A Sustainable Home
Sustainable Cities Index and A.C.W
Werribee Plains Project
Going Dutch – Cycling
in the Netherlands
Solution in Adelaide
Sustainability, eco-friendly, climate change! So much
negative press abounds about the horrors we face without
humanity changing its attitude towards the environment.
We are mother’s and we are conscious of the state of the
world and what will inevitably be our family’s and future
generation’s inheritance if the world does not embrace
sustainability especially in our cities.
We are in no way experts on the issues!!!
We are keen to highlight some of the positive changes
being embraced and experimented with around the
world; turning our cities globally into (more) sustainable
4. DEFINE SUSTAINABLE CITIES
A sustainable city is designed with consideration of environmental
impact, inhabited by people dedicated to minimization of required inputs
of energy, water, and food, and waste output of heat, air pollution – CO2
and methane and water pollution.
The field of industrial ecology is sometimes used in planning these cities.
There is no completely agreed upon definition, but experts agree that it
should meet the needs of the present without sacrificing the ability of
future generations to meet their own needs. The idea is to create the
smallest possible ecological footprint, to produce the lower quantity of
pollution possible, to efficiently use land, compost used materials,
recycle or convert waste to energy, thus the cities overall contribution to
climate change will be minimal.
Urban systems can be more environmentally sustainable than rural or
suburban living. With people and resources located so close to one
another it is possible to save energy and resources , things such as food
transportation and mass transit systems. Finally, cities benefit from
locating in one relatively small geographic area.
5. HOW TO CREATE A SUSTAINABLE HOME
Australia is the biggest per capita emitter
of greenhouse gas in the world.
On the following site, there are some
suggestions on how to build a sustainable
home. For example; how to orientate it
taking advantage of the sun; to build a
smaller home; thermal performance of
materials; embodied energy- energy
consumed by all the processes
associated with the production of a
For more information there are sites on
“Department of Climate Change” and
Sustainable Energy Association”.
There is also a Perth based design firm
called “Solar Dwellings”, run by Griff
6. SUSTAINABLE CITIES INDEX AND A.C.F
The Sustainable Cities Index measures the largest twenty cities across fifteen indicators
using environmental quality of life and resilience performance as indicators.
This is from the ACF (Australian Conservation Foundation) website. There is an
interesting Australian example of sustainability here on the Werribee Plains Project.
In March 2011,the federal government invited submissions on the development of
national urban policy. A.C.F’s submission had the following key elements for making our
cities more ecologically sustainable and liveable:
Develop sustainability framework with indicators and targets.
Vastly improves our cities planning and land use regimes.
Increase funding for public and active transport and clean distributed energy.
Ensure rapid progress towards carbon neutral cities.
Find ways to create a step change increase in energy and water efficiency.
Invest in behaviour change and education training.
Government, industry and community collaboration.
We will have to watch this space to see how our country responds to these challenges.
7. WERRIBEE PLAINS PROJECT
Werribee is located on the western outskirts of Melbourne.
A.C.F. developed a framework for Werribee Plains which explores a
range of practical yet ambitious solutions to massively reduce the
ecological footprint of the region. Funded by the Victorian Government.
It is one of Victoria’s fastest growing areas, home to 650,000 people, and
growing to over one million by 2030.
More people means more land, buildings, transport, and energy. The
local economy is good, and the idea is to protect the fragile areas of
native grassland. It also has unique state and National Parks, RAMSAR
They developed a model which used targets to address issues such as
water management, transport, land use change, biodiversity, and climate
Funded through Dept. Of Sustainability and Environment.
Six Publications were created for Werribee.
One example of what occurred as a result was the Werribee District
Recycled Water Scheme.
8. WERRIBEE IRRIGATION DISTRICT RECYCLED
This scheme supplies millions of litres of class A recycled water
to farmer’s for irrigating crops. This scheme began in 2005, and
has economic, environmental and social benefits as follows:
It provides Werribee market gardener’s with a secure supply
of high quality water.
Eases pressure on existing water supplies
Reduces the amount of treated water discharged into Port
Recycled water is produced from treated water, that would
normally be discharged into the bay. No longer regarded as
waste but as a valuable resource. It is a drought prone area, and
the supply of recycled water is reliable and much less affected by
The water produced at a recycled water plant built by Melbourne
water. It uses state of the art technology to meet strict EPA
requirements. Some of this water is pumped back to the
recycling plant where it is treated with ultra violet light and
chlorination systems, then pumped to Southern Rural Waters
existing distribution system, where it is mixed with river water.
This recycled water can be used to support sustainable
development in the Werribee area. It could be for tourist areas to
provide water for gardens and toilet flushing in the new housing
developments and to provide a secure source of water for
9. SUSTAINABLE ENERGY
“Electricity is the lifeblood of our modern society. Whether we like it or
not, we have become dependant on energy to power our homes, cars
and industry. With major energy shortages combined with the need to
take a hard line on climate change, there has never been a better time to
embrace clean and sustainable technology. With our government failing
to act on smart energy options for our future, as consumers we are left
with little choice but to instil a bottom up approach to change. This
involves everything from deciding on energy sensitive items from the
supermarket to installing solar panels on homes. It is also important to
understand that there is a vastly untapped free energy out there which
we do have the technology to access cheaply, safely and efficiently for
many decades to come. With energy shortages and the brink of
irreversible climate change just over the horizon, it is in our national and
global interest to understand, harness and embrace sustainable energy
Taken from : http://www.sustainableenergy.com.au
10. GOING DUTCH – CYCLING IN THE NETHERLANDS
A 2009 report by the Dutch
Ministry for Transport and Water
that cycling is the cleanest most
sustainable, let alone the
healthiest and most relaxing
transportation method. It is quiet
and, by all accounts, cycling puts
the cyclist in a good mood in
preparation for the work/school
Cycling has become so
successful and so widely
accepted in the Netherlands that
the Dutch now actively support
and promote cycling to other
countries around the world
because of its sustainability as
a method of transport.
I really wanted to
embed this YouTube
clip from the
hour in Utrecht’ but it’s
not working, sorry, the
link is below:
11. GOING DUTCH – CYCLING
IN THE NETHERLANDS
The report goes on to further discuss the
evolution of cycling in Holland, claiming
the Dutch became advocates of cycling
originally not because of the positive
effects on the environment but rather the
Netherlands, in places, has an
environment and layout conducive to
cycling with cities and urban hubs built on
flat terrain creating ideal cycling
However an article in the Guardian
Newspaper (UK) says the shift to cycling
in urban centers in the Netherlands
occurred in the 1970’s as backlash against
a ‘child-killing car centered policy’
12. GOING DUTCH – CYCLING IN THE
Now other cities looking to promote sustainable methods of transport look to the
Netherlands and rightly so. The lessons learnt in the Netherlands are
applicable across the world, if cycling is to be promoted then governments
must have a strong cycling policy that is ‘pro-cycling’. Policy must also
include development and maintenance of good cycling infrastructure, paths,
roads and signs easy for cyclists to see etc.
As far as the sustainability of the economy there was fear that cyclists
would contribute little to the economy, especially within the retail sector
compared to someone driving a car. This has been found true per purchase
transaction but over time cyclists frequent retailers more often so the
difference in spending per transaction is accounted for.
13. GOING DUTCH – CYCLING IN THE NETHERLANDS
Cycling ticks many sustainability boxes, and more offering relaxation and
promotion of good health. Something to pursue in most cities (even hilly Sydney,
maybe not San Francisco). In Australia on weekends especially, many cyclists
can be seen out and about.
One downside in Australia is covering the distance between major cities.
Perhaps stronger public transport links could be developed to connect cyclists
from major city to city, there is no scope in the assignment to discuss how.
14. SUSTAINABLE WATER SOLUTION IN ADELAIDE
Predominantly Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia, receives water
from the Murray River and Mt Lofty Ranges catchment
http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2007/s1903154.htm. However, councils
within the city of Adelaide have created ways of obtaining water from other
sources to meet rising water demands within their council areas.
South Australia has what is termed a ‘Mediterranean Climate’ and historically has
seen very hot summers matched with very cold winters. Rain on average has
fallen in the winter months and occasionally during summer time
15. One such working example is the Water Proofing the West program put in place by the City
of Charles Sturt who developed and implemented a system of Aquifers that lie beneath
sections of the Old Port Road median, a road that runs from Adelaide city westward
towards Port Adelaide. The projects aim:
‘...Water Proofing the West – Stage One Project is creating the first stage of a region-
wide system that harvests, treats and stores stormwater and distributes recycled water
through western Adelaide sustaining a growing economy and enhancing our natural
SUSTAINABLE WATER SOLUTION IN
16. The City of Charles Sturt Council
identified a sustainable opportunity to
capture storm water run off which will
be stored in limestone aquifers under
the western plains
The water once harvested will be
classified as ‘recycled water’.
Currently recycled water is used for:
Non-drinking residential purposes (e.g.
garden irrigation, toilet flushing)
SUSTAINABLE WATER SOLUTION IN ADELAIDE
Sustainable cities are the way of the future,
perhaps the distant future, but it is clear
there are aspects of sustainability that
many developed countries are exploring
and incorporating. The limit of this
assignment has only allowed us to touch
briefly on the topic of sustainable cities and
we have not been able to fully explore both
the positives and negatives involved in
each of the different topics discussed. Or
discuss how long we have before it is too
late to make a change to be 100%
sustainable across the world.
Our focus instead was on the highlighting
some positives, like the water policy in
Adelaide. And as we said in the beginning,
we are just two mums conscious of the
state of the world and anxious to provide
our children and generations to come, with