Conducted by The Office of Urban Transformation Research (OUTR) at RMIT University as part of an ongoing research project, they recently announced the winners of the Transiting Cities – Low Carbon Futures competition. The challenge was to develop innovative visions for Latrobe City, in eastern Victoria, Australia to make the transition from a singular economy dominated by the power industry (coal mining and electricity generation) into a diversified economy and prosperous low carbon regional city. More images and information on the winning entries after the break.
Second Prize (Runner Up) Project Name: Dirty to Mighty: Brown is the new Green Team Name: Daichi Team Members: Daichi Yamashita Country of Origin: Japan Dirty to Mighty proposes to use brown coal to produce not only electricity but also liquid fuel as well as many other high value products, while utilizing the CO2 released during the conversion process into additional products including oil, creating a highly viable yet sustainable means of achieving energy security and economic diversification. Brown coal becomes the essential element leading to a completely new vision of Latrobe Valley which utilizes its abundant natural resources without compromising environmental impacts. Along the axis of the provided site, the project introduces a technological corridor of research/innovation facilities focused on the liquefaction and gasification of brown coal as well as the sequestration and conversion of carbon dioxide.
Honorable Mention Project Name: Fields of Synergy Team Name: PUPA Team Members: Justina Muliuolyte, Tadas Jonauskis Country of Origin: Netherlands There is natural exchange of land, infrastructure, mobility, people, economic activities, water, energy and waste-products. Smart management of these fields allows preparing for the future changes, recovering overused territories and improving living environment of existing. Synergy is achieved by combining, re-cycling and cascading principles. Synergies of combining overlap economies, habitats, and activities so they can exchange knowledge, products and resources. Synergies appear in double use of landscapes, shared services and shared environments. Synergies of re-cycling take wasted products, buildings, objects and territories to create new function and meaning. Synergies of cascading create a cycle of re-using the rest products, rest land as a source of the other economies or other habitats.
Honorable Mention Project Name: Networked Ecologies: Rethinking Remediation Team Name: Studio One Team Members: Mona Ghandi, Carlos Sandoval, Hassan Sazmand Country of Origin: Arizona, United States Depending on the site location and conditions, a variety of programs ranging from landscape / mining remediation, to urban agriculture are defined. These “in-between” sites will grow and develop according to the specific conditions and uses, eventually creating a network of infrastructure that will provide robustness to the city. This new infrastructure will provide energy production alternatives, by incorporating a wind energy generation system to the building’s tectonic. Networked Landscapes proposes an ecological remediation of the mining sites by creating built wetlands that will also regenerate the species of the area. The selected sites provide a variety of self-sustainable economical activities creating a stronger local economy that can now provide a wider range of products to the outside economy.
Honorable Mention Project Name: Hydraulic Network Team Name: Truitt Foug Architects Team Members: William Truitt, Carolyn Foug, Marsha Bowden, Adam Wong Country of Origin: Texas, United States The Latrobe Valley presents a unique landscape whereby the abundant natural resources have been historically sold for profit, first for local energy consumption and now for the global market. Water here, in fact, is an impediment to the extraction of coal for cheap energy consumption, and so large swaths of land have been de-watered, causing the water table to drop over 50 meters. The new artificial landscape, revealing the hidden ecology, does provide an opportunity to rethink the relationship of living space to water. This project re-imagines the Latrobe Valley as an interconnected hydraulic network. While the current infrastructure acts to separate uses and flows of the entire region in order to facilitate the transport of goods, a slight alteration of the larger landscape quickly transforms the region into an infrastructural space that is decidedly public and connected with the everyday living condition. Four distinct zones along a section of the valley- Sport, Morwell, Water Treatment, and Solar Pillows describe new ways in which to take advantage of the subtractive landscape.
Student Prize (Winner) Project Name: The 2nd Law Team Name: Explorers Team Members: Carl Hong, Farah Dakkak, Brad Clothier Country of Origin: Australia University: RMIT University 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. 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.
Student Honorable Mention Project Name: Twin Quarries Team Name: DMDR Team Members: Daniela Miler, David Rohr Country of Origin: United Kingdom University: University of Edinburgh 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.