Friday, December 21, 2012

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.