When Billie Giles-Corti first came to Melbourne, she was challenged by her colleague Dr Ian Butterworth to provide evidence that good urban planning is connected to health in a way that could influence policy. They looked into the social determinants of health: the economic, social and political systems that shape conditions of daily life. They believed that health is linked to access to reliable public transport, health food, local parks, places of leisure, and friends and family.
Extreme events are becoming more devastating and more frequent. Communities, economies and ecosystems have increasingly less time to bounce back between them. How do we build resilience for the future? This summer’s devastating bushfires and the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic have given Australians an alarming insight to the sustained uncertainty we will be facing under a rapidly changing climate. Mike Flattley (Royal Society of Victoria) and Anthony Boxshall (Science Into Action) invited a number of speakers to discuss how we can build resilience into our planning strategies for water, agriculture and biodiversity. Featuring David McKenzie and Claire Flanagan-Smith on the Goulburn Murray Resilience Strategy, Lauren Rickards on Climate Change and Systems Transformation, Brendan Wintle on Decision Making for Biodiversity, Briony Rogers on Preparing the Water Sector for Transition, Richard Eckard on the Transition of the Agricultural Sector, and Sarah Bekessy on Building Community Ownership and Agency in the process.
Our climate is already changing. Under the Paris Agreement, Australia and the world’s great nations have committed to reducing global temperatures to a 1.5-2°C rise over pre-industrial levels. Should this exercise prove successful, a 2°C rise will still have far-reaching climate effects, with major implications for the State of Victoria. This panel of senior scientists were gathered together by the Governor of Victoria to showcase some of the work in climate adaptation produced in our state and, most importantly, share actions we could all take in our personal and professional lives to adapt to the “new normal.”
Our warmest congratulations to our partners Decibel Architecture for taking out a silver medal at the London Design Awards for their conceptual work on “Magic” as a “for-purpose” project! “Importantly, this project is not a development play, but a community-driven, purpose project. The plans predict a $30million profit from apartment sales which will be used to upgrade RSV’s heritage-listed home on the neighbouring site, develop a new science engagement centre and cafe, and create a perpetual endowment fund, enabling the RSV’s purpose, projects and awards programs to be supercharged for the next 160 years.”
“The residential tower will also double as a science engagement precinct and will demonstrate ingenuity, striving for PassivHaus standard and cutting-edge sustainable technologies.”
The London Design Awards are convened to “accelerate transformation, celebrate courage and grow demand for design.”
On 8 October, a group of about 16 people, including the Society’s Councillors, the senior team from Grocon and the leaders of Decibel Architecture, convened in the historic Burke & Wills Room to sign a Heads of Agreement, setting out the scope of our collaboration for our proposed Magic Project. In this place of deep significance to Victoria’s rich history of scientific endeavour, we took a major step on the path to realising a future vision for Victoria’s scientific capabilities. In exploring the boundaries of what we can achieve on our small, CBD site, we embark on a new expedition; to be well planned, and with the appropriate expertise in the mix to lead us through as a community of members and supporters. This is substantially new work in the development sector, and will require a translational research approach – the opportunities for involvement by some of Victoria’s outstanding scholars in the broad field of sustainable urban development are plain to see.