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.