The Forum will be filmed and added to the 2012 Conference website. You can also access the full program, along with registration details which this year includes;

* All conference sessions. * Conference materials, including satchel and handbook with abstracts. * Softcopy of the book of proceedings (available four weeks after the conference). * Morning and afternoon teas and lunch for the duration of the conference. * Attendance to the Welcome Reception. * Full delegates will have access to selected steam presentations in our online archive (username and password supplied after the conference).

Who is Attending? 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, Coastal Resource Managers, Place Makers and Sustainability Practitioners.

The conference will be in beautiful Noosa, and will include an optional tour of the Biosphere.

Program Available Here

Delivering Sustainable Communities

Discussion of the sustainability of urban development often focuses on the individual building. While the performance of individual buildings is undoubtedly vital to achieving greater efficiency in energy and water use, it is also important to consider the broader context in which these buildings sit and how they are used.

Despite sustainability at the building scale gaining greater acceptance, sustainable precincts or neighbourhoods are still largely non-existent in the Australian context. Our current building and planning regulatory environment fails to adequately require the consideration of sustainability in urban development, and the development industry appears largely intent on continuing the traditional model of greenfield, low density, car based development.

However a greater focus on how communities function, and the impact urban development can have on this, has huge potential in energy, transport, waste and water efficiency, as well as addressing social issues of isolation, access to essential services and support and community resilience. In addition to this, a strong business case is also building for why private developers should take a lead role in this.

This presentation will explore how viable precinct development can work to address both environmental and social issues, discussing a number of leading European examples as well as local initiatives. It will also explore business model innovations and delivery strategies that have the potential to increase the uptake of sustainable precinct projects across Australia.

Peter Steele, Coordinator – Urban Development, Moreland Energy Foundation

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

An integrated approach to designing healthy cities: Local-area Envisioning and Sustainability scoring System

The health and sustainability of our cities have been put at risk due to challenges like climate change, increasing social inequity, increasing urban population and resource consumption. There is an urgent need to strategise to defend against these challenges to secure our communities against the loss of life, investment and heritage.

HASSELL has designed an integrated urban sustainability assessment framework: Local-area Envisioning and Sustainability Scoring System (LESS) to address this need. LESS allows monitoring, mapping and measuring indicators from all domains relevant to urban sustainability, viz environment, socio-economic, infrastructure and governance. LESS helps answer the following questions instrumental in preparing strategies for the sustained health of cities.

_ What is happening to the urban environment and why?
_ What are the consequences for the environment/humanity?
_ What is being done and how effective is it?
_ What actions could be taken for a healthier and sustainable future?

LESS is spatially enabled, acknowledging the links between environmental and human phenomena. It allows objective assessment of the chosen indicators, and takes into account the priorities and aspirations of the community in the process. This assessment is used to arrive at a unified-weighted index (on a scale of -5 to +5) to indicate the state of health of not only the aspect assessed but also for an entire domain or all domains combined.

The framework is used to: diagnose the nature, extent and location of strengths and weaknesses; establish a consensus among stakeholders on the most critical environmental problems in a city; and prioritise targets for future development. This helps formulate urban strategies and plans to improve urban health and sustainability. This paper presents an up-to-date theoretical-operational overview of LESS describing its structure, and implementation. A case-study is included to illustrate the concepts used in, and results obtained from the use of LESS. 

Dr Arvind Varshney, Spatial Technologies Leader, HASSELL 

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