Category Archives: climate change

Advocacy and research to achieve resilient, engaging and healthy settlements

Climate Change

francis

We live in strange times. The Australian Government has led the country into being backward looking and to be so far behind so many countries that are moving to address climate change. Into this important international debates has stepped the Pope. The Australian Prime Minister continues to portray himself as a man of the Catholic Faith. Yet he has chosen to ignore the Pope. Here are some thoughts on the Pope’s timely actions – click here.

 

Dickson Planning Consultation Dilemmas

Development dilemmas: part three
The future of the Dickson Precinct and beyond

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This is the third of several posts on planning and development issues for Dickson in Canberra. Residential groups around the country share similar frustrations, dilemmas and challenges in dealing with planning and development bureaucracies.

Continue reading Dickson Planning Consultation Dilemmas

Dickson Parklands

Development dilemmas: part two
The future of the Dickson Parklands

Section72-DicksonThis is the second of several posts on planning and development issues effecting the local residents of Dickson in Canberra. The issues are not unique to Dickson. Residential groups around the country share similar frustrations, dilemmas and challenges in dealing with planning and development bureaucracies.

Continue reading Dickson Parklands

Dickson Shops

Development dilemmas: part one
Residents and the future of the Dickson Shops

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This is the first of several posts on planning and development issues effecting local residents. The stories and issues are not unique to Dickson in Canberra. Many residential groups around the country share similar frustrations, dilemmas and challenges in dealing with planning and development bureaucracies.

Continue reading Dickson Shops

Climate Change

Optimism about action on Climate Change

big-bank-funding-coal-copyThere are movements around the world that indicate that actions are indeed being taken to challenge Big Coal and Big Oil. From a national government point of view, there is simply spin and pandering to the Big Corporates. Here’s an article by George Monbiot that makes it clear how evil governments can be. click here.

Continue reading Climate Change

climate action

Comment: Action being taken on climate action

rabbott01With Australia’s Rabbott government continuing to be an embarrassment both at home and internationally, it has been a welcome relief to see actions being forecasted by the Chinese Government and President Obama. While there has to be some scepticism around these political announcements, there is at least acceptance that any such agreements are significant small steps in the right direction.

Continue reading climate action

Architecture discovers the bleeding obvious

Comment: Architects realise something is wrong with cities

rmitJust read a short article about how an architect at the world architecture festival stated that something has gone wrong with the design of our cities!

Wow! Now there’s a revelation from the profession largely responsible for the problem.

Continue reading Architecture discovers the bleeding obvious

Big Coal

Comment: there’s hope yet on how to hinder big coal.

coaldrag2Many national governments, including Australia, persist in allowing Big Coal to influence its environmental and energy policies. However there is hope as a world-wide trend continues as corporations start to divest themselves of investments in the Big Coal companies.

Continue reading Big Coal

Climate Change

Comments: Climate Change in 2014

Cover-September-2014There’s talk that Vladimir Putin must be invited to the G20 Summit as it is not up to Australia to limit the attendees. The positive is that other world leaders will have the opportunity to tell Putin what they think of his aggressions.

Likewise, Tony Abbott, who is leading a dangerous government of climate change deniers, was not banned from attending the UN summits on terrorism and another on climate change.

Continue reading Climate Change

Brickworks, Austral Bricks, Developers & political shenanigans

Commentary: emails and corporate shenanigans and lies

Brickworks – Austral Bricks – Developers and political shenanigans

rabbitt01The Abbott funding scandal story gets more interesting day by day.

I am referring to the story generated by the release of the emails between Brickworks (owner of Austral Bricks among other subsidiaries) and the Chief of Staff for Tony Abbott. The point being made now is how this company assisted in the lies about and attacks on carbon pricing while they made profits from the government subsidies then available.   click here

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Paul Costigan, 10 September 2014

Melbourne Botanic Gardens Guilfoyle’s Volcano

Review: Landscape

Guilfoyle’s Volcano at Melbourne Botanic Gardens

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This is a job well done. I saw an article about this and was determined to have a look. Now if only those promoting it had been sensible and given an address.

Continue reading Melbourne Botanic Gardens Guilfoyle’s Volcano

The Norway Alternative

Comment: Australia threw away the mining wealth.

 

Tour Of Statoil ASA's Oseberg Gas Drilling Platform

 

In Australia the government has completely messed up any opportunity to gain long-term economic sustainability for the country. We have just witnessed the current government do a dirty deal with another party led by a mining millionaire to do away with an opportunity for a just tax on the miners.

Continue reading The Norway Alternative

Going Backwards Fast

Commentary: on how the country is being trashed

 

GREEN ARMY INITIATIVE LAUNCHThe Conversation has just completed an informative series on the range of devastating changes being made to this country.

The writers cover most topics including:  health, the environment, education, migration, science and the economy.  It is definitely worth the time to make your way through them.

Continue reading Going Backwards Fast

New Garden Cities

Competition winner: for new Garden Cities

 

It was announced in the UK that the winner of a competition has proposed that to deal with population growth that new cities should be built nearby established ones. These would be garden cities connected back to the older city by public transport.

 

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Continue reading New Garden Cities

Guilfoyle’s Volcano

Review: Landscape

Guilfoyle’s Volcano at Melbourne Botanic Gardens

Andrew Laidlaw, landscape architect

 

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This is a job well done. I saw an article about this and was determined to have a look. Now if only they had been sensible and given an address.

Continue reading Guilfoyle’s Volcano

Greener London

How making London greener could make Londoners happier

an interactive map

From The Guardian: London – with all its tarmac, brick and glass – is actually 38.4% open space and ranks as the world’s third greenest major city. Now Daniel Raven-Ellison wants to go further … and make Greater London a national park. His campaign and online petition aims to have the city treated in the same way as parks like the Peak District and the Brecon Beacons, to conserve its natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage.

click here for the article.

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Paul Costigan, 20 August

 

 

LA for Bikes

Los Angeles a city for cyclists?

LA wasn’t always a driver’s town. In the 1920s, it had the longest urban rail network in the world, and innovative infrastructure was built for cyclists as well. Despite this, Angelenos fell in love with the car early on and moved for more highway projects, making it the road-based city it is today.

click here for the story.

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Paul Costigan, 19 August 2014

Big Coal & The Reef

The Rabbott Government and Big Coal and The Reef

reef1The Guardian has published a terrifying article of just how far down this country is heading.  As Tim Flannery says: The Great Barrier Reef is sick. Almost half of its coral is already dead and a massive new coal mine, which was given final approval this week, will only cause further damage. This is not just an issue for Australia, it affects us all.

click here for his article

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Paul Costigan, 3 August 2014

The Barrier Reef & Big Coal

The Rabbott Government and Big Coal and The Reef

reef2The Guardian has published a terrifying article of just how far down this country is heading.  As Tim Flannery says: The Great Barrier Reef is sick. Almost half of its coral is already dead and a massive new coal mine, which was given final approval this week, will only cause further damage. This is not just an issue for Australia, it affects us all.

click here for his article

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Paul Costigan, 3 August 2014

Mia Lehrer & the L.A. River

The story behind a landscape architect and the Los Angeles River

 

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The landscape architect, Mia Lehrer, has spent nearly two decades helping transform a mammoth drainage canal into a true urban amenity.

click here for the story

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Pul Costigan

Wind Power and Heritage

Comment: Wind Power aesthetics

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Recently a colleague expressed doubts about how he viewed a new wind farm that appeared in a landscape that he and his son loved to escaped into when time allowed. While he is totally committed to alternative energy, the issue he was working through was that the wind farm challenged his aesthetics, or to be more accurate he was still having trouble accepting them in this landscape that had been part of his memory since childhood.

Continue reading Wind Power and Heritage

Climate Dangers

Climate Change dangers that Australia is ignoring

955199c9-5763-407f-a581-a8acd28f04d3-460x460When you read the statistics on the range of dangerous changes already occurring to the planet because of climate changes, you do wonder about the stupid and dangerous decisions being made by the present Australian Government.

Suzanne Goldenberg has written that because of the changes to climate the world is nearly five times as dangerous and disaster prone as it was in the 1970s. Her reference is a new report from the World Meteorological Organisation.

Click here for that article.

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Paul Costigan, 26 July 2014

Hospital Architecture Brisbane

Review:  Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital

photographed late June/early July 2014 – due to open later in 2014

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On two recent visits to Brisbane I noticed this new hospital building under construction in South Brisbane.  I first noticed it as while crossing the river.  I was impressed that at last there was something in the area that was not simply bland-box architecture. (click on photographs to enlarge)

Continue reading Hospital Architecture Brisbane

Supermarkets

The duopoly of supermarkets in Australia

 

8061542291243433879There is a very hard-hitting article in the August 2014 issue of The Monthly on how the two large supermarkets have been allowed to rip anyone and everyone off. Even more depressing is that it points to how we, as consumers,  are continuing to allow this to happen.

The major point raised by the article is how this dominance of the two of these supermarkets has reduced the food security in this country.

Continue reading Supermarkets

Trust Scientists?

Naomi Oreskes: Why we should trust scientists

 

Merchants_of_DOUBTMany of the world’s biggest problems require asking questions of scientists — but why should we believe what they say? Historian of science Naomi Oreskes thinks deeply about our relationship to belief and draws out three problems with common attitudes toward scientific inquiry — and gives her own reasoning for why we ought to trust science. (From YouTube)

Naomi Oreskes is an American historian of science. She became Professor of the History of Science and Affiliated Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University in 2013, after 15 years as Professor of History and Science Studies at the University of California San Diego. (Wikipedia)

Continue reading Trust Scientists?

Al Gore

Al Gore writes on optimism in dealing with Climate Change

In an article in Rolling Stone, Al Gore provides some very welcome optimism on how we may yet deal with the coming climate change events.

The article is very very long. It takes quite a commitment to allow the time to get through it all.

It is worth it! Happy reading. Click here.

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Paul Costigan, 20 July 2014

Al Gore: New Hope for Climate

Al Gore writes on optimism in dealing with Climate Change

In an article in Rolling Stone, Al Gore provides some very welcome optimism on how we may yet deal with the coming climate change events.

The article is very very long. It takes quite a commitment to allow the time to get through it all.

It is worth it! Happy reading. Click here.

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Paul Costigan, 20 July 2014

 

Architectural Eyesores

Comment: From James Howard Kunstler

James Howard Kunstler’s blog often has interesting points to offer in the debate about design and architecture and how it is assisting, or not, with solutions for the future.

Click on the image for eyesore of the month of June 2014. I do not always agree with what he sees as eyesores. But it a great start to any debate. In this case, yes, the tall towers’ days have gone but the developers and architects will stay with them while there is money to be made. Stuff the environment!

Click on the image.

Continue reading Architectural Eyesores

Value the Landscape

How can we work with the landscape to make liveable places?

A video, about six and half minutes, introducing the concept of valuing landscape and the link to liveable settlements.

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see also – Sustainable Sites Initiative

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Paul Costigan, 24th June 2014

 

Value Landscape

How can we work with the landscape to make liveable places?

How the liveability of our cities means designers and planners working with the landscape rather than against it.

A video, about six and half minutes, introducing the concept of valuing landscape and the link to liveable settlements.

Continue reading Value Landscape

Solar: Good Behaviour at Home

Political Comment

The Prime Minister and Solar and how good behaviour starts in your own backyard.

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It well established that how people behave in their own back yards normally reflects their attitude to the world outside their household. Our Prime Minister is having his house, The Lodge, refurbished. This was well overdue.

Continue reading Solar: Good Behaviour at Home

Climate Game nearly Over

A report from Bill McKibben
Reporting on the possible end game in Climate Change – three books mentioned.

 

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Not sure what more can be said.

The climate change actions by our governments remains pathetic given that the climate change effects have been with us for too long and the end game is even closer than anyone had predicted.

Click here.

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Paul Costigan, 28 June 2014

GoodBye to Big Coal

Report Just in

Utilities wake up to threat of mass grid defection

 

rabbott01A report on that the wake up call may at last have been heard by some of the energy suppliers.

As the reality hits home, some energy companies are realising that coal based energy may not be as a sustainable business model as the proposed by Australia’s foolish Prime Minister; he who is soon to be the rabbott caught in the bright lights of change!

Click here for the story.

Sustainable Sites

Announcing new Tools

The Sustainable Sites Initiative 2014

 

Blue Hole Swimming Area

The Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES™) is a program based on the understanding that land is a crucial component of the built environment and can be planned, designed, developed, and maintained to protect and enhance the benefits we derive from healthy functioning landscapes. Sustainable landscapes create ecologically resilient communities better able to withstand and recover from episodic floods, droughts, wildfires, and other catastrophic events. They benefit the environment, property owners, and local and regional communities and economies.

Continue reading Sustainable Sites

Solar Prime Minister?

Political Comment

The Prime Minister and Solar and how good behaviour starts in your own backyard.

solar-lodge-590x319

It well established that how people behave in their own back yards normally reflects their attitude to the world outside their household. Our Prime Minister is having his house, The Lodge, refurbished. This was well overdue.

Continue reading Solar Prime Minister?

GoodBye Big Coal

Report Just in

Utilities wake up to threat of mass grid defection

 

rabbott01A report on that the wake up call may at last have been heard by some of the energy suppliers.

As the reality hits home, some energy companies are realising that coal based energy may not be as a sustainable business model as the proposed by Australia’s foolish Prime Minister.

Click here for the story.

Melbourne’s Urban Forest

City Council policy to address Climate Change

Always good to check if any Australian City Councils are taking actions and setting targets despite the dangerous attitude of our Federal Governments.

Melbourne City Council has an Urban Forest Strategy to increase markedly its tree coverage across the city (remembering this is the inner city council – who knows what the rest are doing!).

Continue reading Melbourne’s Urban Forest