Melbourne’s Smart Seeds 2016 program culminated on April 27 with a Showcase Event in the vibrant setting of Deakin Edge at Federation Square.
Seven multidisciplinary teams from 13 participating organisations gave engaging and entertaining presentations, illustrating innovative ideas developed over the previous 10 weeks.
The Judges’ Choice Award was presented to the Fair BnB team, with the People’s Choice Award going to the Power Hub team.
2016 Melbourne Challenges And Teams
Challenge A – Off-peak Travel
Authored by: Committee for Melbourne
Our Zone is a concept to create a comfortable, friendly and congestion free environment through the reduction of motor vehicles within the Melbourne CBD. Our Zone utilises Melbourne’s Free Tram Zone in unity with a variable congestion pricing scheme to encourage more Melburnians to enter Our Zone by public transport.
As our city grows, Melbourne’s transport network is under increasing pressure to mobilise people in a way that will optimise productivity and enhance liveability. Our Zone responds to this challenge as 100% of revenue generated by the charging scheme will be used to improve and promote public transport use.
Congestion charging schemes can drive a mode shift in people’s travelling habits. Therefore, as less people drive into Our Zone, a ripple effect is generated across Melbourne’s road network which alleviates congestion and spreads the load across the transport network.
The vision is simple, viable and sustainable. Realise Melbourne’s full potential through Our Zone.
Challenge A team
Challenge B – Homelessness to Housing
Authored by: Engineers Without Borders and GHD
Melbourne faces major challenges addressing a growing crisis in housing availability and affordability, particularly in the last decade. For those experiencing homelessness, emergency accommodation is well provided but there is a wait of more than three years for permanent social housing in Victoria. In the meantime, those stuck in the middle struggle to make ends meet. Traditional approaches to these connected issues are not working. We have to be smarter and more creative about how we provide access to housing for those who need it most.
Fair BnB connects homeowners, tenants and housing service providers through an easy-to-use online platform, transforming under-utilised housing into affordable housing for our city’s most vulnerable. Properties are offered at a lower daily rate, while remaining financially viable for homeowners due to higher utilisation rates.
This tool allows reduced costs for tenants, a financially-competitive avenue for homeowners to rent their properties, and an efficient and tailored solution for service providers to manage growing waiting lists for housing.
Fair BnB makes it easy for homeowners to make ethical choices about who their house will support, without sacrificing time or money. It sets a new standard for the way we cater to the housing needs of all our citizens – truly making Melbourne the most liveable city for everyone who calls it home.
Challenge B team
Challenge C – Off the Grid
Authored by: Powercor and United Energy & Multinet Gas
Power Hub is an application that creates a green energy marketplace and allows individuals to take charge of their energy usage by trading locally generated renewable power with their neighbours and others who may be further afield. This encourages those who can generate clean power to stay on the grid, while giving access to those who can’t generate their own clean power at an affordable price.
Key features of Power Hub include:
– Inform users when it is best to buy and sell energy. Set the percentage of renewable energy used through automated power purchasing.
– Residential energy producers monitor and control how much they feed back into the grid and at what price.
– Choosing who/where your energy comes from; price per unit ‐ interactions are intuitive and easy.
– A learning hub of tips, energy education and suitable green energy sources for your area.
– A social forum where users share ideas ‐ have their say in the future of Power Hub.
– You can gift power to family, friends and those in need.
– Forecast based on historical trends to reduce your carbon footprint over time. Rewards for energy efficient households.
Change is possible with Power Hub, your Green Energy Marketplace in the palm of your hand.
Challenge C team
Challenge D – Work of the Future
Authored by: Lendlease
FLEXability was developed to help foster flexible work arrangements and harness the full spectrum of talent in the population.
FLEXability is an innovative software platform which harnesses the existing talent in your organisation and takes the guess work out of resource balancing. It facilitates flexible working to foster your ability to achieve all of your life goals outside of your traditional work arrangements. At the same time, it enables the organisation achieve the outputs the business needs.
FLEXability utilises existing talent as employees are able to work flexibly to suit other facets of their lifestyle. FLEXability allows for internal resourcing of staff, which minimises down time where some aspect of the business may be over resourced. Automating resource allocation saves time and effort when resourcing jobs, ensuring that bias and discrimination are taken out of the equation, focusing only on ability.
FLEXability takes in the requirements of employer and employee as inputs, puts them through a simple cycle to find suitable matches for the tasks and employees and allocates them accordingly. When the job is complete, both employer and employee have the opportunity to reflect and certify skills.
Challenge D team
Challenge E – Urban Orchard
Authored by: Yarra Valley Water and Engineers Without Borders
Melbourne’s rapid expansion is consuming some of our state’s most productive farmland at a time when our food system is already under significant pressure. With more people to feed in the future, the question of where we will source our food is becoming increasingly relevant.
Desktop Harvest challenges the idea of traditional urban agriculture and proposes that the heart of the city holds the answer. The technology to efficiently grow food inside buildings has been advancing rapidly over the past decade, but only minimal uptake has been observed within Australia.
Desktop Harvest will provide a platform to connect technology providers and leading research with local organisations to unlock the food production potential of Melbourne’s office space. Organisations will compete against one another to grow as much food as possible within their available office space, which will encourage participation and the opportunity for marketing their impressive undertaking.
Growing food in offices is not only an economically viable and socially sustainable supplement to the mainstream food system, but employee engagement and participation will enhance office productivity and encourage the large-scale cultural change necessary to legitimise urban agriculture. Once participation hits critical mass, industry will demand that indoor food production be incorporated into Green Star Rating metrics for buildings.
Join us in moving towards a food neutral Melbourne!
Challenge E team
Challenge F – Smart Public Spaces
Authored by: Metropolitan Planning Authority and Melbourne Water
Melbourne’s population is growing with a forecast increase from 4 to 8 million people by 2050. As the population increases, so will density and the need for smart open space. The time has come to shift the process for creating open space from passive to active. Open space needs to be responsive and put the community at the centre of the process.
An opportunity presents itself through the removal of 50 level crossings in Melbourne’s southeast creating the equivalent of 11 MCGs of open space. Existing planning processes conduct community engagement after a decision has already been made, leading to local disconnect with government’s processes. This process is only relevant to the short-term future – failing to evolve with the needs of future generations and quickly becoming redundant.
The Hive, a community board group, will provide an active approach to creating open space for Sky Rail Parks. The Hive represents a cross section of the community and will have an equal seat at the decision making table.
The Hive inverts master planning to a bottom-up framework. By empowering a community-based organisation with decision-making powers, the open spaces around the sky rail will be designed for today and adaptable for tomorrow.
Challenge F team
Challenge G – UXBC MEL
Authored by: GHD
The beach is a wonderful public space, providing memories and joy to millions of people in Victoria each year. Average temperatures are predicted to soar in the future, which will augment the risk of skin cancers on Victoria’s population – already one of the highest rates in the world. This is due in part to the negligible levels of public shading at the beach.
Cirrus is a solar powered drone that will revolutionise the way we spend time at the beach. For a small fee, you can hire a drone and it will follow you, shading you from the harsh Australian sun. This means you will not be restricted by a fixed tent or umbrella to keep you shaded.
Multiple Cirrus drones can come together to produce a Cumulus, which allows for gatherings of people to be shaded. It can change the way we use the beach as a group, changing our behaviour from individual silos to a more open community. Of course, the use for these drones is not restricted to the beach, they could be used at public festivals, sporting events and parks.
Challenge G team
Click here for more information about the challenges.
Jill Garner – Victorian Government Architect, OVGA
Kevin Hutchings – Managing Director, South East Water
Martine Letts – CEO, Committee for Melbourne
Leonie Walsh – Victorian Lead Scientist, DEDJTR
Melbourne Showcase judges (L-R) – Kevin Hutchings, Leonie Walsh, Martine Letts, Jill Garner
Showcase event photos
Photography by Dan A’Vard
Click here for photos of the Melbourne launch workshop, Ideation Workshop, and Pitching & Presentation Workshop.
E. Email Kevin Begg T. +61 (03) 8687 8628