Saturday, December 22, 2012

First Prize Winner: Transiting Cities Low Carbon Futures Design Ideas Competition

Reassembling Flows

Team Name: Parallax Landscape
Team Members: Kees Lokman, Yu Ding, Melissa How
Country of Origin: Missouri, United States

Project Description (Short Description)

In the words of Peirce Lewis, Latrobe has become "our unwitting autobiography, reflecting our tastes, our values, our aspirations, and even our fears, in tangible, visible form"[1] (Lewis 1979). Current industrial land use practices in Latrobe, such as mining operations and dairy farming, come with tremendous environmental costs. Recent reports state that Australians, on average, produce over 20 tonnes of C02 emissions per person per year, ranking the country as the world's highest carbon dioxide polluter. Beyond greenhouse gas emissions, mining operations are a large source of surface and groundwater pollution. Large amounts of water are extracted from local aquifers for mining operations and irrigation-based agriculture, causing destabilization of soil conditions, increasing the chance of river bank failures, and making the area more prone to flooding and seismic activity. Moreover, intensive cattle and dairy farming operations produce enormous amounts of manure which is currently disposed of in inadequately sized and lined lagoons or storage structures that allow pathogens to escape into the surrounding environment. The result is an unsustainable landscape that privileges short-term economic gain over human and environmental health.

However, Latrobe's identity on both the local and global level is one that is so deeply rooted in its mining tradition that to deny its significance in the valley's future is equally short-sighted. By proposing a gradual shift over time from the current coal oriented energy economy and opening up its remnants to its people, this project honors the rich and storied history of the region while responding to the need for cleaner energy alternatives. Reassembling Flows thus aims to change this paradigm by repurposing existing infrastructures, optimizing resource utilization, and structurally integrating ecosystem services into design processes across multiple scales. Understanding Latrobe Valley as a complex system of interconnected flows of industrial processes, ecological systems, and cultural networks allows for the transformation of currently discarded "waste" byproducts from these processes into valuable resources--creating opportunities from liabilities. No longer an exploited landscape of extraction, Latrobe becomes a key part in an extensive network of social, environmental and economic exchanges that extends throughout and spatially connects the Gippsland Region.

[1] Peirce F. Lewis, “Axioms for Reading the Landscape: Some Guides to the American Scene,” in The Interpretation of Ordinary Landscapes edited by Donald W. Meinig (Oxford University Press, USA): 1979.

2nd Prize Winner: Transiting Cities Low Carbon Futures Design Ideas Competition

Dirty to Mighty: Brown is the New Green

Team Name: Daichi
Team Members: Daichi Yamashita
Country of Origin: Ontario, Canada

Project Description (Short Description)

Dirty to Mighty is a response to two major issues Australia faces in relation to energy and sustainability.

1. Australia’s declining oil production with merely 3.9 billion barrels of proved oil reserves (0.2% of the world) coupled with the increasing oil consumption, exceeding 1 million bpd of oil in 2011, pose a threat to the country’s energy security. At this rate, self-sufficiency in oil is predicted to drop from the current 50% to 20% by 2020.

2. The world coal consumption continues to rise, especially in Australia´s prime export countries such as China and India. (2.8 and 0.6 billion short tons in 2010 respectively.)

How can Latrobe City act as the key catalyst in providing a solution to such critical and urgent problems?

Currently, the power stations in Latrobe Valley together emit around 65 Mt of carbon dioxide each year. The stations, however; cannot simply be terminated as they generate 90% of Victoria´s electricity and employ 3100 people. In addition, the area is gifted with 65 billion tonnes of brown coal with an estimated 33 billion tonnes to be “potentially economic”.

Dirty to Mighty proposes to use brown coal to produce not only electricity but also liquid fuel as well as many other high value products, while utilizing the CO2 released during the conversion process into additional products including oil, creating a highly viable yet sustainable means of achieving energy security and economic diversification. Brown coal becomes the essential element leading to a completely new vision of Latrobe Valley which utilizes its abundant natural resources without compromising environmental impacts. Along the axis of the provided site, the project introduces a technological corridor of research/innovation facilities focused on the liquefaction and gasification of brown coal as well as the sequestration and conversion of carbon dioxide.

Honorable Mention: Transting Cities Low Carbon Futures Design Ideas Competition

Hydraulic Network

Team Name: Truitt Foug Architects
Team Members: William Truitt, Carolyn Foug, Marsha Bowden, Adam Wong
Country of Origin: Texas, United States

Project Description

In Water Wars, Vandana Shiva describes the possibility of water management for the use of a larger public. An integrated ecosystem and way of life exists in one part of the Rio Grande Valley where other water systems have been privatized and divided the larger landscape. As populations in dry landscapes grow, water rights cause conflict and a rush to ‘land grab’ access to viable water systems. Shiva uses Gujarat and Punjab as case studies in the problem arising between large populations, dropping water tables and the privatization of the remaining natural resources. Climate change shows, however, that water issues develop in every region, not simply in already challenged or established crisis zones.

The Latrobe Valley presents a unique landscape whereby the abundant natural resources have been historically sold for profit, first for local energy consumption and now for the global market. Water here, in fact, is an impediment to the extraction of coal for cheap energy consumption, and so large swaths of land have been de-watered, causing the water table to drop over 50 meters. The new artificial landscape, revealing the hidden ecology, does provide an opportunity to rethink the relationship of living space to water. This project re-imagines the Latrobe Valley as an interconnected hydraulic network. While the current infrastructure acts to separate uses and flows of the entire region in order to facilitate the transport of goods, a slight alteration of the larger landscape quickly transforms the region into an infrastructural space that is decidedly public and connected with the everyday living condition. Four distinct zones along a section of the valley- Sport, Morwell, Water Treatment, and Solar Pillows describe new ways in which to take advantage of the subtractive landscape.

Honorable Mention: Transiting Cities Low Carbon Futures Design Ideas Competition

Networked Ecologies: Rethinking Remediation

Team Name: Studio One
Team Members: Mona Ghandi, Carlos Sandoval, Hassan Sazmand
Country of Origin: Arizona, United States

Project Description

The inevitable shifts in global climate and economical conditions have made us question and rethink the ability of the cities to resist and adapt to these changes. A city like Latrobe whose landscape, economy and social conditions are based primarily on coal based energy production is particularly vulnerable to the global and local changes.

With the coal reserves and production reducing, the social and ecological conditions in Latrobe have already started to decline. By mapping the area, several sites that are currently underutilized or to become vacant with the mining decline were found. Networked Ecologies rethinks these sites as urban and ecological connectors as spaces that will provide robustness to the landscape.

Depending on the site location and conditions, a variety of programs ranging from landscape / mining remediation, to urban agriculture are defined. These “in-between” sites will grow and develop according to the specific conditions and uses, eventually creating a network of infrastructure that will provide robustness to the city.

This new infrastructure will provide energy production alternatives, by incorporating a wind energy generation system to the building’s tectonic. Networked Landscapes proposes an ecological remediation of the mining sites by creating built wetlands that will also regenerate the species of the area.

The selected sites provide a variety of self-sustainable economical activities creating a stronger local economy that can now provide a wider range of products to the outside economy.

Depending on their distance to vacant buildings, the project re-utilizes and combines with them, reprogramming the buildings with community-oriented activities. The local economy depends on each other, rather than on a central hub, generating a strong economical network.

As the Networked Ecologies expand, the existing functions of the city are intensified and complemented. This new Network is ever-changing and continually growing and adapting to the existing conditions.

Honorable Mention: Transiting Cities Low Carbon Futures Design Ideas Competition

Fields of Synergy

Team Name: PUPA
Team Members: Justina Muliuolyte, Tadas Jonauskis
Country of Origin: Netherlands

Project Description ( Short Description)

Latrobe is facing a challenge to control its growth based on changing conditions in industry, economy and lifestyle. Fields of synergy give unique opportunity to create exclusive and outstanding future. It is a strategy for re-inventing, overlapping and mixing transiting territories. It generates development and creates space for improvement. Such areas combine nature, urban, production and resource fields together.

There is natural exchange of land, infrastructure, mobility, people, economic activities, water, energy and waste-products. Smart management of these fields allows preparing for the future changes, recovering overused territories and improving living environment of existing. Synergy is achieved by combining, re-cycling and cascading principles.

Synergies of combining overlap economies, habitats, and activities so they can exchange knowledge, products and resources. Synergies appear in double use of landscapes, shared services and shared environments.

Synergies of re-cycling take wasted products, buildings, objects and territories to create new function and meaning.

Synergies of cascading create a cycle of re-using the rest products, rest land as a source of the other economies or other habitats.

Latrobe 2050: new spin off economies are developed from the mining industry; community lifestyles become unique and variable; new flexible mobility connects region into one entity; new tactics for food production is applied; renewable energy takes over brown energy; region increases biodiversity; natural resources are smartly managed.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Student Prize Winner: Transiting Cities Low Carbon Futures Design Ideas Competition

2nd Law

Team Name: Explorers
Team Members: Carl Hong, Farah Dakkak, Brad Clothier
Country of Origin: Australia
University: RMIT University

Project Description( Short description)

Reimagine rural region, revolutionized by rehabilitated mines and redesigned landscape. Rebirth of reforestation and reconstruction of nature, recycled and regenerated energies. Remains are restored, to retain regional reminiscence. Reproduce opportunities for future growth through reworking and reactivation of rhizomatic infrastructure. By rebuilding an innovative residential region which integrates agriculture with industrial, Renaissance of Latrobe is now a reality.

Rebirth takes place over a period of time. A timeframe is implemented; through which the site evolves and is mediated for future change. These stages involve the participation and expertise of local miners and the machines they use on site. Doing this over stages means the reactivation of certain sites while others are under construction.

Future growth takes into account rethinking the amount of carbon emissions released and employs means of reduction. Transforming Latrobe Valley into an Eco-Hub, through considering renewable energies such as wind turbines, carbon capture devices, indigenous plantations and the reduction of carbon emitted as the main contributing drivers.

Reducing the amount of carbon emitted through the gradual retreat of coal industries will see the closure of some of Latrobe’s mines. In these instances mining rehabilitation will take place to rejuvenate the landscape and bring new life to it. The restoration plan will take effect using the mining equipment available on site, and will include the redevelopment of these open spaces over time. Providing an array of choices such as scenic and direct pathway routes; benefiting both the residents and visitors by enabling journey choice, also incorporating a range of shade, shelter and seating that provide opportunities for temporal social interaction to take place on site.

Celebrating the history and culture of towns, by generating design that takes into consideration and retains the rural township identity of the site. This is done by the introduction of submerged dwellings, which do not interrupt the existing dairy farmland functions, but build on existing and future networks.

The future will see a further development of the agricultural food production industries on site. Through the expansion of these farmlands and promoting the growth of Indigenous crops, which are well suited for local areas, requiring little maintenance. They also support the biodiversity that is important for maintaining healthy ecosystems. Crop production will positively impact the economy, as well as make way for a more resilient network of townships.

Gradual expansion of the public transport system, in an effort to promote linkage between small and main towns in the Latrobe Valley; providing services for new residential developments on the fringe of expanding main towns, and connecting main touristic attractions along the way.

By promoting diversity and expansion of local industry and economies within the Latrobe Valley the aim is to create a region that depends on a varied amount of mini-industries to fund regional growth. Creating smaller networks that function at small scales within the Latrobe Valley is vital to this, turning local produce into local food, local timber from local plantations and so forth. Tourism also has the potential to bring in substantial funding due to the close proximity of the Melbourne Metro Area.

Growing Nature

Exploring the potential of a network system to organise and link the existing fragmented leisure and shopping programmes. Farmhouse typology is re-interpreted; transforming barns and sheds into social entities. It offers an alternative to single family houses by establishing a mixed community. The communities are big enough to cope with the large-scale growing infrastructure. New leisure activities in the plain start restructuring the forest. The existing tree grid will be varied and renewed through a strategic and programmatic calendar. Plant diversity helps resistance to invasive plant species, but also enables inhibition of deadly fungal and viral infections. Carbon sequestration is enhanced by biodiversity with increased biomass.

Student Honorable Mention:Transiting Cities Low Carbon Futures Design Ideas Competition

Twin Quarries

Team Name: DMDR
Team Members: Daniela Miler, David Rohr
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
University: University of Edinburgh

Project Description ( short description)

Spatial development.

We believe that as a sensible spatial strategy would take into account the previously mentioned characteristics, as well as the regional terrain shape and the location of assessed brown coal fields. We recognize that any change to existing mining policies would have to be considerately incremented due to its important social, economic and political ties. As the Hazelwood power station has been granted permission to sustain business until the year 2030, we consider this time frame to be appropriate to transition to its decommission. Indeed, period of about 25 years seems appropriate as base unit for any significant change to a landscape the scale of Latrobe city. We will use this time spam to differentiate short, medium and long term strategy in our approach.

In short term development (0-25 years) we aim to transition from a coal dominated energy to a gas one. This time lapse will also allow the further development of sustainable energy alternatives to a stage of significant proportion of the Victorian energy market. One of our fundamental decisions is to improve on natural landform protection within planning policies. Therefore, we suggest that the northern Quarry, currently corroding the Morwell Plateau, is rendered inactive to benefit from an enhanced regeneration program. The aim is to reclaim a substantial part of the valley, as these mines reminds of missing pieces in the landscape fabric. 

We drew a new mining outline around the southern quarry, which was then split up in 3 stages correlating with the short, medium and long term strategies. The concept of twin quarries is developed the following way: the careful planning of the active quarry is set to help recover the regenerating one. The overburden from the programmed extractions in the south would in the first stage, recover the ground level of the northern quarry. The second stage would seek to heal the dent on the Morwell plateau and the third and final stage would repeat this process on the western quarry wall.

Ecology Enhancement

The given site is very significant at the continental scale; the areas are overlapping between southern cool temperate and eastern warm temperate zones and because of that there are many unique native animals and plants, where most of them cannot be found anywhere outside Australia. Although they are very unique; most of these species are endangered ones. We aim to enhance the existing habitat and improve the biodiversity as much as it’s possible. Starting from the most populated areas, we proposed a green corridor through the whole town, which would require a complete removal of the road, and aim to protect and preserve the green spaces. Also an innovative code for sustainable housing will reduce most of the pollutants within the city; the strategy aims to rate the new homes from level 1 to 6, based on their performance against the sustainability criteria, the houses scored from level 3 and above will be successfully build. Moving slightly out from the city, we believe that well known these days permaculture will sustain and diverse the environment. Use of organic methods will reduce the pollution and food growing will bring many social and economic values. Food production and urban renewal will integrate the ecology with the landscape and create a new sustainable way of living. Leaving the town, our main concept of enhancing the ecology is healing the quarries and reclaiming the landscape. We focused mostly on constructed wetlands, which will restore the habitat and add an interesting visual impact to the site. The region has also a very attractive farming potential, so our proposal contains many different options of improving the site’s ecology; agroforestry will create more diverse, productive and healthy land-use system and crops alteration from the other side can potentially provide with the energy such as bioethanol. Within the region context we plan to conserve the wildlife, improve and protect the environment by applying a network strategy connecting both hard and soft landscape together.

Winners: Transiting Cities Low Carbon Futures Design Ideas Competition

On Friday 14th December, 2012 the Latrobe City Transiting Cities Low Carbon Futures Design Ideas Competition Winners were announced.

The range of entries submitted from around the world has contributed to the development of a rich, stimulating, and diverse field of enquiry into the issue of the changing nature of cities.

The final results from the judging process are as follows;

Transiting Cities Design Ideas Competition Winners

Winner: 1st Prize
Project Name: Reassembling Flows
Team Name: Parallax Landscape
Team Members: Kees Lokman, Yu Ding, Melissa How
Country of Origin: Missouri, United States

Runners up: Second Prize
Project Name: Dirty to Mighty: Brown is the new Green
Team Name: Daichi
Team Members: Daichi Yamashita
Country of Origin: Toyko, Japan

Honourable Mention
Project Name: Networked Ecologies: Rethinking Remediation
Team Name: Studio One
Team Members: Mona Ghandi, Carlos Sandoval, Hassan Sazmand
Country of Origin: Arizona, United States

Honourable Mention
Project Name: Hydraulic Network
Team Name: Truitt Foug Architects
Team Members: William Truitt, Carolyn Foug, Marsha Bowden, Adam Wong
Country of Origin: Texas, United States

Honourable Mention
Project Name: Fields of Synergy
Team Name: PUPA
Team Members: Justina Muliuolyte, Tadas Jonauskis
Country of Origin: Netherlands

Student Winner
Project Name: The 2nd Law
Team Name: Explorers
Team Members: Carl Hong, Farah Dakkak, Brad Clothier
Country of Origin: Australia
University: RMIT University

Student Honourable Mention
Project Name: Twin Quarries
Team Name: DMDR
Team Members: Daniela Miller, David Rohr
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
University: University of Edinburgh

Friday, December 7, 2012

Trainsting Cities Competition Exhibition LaTrobe

Last night saw the exciting opening of the 'Transiting Cities' competition exhibition at the LaTrobe Regional Gallery. The event was officially opened by the Lord Mayor of LaTrobe, the Honourable Sandy Kam, and guest speakers included the wonderful Richard Elkington chair of Regional Development Gippsland, and the most eloquent Esther Anatolitis, Director of Regional Arts Victoria.

The Exhibition travels to RMIT's Design Hub Gallery next week to see the Competition Prize winners announced at the opening event Friday 14th December, 6:30pm ... all welcome!

01. Richard Elkington, Rosalea Monacella, + Esther Anatolitis
02. Esther Anatolitis
03. Richard Elkington

Monday, November 26, 2012

Transiting Cities - Submission Instructions

Transiting Cities - Low Carbon Futures
International Design Ideas Competition

This has been sent to all registered participants.

Re: Submission/Upload Instructions

All Submission of proposals will be done via the on-line submission form.
You can submit your proposals from today until 11:59pm - Friday 30th November.
You can also find the Upload Proposals button on the website.

Click here to Upload

Competition Closes
Time: 11:59pm
Date: Friday 30 November, 2012
Note: Australian Eastern Standard time (UTC + 10 hours)

Keep up to date:
Transiting Cities News -
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Good Luck,
The OUTR Team.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Fear of Second Docklands- In the Age Newspaper

AUSTRALIA’S largest-ever urban renewal project at Fishermans Bend  risks becoming ‘‘worse than Docklands’’ as the Baillieu government makes compromises  in the chase for foreign investors, experts warn.
State government developer Places Victoria met with Asia’s wealthiest property investors in Hong Kong this month to shop the $30 billion project near Port Melbourne that will be larger than Docklands in area.
Planning for the proposed 90,000-resident suburb is in its infancy, with the first public consultations  due to start next year.

However, Places Victoria chief executive officer Sam Sangster said six big property developers and financial backers from Malaysia, Singapore, Japan and Bahrain were already ‘‘seriously interested’’ in investing in Melbourne following his presentation at the Hong Kong Convention and
Exhibition Centre a fortnight ago.

RMIT University planning Professor Michael Buxton said Asian developers sell largely to Asian investors, which would not make housing more affordable for locals.

He said it could lead to  expensive properties  at Fishermans Bend, and ultimately, a bigger price crash if demand failed to keep up with supply.

Dr Buxton said international companies would only be interested in  the  developments they were used to building.

‘‘The type of Malaysian investor you’ll get will want high rise and the bigger the better,’’ he said.
‘‘We don’t want massed glass and concrete towers like Pudong in Shanghai at Fishermans Bend, we want what Docklands should have been.’’

‘‘It’s a particular worry when the head of a public planning agency is flogging major development sites overseas when there is no masterplan. We are going to end up with something even worse than Docklands.’’
In July, more than 15 years into the Docklands project, Planning Minster Matthew Guy pledged $300 million worth of community projects to transform it from ‘‘a development site to a liveable suburb’’, with Melbourne lord mayor Robert Doyle and industry groups agreeing it lacked ‘‘heart and

University of Melbourne fellow in urban geography Kate Shaw said Places Victoria’s focus on  money at Fishermans Bend will lead to  developer-driven planning,  with affordable housing, low-cost business and art spaces, and community centres neglected.

‘‘Fishermans Bend is at risk of becoming the Docklands of the 21st century, or an even poorer version, which will be a sad outcome for Melbourne,’’ Dr Shaw said.

‘‘Part of the problem is that Places Victoria is a profit-driven development corporation that is about jobs and cranes on the skyline, but by giving the market free rein, the diverse elements that make up a real city are sidelined.’’

She said unlike Docklands, most of the land at Fishermans Bend is privately owned, making it even less likely community spaces would be provided without state government direction.

However, Mr Sangster defended his $32,000 trip to the Asia Pacific’s leading property conference a fortnight ago, saying local developers were struggling to get finance through the Australian debt markets.  ‘‘Banking and finance conditions in Australia do make it tough to secure credit these
days, so we need to have the broadest range of investment partners available,’’ he said.
Mr Sangster was also searching for Asian funding partners to help complete Docklands, which is half finished, but stalled in the credit crunch.

The trip was in line with a new approach outlined by Minister Guy in September, who described his portfolio as ‘‘becoming an economic one rather than an academic one’’.

Mr Sangster said Places Victoria was ‘‘learning its lesson’’ on Docklands by planning for community facilities, services and spaces at Fisherman’s Bend earlier. He did not rule out compulsory acquisition of land.
Read more:

Monday, November 5, 2012

Monday Animation

Monday.......Please enjoy! (old, but still mesmerising)

"Kinetic Rain" Changi Airport Singapore from ART+COM on Vimeo.

As part of a making Mondays a bit more enjoyable, we post animations which either we make, or are found on the internet and made by others and are about design, to serve as inspiration. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Renaissance in the Valley

original article in The Age newspaper click here
Sarah-Jane Collins, Sze Kai Chen, Miki Perkins, Leo Shanahan, Ari Sharp, Mario Xuereb
September 23, 2007 

THE Haunted Hills are in the middle of the Latrobe Valley, between Moe and Morwell. Stand on a slope on the eastern edge of the hills and the naked eye sees a vast hole — the Yallourn open-cut coalmine — beside green paddocks in the foreground, the brutal beauty of power station cooling towers in the middle distance, blue ranges on the horizon.

The empty hillside was once a town called Hernes Oak. It now exists only in the memories of those who lived there. A bitumen road leading nowhere meanders through a ghost town of empty blocks. Weeds creep over rubble where houses stood. Barbed wire cuts across phantom driveways. A few sheep roam abandoned gardens, still marked by stubborn clumps of bulbs and shrubs, growing wild.

Over the road, where the immense open-cut mine now yawns, huge crowds gathered in 1954 to see the young Queen Elizabeth visit the Yallourn power station, then an industrial showpiece of the British Commonwealth. In 1955, the touring MCC team played for three days on one of the manicured ovals bordering the town. In 1956, 13,000 people turned up to see international athletes stage a mini-Olympics.

Then, people flocked to the valley. After the war migrants helped build what was, briefly, perhaps almost the "workers' paradise" that had eluded totalitarian states many refugees had left behind in Europe. The town had no privately-owned property but it had the biggest cinema outside Melbourne, a square bordered with churches, and sports grounds, halls and clubs, even a rowing course.

None of this would have surprised Sir John Monash. An engineer and perhaps the greatest Allied general of World War I, Monash returned from battle to lead a peacetime campaign: to drive the new State Electricity Commission, set up in 1916. He carved the future out of the bush at a place later named by combining Aboriginal words for brown ("yalleen") and fire ("lourn"). It seemed better than the existing name of Brown Coal Mine.

One David Ryan had first discovered brown coal near the Latrobe River in 1873 but it wasn't until bricklayer-turned-publican Henry Godrich publicised the find in 1879 that mining started. It continued fitfully, interrupted by fires and lack of capital, until Monash brought military precision and government backing in 1921.

From the grand double-storey commission headquarters built at Yallourn, with its Greek columns, Monash laid his plans. The general's organisational genius flowed down his chain of command to create the very model of a modern power generation plant — and a model garden city. The boast that diggers would return to a "land fit for heroes" was crushed by the failures of soldier settlement schemes elsewhere. But, in Yallourn, at least Monash built a town fit for humans.

Monash died in 1931 and didn't see his creation in full flower. But for another 30 years, his vision bloomed into a grubby utopia for "labourers of coal", where full employment, good wages and pre-fabricated commission houses made life easier than it had been for some survivors of depression and war. But there were drawbacks — some obvious, some insidious.

Coal dust settled on everything. On the roof and in the ceiling. On washing on the line. Locals talked of "the Yallourn squint", referring to how they walked around with eyes half closed against the dust from the mine and the "fly ash" from huge smoke stacks.

The dust, of course, also settled on lungs. But it was not as bad as the tiny asbestos fibres that would lead to deadly diseases such as mesothelioma and asbestosis. Everyone ignored it then, even if some doctors were uneasy, but the asbestos used in the power plants as fireproof insulation would prove a silent killer in coming decades. There would come a time, in the 1980s, when the valley towns had streets of widows whose men had died too young.

This was the flipside of full employment and cradle-to-grave job security. By the time workers realised that an SEC job might be a drawn-out death sentence for many, Monash's vision had already been shattered. As early as 1961 a new regime decided the commission should not be a landlord, and started dismantling Yallourn to mine the coal underneath. There is plenty of coal elsewhere, but it suited management to demolish the town Sir Jack built.

By 1981 more than 600 houses had been trucked away, and the rest were demolished. Now, only the tiny township of Yallourn North survives, near the brooding cooling towers of Yallourn W power station. There is one other thing: the old commission headquarters. Its fate is a metaphor for the SEC's passing. Straddled by power pylons, the once-regal building is an incongruous relic of a different age. Its latest incarnation is as the "Powerhouse Hotel" but there have been others. After the SEC sold it cheaply in 1995 it has variously been a weekend market, a nightclub — even a brothel. Now, it's on the market again. Who knows? The next buyer could hit the jackpot. Standing in the empty bar it's hard to believe but, just up the valley, there's a boom going on.

SIR Henry Bolte called the Latrobe Valley the "Ruhr of Victoria". The comparison with Germany's industrial heart might have been boastful but it wasn't far-fetched.

The state's longest-serving premier knew about power — electrical and electoral — and maintained that without the electricity generated from the valley's vast brown coal deposits Victoria would be the poor relation of the mainland states. Our dependence on brown coal has not changed in half a century. In fact, with the decline of traditional primary industries, coal-fired electricity is more important than ever.

The Latrobe Valley's power stations produce 85 per cent of the state's supply and it is unlikely that will change any time soon. It's the perceptions that have changed.

When Bolte started his 17-year reign in the 1950s, the then State Electricity Commission's coal mining and power plants were shining symbols of modern industry. Now, though brown coal is still vital, it is the villain of the piece: a pollutant that adds to carbon emission and global warming. We use more of it than ever, but feel guilty about it. Some agitate for change to renewable energy sources: solar, wind and water. Others look to nuclear options.

Long term, cutting brown coal reliance might be desirable, if not inevitable. Short term, the steam-driven turbines at Loy Yang, Hazelwood and Yallourn W will keep on humming. One thing is clear: any sudden move to cut the coal habit, even if technically feasible, would inflict further damage on "the Valley" — already bruised by brutal economic rationalism when the SEC was privatised in the early 1990s. More than 6000 jobs vanished from the SEC alone in 1996 as international companies bought and broke up the huge state enterprise that had been such a source of prosperity and pride a generation earlier. And for every job lost directly, others withered.

Some 10,000 jobs vanished in a few years, about half the breadwinners supporting about 70,000 people in the valley towns of Moe, Morwell and Traralgon. Many left in seach of work. Others, trapped by falling house prices, juggled casual work with welfare benefits. Some survived and thrived, working as contractors for the new order. But the old days, when every family had someone working for the SEC, were gone.

Perceptions that it was a poverty trap for a provincial underclass were highlighted when low-rent housing was used to house welfare dependants — anecdotally, at least, single mothers with unemployed boyfriends. That perception was exaggerated when a sad, sordid crime caught national attention.

It is a safe bet most Australians know more about Jaidyn Leskie than about the economic and environmental importance of the place that produced him.

The short life and ugly death of the little boy became a symbol of all that was mean about the valley.

It was a grisly, real-life soap opera with real bruises and real blood. And every mention of it in the media reflected — or exaggerated — an unfair perception that "the Valley" was an economic and social morass, a place of polluted air and broken homes, broken hearts and broken dreams.

It is a perception that still lingers in the outside world.

The reality is different, as a team of reporters from The Age discovered when they spent last week there.

They found the ghosts of the past being laid to rest — and talked to people with high hopes for the future.

This is their report.

Boom time
 IT'S LATE on Tuesday morning and Brett Neilson cruises through Traralgon in a glossy black Range Rover, Santana on the radio and silver Armani shades blocking the glare. He's feeling good.
 He raises one finger from the leather steering wheel as a truck load of tradies drive past. Most of them work for him.

Seventeen years ago Neilson, 38, started out as a "chippie" with two apprentices and a van. Now 60 people and 300 sub-contractors work for his building company. It turns over $20 million a year and is the biggest of many riding an unprecedented construction boom, spurred by a flurry of government and private spending on new projects in the area. It seems the search for clean coal, holy grail in the crusade against climate change, is behind at least some of it.

Neilson holidays on his 40-foot boat at Hamilton Island, or at his 20-villa resort on the Gippsland Lakes. But nothing lures him away for long.

"People keep saying I'm going to move to Hamilton, but I love it here and I'm here to stay," he says of his home town. New projects in the region include a $750 million coal-drying plant, a $5 billion coal-to-diesel initiative, the Hazelwood power station expansion, the $175 million Gippsland Water Factory and a $250 million upgrade to the Australian Paper pulp mill. Most of these are yet to turn the first sod but locals say confidence is flooding back.

"It's extraordinary, I don't know how long it can go on for but at this stage we believe the next 12 months are going to be the biggest we've ever seen," Neilson says.

The Neilsons have been around the valley for generations and have seen things rise and fall. Brett's father, Norm, recalls the privatisation of the SEC as being like "a tap turning off", with catastrophic job losses dragging the district into a mini-depression. Now, the valley is rising from the ashes, with Traralgon leading the way in a local building bonanza.

On a grassy rise overlooking the Latrobe River flood plain a Mack truck dumps a slew of gravel and rock. The site is just one of seven new estates in Traralgon. At one land sale, 100 blocks were snapped up in three days. About 600 houses have sprung up in the last two years.

Five years ago Brett Neilson built six or seven houses a year, now it's almost 100. Big city outfits — Simonds, Metricon, JG King — have come to town to catch the wave.

Lawns of emerald grass lap salmon pink driveways. Contemporary houses, all sand-blasted steel and straggly young gums, sit alongside the neat iron lacework of faux-Federation suburban palaces.

Real Estate agent Ben Wilson describes the local market as "unbelievable". In five years the average property price has jumped 73 per cent, from $125,600 in 2003 to $216,800 today. Wilson says the value of the average block is going up by $1000 a week. People are moving in from all over Australia, with the population rising about 8 per cent in five years.

"If you scan the paper these days there are five or six pages of jobs. Three years ago there would have been one or two," he says.

The old Manny's fruit market is gone, replaced with a $3.5 million retail and office development. A school block in the centre of town up for tender was snapped up last week for a rumoured $18 million. The first new motel in 25 years is under way. And national and multinational companies such as Dan Murphy's, Harris Scarfe, Safeway and Bunnings are pushing in.

Ben Tyler, 29, was born and bred in the valley. He left to learn winemaking but now he and his pharmacist wife Ebony have returned, lured by the economic renaissance. A sign of boom times is that he has become a builder.

But it's not all about work. The beach and the snow are less than an hours' drive away.

On crisp mornings Ben waterskis on the Hazelwood cooling pond.

"People drive down here and they just see the power stations; they think dirt, pollution, but you have to look beyond the stacks," he says. "Sometimes at work we just stop and marvel — 'where are all these people coming from?' Lots of my friends are trickling back. They've seen the world and now they're ready to settle down somewhere with a future."

"You definitely hear a lot of older people still talk about the old times and how different it was," says Traralgon College student Matt Watt, 15. "I think people are starting to realise that we've moved."

Matt, whose father and grandfather were uprooted when Yallourn was cleared, wants to stick to the area. "I'd probably stay here because it's a nice place. I don't think I would ever move to the city."

Dying out
 NOT everyone has a future. Every couple of weeks a retired labourer from one of the old Yallourn power stations walks into Stephen Plunkett's Morwell office knowing he is months from death.
 Decades ago, they worked putting up asbestos insulation in the power stations. For too many, the tiny fibres lodged in their lungs, seeds of what would become asbestosis or mesothelioma.

Plunkett, a former partner with personal injury lawyers Slater & Gordon, says the claimants, now mostly in their 70s, get about $250,000 compensation. He says he can mark the progress of the region's power plants by the diminishing number of asbestosis cases they produce. The now-closed Yallourn power stations, along with the nearby briquette factory, were the worst, followed by Hazelwood and the still-operating Yallourn W plant, while the Loy Yang power plants are almost entirely asbestos-free. Now, most of the affected workers are dead.

Plunkett moved from Melbourne as a young lawyer 25 years ago. Much has changed. Like everyone else, he notices the BMWs and Mercedes on the roads and the growing sprawl of houses, some nudging the million-dollar mark.

But with wages struggling to keep up with rocketing property prices, mortgage stress is starting to bite in the valley, much as in the McMansion-belt of outer city suburbs. Mortgage stress — defined as 30 per cent or more of gross household income spent servicing a mortgage — affects three households in 10 in parts of the valley.

Pulp and paper
 WHEN the wind is in the wrong quarter, the smell of rotten eggs wafts over Traralgon. It is from Australian Papers pulp and paper mill in nearby Maryvale and it has been around for decades. Locals barely notice it. What some people do notice, and complain about, is the sight and smell of the mill's waste water.
 David Evans, Gippsland Waters planning and development manager, concedes that the mixture of industry and domestic waste that flows through the open-channel section of the regional outfall sewer before being treated before is certainly unsightly.

He has fielded complaints from parents saying their children can see and smell the sewer from their school bus on the main road. "They can see this black rubbish sort of flowing through," Evans says.

"You can still pick up the smell in your car from the main road and the channel might be something like 10 or 15 metres away."

The smell, he says, is "basically hydrogen sulphide, a little like a rotten egg gas".

Hydrogen sulphide smells bad, and trees contain a lot of it. Which is why, says David Shirer, a spokesman for Australian Paper, "there's an awful lot of time and effort — and money, quite frankly — spent on reducing odours."

The bad smell might recede when the Gippsland Water Factory is completed late next year. It will eventually treat up to 35 million litres of waste water a day, with up to eight million litres recycled to the paper mill.

The water factory is being built next to a plantation owned by HVP Plantations, Australian Paper's main pulpwood source and the country's largest private plantation.

"Forest is an emotive issue," says Owen Trumper, the company's Gippsland manager, as he drives from his office in Churchill to HVPs Thorpdale plantations south-west of Maryvale. "People feel an ownership of their land. When people see the landscape change, they get emotional."

Trumper comes from a long line of doctors, but felt the lure of forests while growing up in Canada. He worked in forestry there, then New Zealand, before arriving here two years ago with his family.

He drives by plantation after plantation: blue gum, mountain ash and radiata pine. He turns into the spot where Rob Christian and his men are taking a break from harvesting pine planted 20-odd years ago.

HVP plants on demand. If Australian Paper, its biggest client, wants blue gum, HVP plant it. Most of HVPs plantations are still pine — 57,000 hectares of it — and Australian Paper takes all its pine from them. They've been partners a long time and expect to keep it that way. HVP is contracted to supply pulpwood to the company for at least 21 years.

Australian Paper produces the Reflex range of copy paper. Hold a piece of Reflex paper and you hold a piece of Gippsland.

Back near Thorpdale, Trumper says goodbye to the timber cutters and drives down past pine, mountain ash and blue gum plantations. He passes a farm and says he can see himself living there, up near the trees. It's a beautiful spring day and it smells fine.

Coal wars
 IT'S early Monday morning and clouds of steam rising from the huge stacks over Loy Yang power station hang in the spring sunshine. The scene below is not so peaceful. Earlier, environmental protesters have broken in and chained themselves to conveyor belts delivering coal to the plant.
 Removing them under the eye of cameras is slow work. The protesters' supporters wear orange T-shirts with the slogan "I'm taking real action for climate change" emblazoned across the front.

The action is timed to coincide with the APEC summit in Sydney, and the protesters are demanding an end to coal as an energy source.

Michaela Stubbs, speaking for the protesters, says clean coal use is impossible and demands that Australia invest heavily in renewable energy.

"We need to move away from this reliance on dirty, dirty energy," she says. "The term clean coal is a misnomer; it doesn't exist yet and if it is proven to work it's still too risky. It's still 10 years away and that's just too slow."

These views are not shared by most in the Latrobe Valley, nor by Australia's major political parties.

Senator Chris Evans, Labor's Resources spokesman, says coal is crucial. "The bottom line remains that coal will be at the centre of our energy generation for at least 50 years," he says.

"The future of the coal industry depends on us getting clean coal much cheaper and reducing emissions."

Labor, he says, will put a price on carbon emissions and introduce mandatory renewable energy targets to force power producers to seek cleaner technologies. To tackle climate change "you've actually got to change so that there are positive incentives not to emit at the same level".

For a union official, Tony Maher stands out. With his leather jacket, open-necked shirt and big earring, the national president of the CFMEU seems a little out of place with mining managers in business suits and mine workers in bright overalls and hard hats, as he is at Loy Yang when the protesters turn up.

The difference doesn't end with appearances. Maher calls himself the "most-green" unionist in Australia: he demands carbon tax, support for renewable energy and reforms to reduce coal-energy's carbon emissions. But with the Victorian Government backing its commitment to coal energy, albeit with pledges to make it cleaner, why is a mining and energy unionist calling for changes usually demanded by environmentalists?

Maher says it is a question of principle — an argument that includes the "saving the world for our kids" line. But it is also a question of politics. At the last election, Prime Minister John Howard won the support of Tasmanian forestry workers unnerved by the ALP's timber policy. Maher is determined not to let the same happen with coal, and sells workers the message that "greening coal" will prolong the industry rather than kill it.

"Our choice is either to just sit back and not get involved in the debate and watch others stuff it up or to actually play a part in a consensus and we're doing that," says Maher.

Because there is no realistic option to burning brown coal at present, Latrobe Valley power workers do not feel threatened. After all, given their numbers were virtually halved through privatisation in the 1990s, there are few jobs left to lose.

But Maher says it is important for unions to be good citizens.

"You couldn't get a better example than climate change. If coal-mining companies and power companies put their heads in the sand over climate change — which they did for some years, to be frank — they would find it almost impossible to open new operations … because of the community opposition from protest groups."

He is unimpressed by protesters trying to steal the show and suggests they are too blinkered by ideology to accept that the only way to clean up emissions is to clean up coal, not abandon it altogether.

Right or wrong, the rank and file support him. A group of union members who have waited an hour, greet him eagerly. For them, brown coal is still the colour of money.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Monday Animation

Monday.......Please enjoy!

The Formula from subBlue on Vimeo.

As part of a making Mondays a bit more enjoyable, we post animations which either we make, or are found on the internet and made by others and are about design, to serve as inspiration.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Early Bird Registrtaion Closes this Monday!
(29 October, 2012 at 11:59pm)

To register now click on the link below

Registration Page

Transiting Cities - Symposium Video


Dr. Lee Stickells
Senior Lecturer and Director, Master of Architecture Program, University of Sydney

Cr Ed Vermeulen
Mayor, Latrobe City Council

Dr. Darryn Snell
Senior Lecturer, Centre for Sustainable Organisations and Work, RMIT University

Jock Gilbert
Foundation Studio Coordinator and Lecturer, Landscape Architecture Program, RMIT University

Richard Elkington
Chair, Regional Development Australia (Gippsland)

Esther Anatolitis
Director, Regional Arts Victoria, Co-Curator, Architecture + Philosophy

Prof. Donald Bates
Director, Lab Architecture Studio, Director, Architecture Program, Melbourne University

Dr Julian Bolleter
Assistant Prof. Australian Urban Design Research Centre (AUDRC)

Dr Flora Salim
Research Fellow, SIAL, RMIT University

Andrew Wisdom
Principal, ARUP

Prof Andrew Benjamin
Professor of Critical Theory and Philosophical Aesthetics, Monash University

Prof Daine Alcorn
Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research & Innovation, RMIT University

Enriqueta Llabres
Director, Relational Urbanism, Visiting Studio Director, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University

The OUTR Team including:

Ass. Prof Rosalea Monacella
Co-Director OUTR, Assoc Prof. Landscape Architecture, RMIT University

Tom Harper
Research Fellow OUTR, School of Architecture & Design, RMIT University

Craig Douglas
Co-Director OUTR, Senior Lecturer Landscape Architecture, RMIT University

We would like to thank our Sponsors:
RMIT University
Office of Urban Transformations Research (OUTR)
Federation Square
Latrobe City Council
Design Research Institute
Regional Development Australia (Gippsland)
Department of Primary Industries (Clean Coal Victoria)
Latrobe Regional Gallery

Filming and Production
Kelly Bosman & Luisa Mirabilio
College of Design and Social Context
RMIT Media and Communications
“Have your say” is for everyone who lives, visits and works in Latrobe City.
It is a place where you can share your thoughts, and be involved in how your city transforms itself
towards a low carbon, prosperous future.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

LAGI 2012 Celebration & Exhibition

Anyone that is near the SOHO Gallery for Digital Art (138 Sullivan Street, in New Yorl City) on Thursday, October 25 at 7pm might be interested in going to see the announcing of the winning submissions for the Land Art Gernerator Competition 2012 that OUTR was apart of.

"You'll be able to view design solutions for clean energy generating artworks that could power NYC, learn about renewable energy and infrastructure art, and meet many of the participating design teams. Guests will also get a free copy of "A Field Guide to Renewable Energy Technologies".

Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday Animation

Monday.......Please enjoy!

"Tape Recorders" - MCA Sydney (2011) by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer from bitforms gallery on Vimeo.

As part of a making Mondays a bit more enjoyable, we post animations which either we make, or are found on the internet and made by others and are about design, to serve as inspiration.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Latrobe Valley- Steam Progress

Latrobe Valley- Steam Progress- youtube video click here

"During the 65 years from 1920 to 1985 the power generation industry in Victoria's Latrobe Valley grows into such a monster that it freaks-out one of its early proponents: retired engineer John McMahon is heard to say "it's too big for me" in this restored 16mm colour film.

"Too big for me", too big for Planet Earth...

Now that climate change is beyond doubt a real and present danger, it remains to be seen how "timeless" steam power will be, given that the worst case of climate change predicted by climate models could decimate human civilization and cast us all back to pre-industrial times, with the added burden of a toxic nuclear and chemical legacy, visiting a curse of disease and inherited genetic damage to all living creatures.

Credit should go to writer/director Dale Bromley for not censoring Mr McMahon's negative view of the excessive scale of the modern electricity industry.

This YouTube transcoding is derived indirectly -- via DVD -- from a 16mm colour/opt. cine film held at the Victorian State Archive, North Melbourne Australia. Citation: PROV, VA 4086 Office of the Administrator, VPRS 5061/P1/682 "SECH00780 The Timeless Force (Copy C)"

Reproduced with the permission of the Keeper of Public Records, Public Records Office Victoria, Australia. Copyright Office of the Administrator, Victoria."

Monday, October 15, 2012

Monday Animation

Monday.......Please enjoy!

New York City Timelapse from Eddie Peter Hobson on Vimeo.

As part of a making Mondays a bit more enjoyable, we post animations which either we make, or are found on the internet and made by others and are about design, to serve as inspiration.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Monday Animation

Monday.......Please enjoy!

Waves from Daniel Palacios on Vimeo.

As part of a making Mondays a bit more enjoyable, we post animations which either we make, or are found on the internet and made by others and are about design, to serve as inspiration.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Enriquetta Llabres + OUTR workshop

Enriquetta Llabres from Relational Urbanism, an innovative practice in the field of architecture, urban design and development, + OUTR (Office of Urban Transformations) ran a workshop entitled 'Projective Networks' with students from RMIT Landscape Architecture in RMIT's new Design Hub building.

Relational Urbanism has an active research agenda in collaboration with institutions and firms such as Arup. In 2010 she directed with Eduardo Rico Territorialism Studio at the Berlage Institute. She is currently an MSc Local Economic Development candidate at the London School of Economics and a Visiting Studio Director with Eduardo Rico at the Graduate School of Design in Harvard.

Enriquetta Llabres + Brock Hogan

01. Enriquetta Llabres () + Brock Hogan (MLA students) + Rosalea Monacella (OUTR), 02. workshop presentation in RMIT Design Hub

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Trust Trees iphone App

The National Trust of Australia is making the most of technology by employing it to comunicate information about significant trees in Victoria using a mobile app. The text below has been taken from the National Trust site.
"Use your iPhone to find the most important trees anywhere in Victoria listed on the National Trust's Register of Significant Trees.

Explore nearly 1,200 entries from our Register of Significant Trees. The App gives you access to a database of trees and lets you easily find trees using the GPS functionality of your iPhone."

Free Download

Monday, October 1, 2012

Monday Animation

Monday.......Please enjoy!

Chasing Space from Marco Bagni - LostConversation on Vimeo.

As part of a making Mondays a bit more enjoyable, we post animations which either we make, or are found on the internet and made by others and are about design, to serve as inspiration.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Hardt and Negri on Sharing- Polis Blog

--> "Democratic commons...

"A democracy of the multitude is imaginable and possible only because we all share and participate in the common. By "the common" we mean, first of all, the common wealth of the material world — the air, the water, the fruits of the soil, and all nature's bounty — which in classic European political texts is often claimed to be the inheritance of humanity as a whole, to be shared together. We consider the common also and more significantly those results of social production that are necessary for social interaction and further production, such as knowledges, languages, codes, information, affects, and so forth. This notion of the common does not position humanity separate from nature, as either its exploiter or its custodian, but focuses rather on the practices of interaction, care, and cohabitation in a common world, promoting the beneficial and limiting the detrimental forms of the common. In the era of globalization, issues of the maintenance, production, and distribution of the common in both these senses and in both ecological and socioeconomic frameworks become increasingly central" (viii).

Private/public and capitalist/socialist as false alternatives...

"The seemingly exclusive alternative between the private and the public corresponds to an equally pernicious political alternative between capitalism and socialism. It is often assumed that the only cure for the ills of capitalist society is public regulation and Keynesian and/or socialist economic management; and, conversely, socialist maladies are presumed to be treatable only by private property and capitalist control. Socialism and capitalism, however, even though they have at times been mingled together and at others occasioned bitter conflicts, are both regimes of property that excluded the common. The political project of instituting the common ... cuts diagonally across these false alternatives" (ix).

Power is embodied in property and capital, and embedded in law...

"A kind of apocalypticism reigns among the contemporary conceptions of power, with warnings of new imperialisms and new fascisims. Everything is explained by sovereign power and the state of exception, that is, the general suspension of rights and the emergence of a power that stands above the law. ... The problem with this picture is that its focus on transcendent authority and violence eclipses and mystifies the really dominant forms of power that continue to rule over us today — power embodied in property and capital, power embedded in and fully supported by the law" (3-4).

Definition of biopolitics...

"We adopt a terminological distinction, suggested by Foucault's writings but not used consistently by him, between biopower and biopolitics, whereby the former could be defined (rather crudely) as the power over life and the latter as the power of life to resist and determine an alternative production of subjectivity (57) ... which not only resists power but also seeks autonomy from it" (56).

Sharing increases capacity...

[B]iopolitical production is not constrained by the logic of scarcity. It has the unique characteristic that it does not destroy or diminish the raw materials from which it produces wealth. Biopolitical production puts bios to work without consuming it. Furthermore its product is not exclusive. When I share an idea or image with you, my capacity to think with it is not lessened; on the contrary, our exchange of ideas and images increases my capacities" (284).

Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri in "Commonwealth," 2011 “

Polis Blog

Friday, September 28, 2012

Aggregated Natures in the Design Hub

Aggregated Natures design research studio intsallations have moved to the new Design Hub.

Grand Designs Live

The RMIT Landscape Architecture students were delighted with the positive response to their work from the public, and especially from the design celebrities Peter Maddsion from Grand Designs Australia, Kate St James from Universal Magazines, Charlie Albone from Selling Homes Australia, and the super engaging Kevin McCloud from Grand Designs UK. The design studio course entitled 'Aggregated Natures' challenged students to design innovative landscape works for an indoor environment that would create specific ecologies attuned to specific plant types. Constructing the works at 1:1 scale was also an opportunity for the students to celebrate their digital modelling skills with RMIT School of Architecture + Design's rapid prototyping technlogies.

images of the student work
Kevin McCloud engaging with the installation

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Transiting Cities - Submission Requirments Update

Important update to the Submission Requirements.

As of Monday 24 September, OUTR / RMIT University would like to bring to your attention to changes made to the original submission requirements of the competition.

The original requirements of exactly FIVE (5) A1 (landscape) size boards have been REDUCED TO THREE (3) for all submissions including Firm / Group & Student Group.


All registered participants have already been notified through their nominated email address of these changes on Monday 24 September, 2012

All on-line reference to the competition including booklets also have been updated by the end of Tuesday 25, September, 2012.

(Monday 24, September, 2012)

  • Each board in pdf format only. 
  • A1 is based on the international ISO 216 standard ( 594mm x 841mm)
  • 1 x 1,000 word written description of the submission must be submitted as a 
  • DOC only.
  • All boards must be landscape in orientation for consistency in the publication and exhibitions.
  • Each page may not exceed 
  • 6 MB in file size.
  • Be sure that no personal identifying information is visible on any of your boards other than the 5 character code that you pick yourself. 
  • Name each file with your 5 character code, underscores, and the number of the layout page. 
  • eg N9406_1.pdf, N9406_2.pdf, N9406_3 & N9406. doc ( for written description)
NOTE: This change to the reduction of boards has NO effect on any other part of the competition, including prize money, submission dates etc.

If you have any further questions regarding this please do not hesitate to contact us at

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Transiting Cities Call for Entries

Transiting Cities - Low Carbon Futures
Design Ideas Competition
Latrobe City, Australia

Over $20,000 in Prizes / Open to everyone. 

We are calling on renowned international designers and academic institutions from a wide range of disciplines including architects, landscape architects, urban designers, planners, engineers, scientists, entrepreneurs, economists, artists and students to participate in the international design ideas competition titled Transiting Cities - Low Carbon Futures.

International Jury - Ass. Prof. Alan Berger / Luis Callejas /  Prof. Julia Czerniak /  Richard Elkington /  Prof. Peter Fairbrother /  Celine Foenander /  Latrobe City Council /  Mitchell Joachim /  Peter Latz /  Perry Lethlean /  Chris Reed /  Malcolm Smith /  Lou Weis /  Liam Young 

Early Bird Registration ends: Monday 29 October, 2012

Visit the Website for more information

How can we rethink, regenerate, rebrand, rework, reactivate cities dominated by singular economies for a vibrant and innovative future?

Designing Possible Futures for growth and adaptation of rehabilitated mines, associated infrastructures and the townships that are dependent on their futures.

Integrated social, economic, environmental and infrastructural design outcomes.

Produce intelligent innovative short and long-term transition strategies for an adaptive and vibrant regional centre.

Re-Think...   Latrobe as a network city, Low Carbon Futures, An Integrated Vision!
Re-Generate... The Regional Landscape, the Local Economy, Through Community Building!
Re-Brand... New, Innovative and Alternative Cities of the Near Future, Strengthen Identity!
Re-Work... Rehabilitated Mines, Redundant Infrastructures, Multiple Cultural Hubs of a Local Productions!
Re-Activate... Celebrate the Past, Intensify Town Centres!

Transiting Cities is an international design ideas competition and it is open to everyone. Participating teams can have one or more members. Projects can be real or speculative proposals. Proposals need not be generated exclusively for this competition but reworked to demonstrate how they can be applied to the site of the competition.