Transitioning to the Eco Age featured

Transitioning to the Eco-Age

Cities 13 August 2009 | 10.00am

Though many talk of the need for our cities to adapt and change to respond to current and future demands achieving significant change remains somehow elusive. The Building Melbourne initiative is being established to focus on the implementation of platform projects that demonstrate and lead the transition of Melbourne towards a sustainable future. Arup’s role in the initiative, in addition to driving formation, will be to promote the utilisation of digital innovations as key enablers to deliver on the initiative’s objective as it charts a course into new territory. Application of innovation will be critical in four areas:

Transitioning to the Eco Age 1

  • Communication to the cities’ residents and businesses about new futures for our built environment. This digital component of Building Melbourne will be essential to the process of building people’s confidence and support for new forms of built environment. Recently, Arup developed Digital Manchester, a 3D rendition computer model of the entire inner Manchester area and provides the City with a tool that can be developed for an enormous range of uses including flood defense mapping and also how cities can be retrofitted to mitigate against climate change. The model is viewed using computer gaming technology and enables users to virtually fly, walk and circle the streets and buildings of inner Manchester. This tool has been modified and adapted for use in consultation to enable the attendees to ‘walk around’ the proposed master-plan.
  • Data collation, analysis and synthesis to enable effective integration of development solutions and implementation of preferred solutions that achieve lower environmental resource use and impact, while maintaining equivalent or higher quality of life outcomes. The Urban Energy Systems project at Imperial College London is an example in this area (refer figure 1 below), which aims to identify the benefits of a model-based, integrated approach to the design and operation of urban energy systems. The primary methodology involves the development of a holistic model of the city, involving the city layout, the behaviour of its citizens, the flow and conversion of resources (materials and energy) and the associated infrastructure. A key component is a model of the population and how, as individuals, they interact with the infrastructure. This enables the matching of energy demand and supply in innovative ways. – See more at:

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  • Providing visualisation and modelling support to enable shared appreciation about the best solutions to city transition to develop amongst the initiative’s diverse participant membership group.
  • Mapping stakeholder networks to domains of influence, transition arenas and implementation sequencing to support strategic engagement of stakeholders in the process of transition.

To understand more about the Building Melbourne initiative contact me at Arup.