Future Thinking (Template)
Roads of the Future
In late 2015, Rob Catchlove started thinking of why streetscapes were still being delivered in a very simplistic and traditional fashion, despite most research and strategies requiring a more integrated approach. Streets take up 30% of a city, so the design, construction, use and maintenance of them is critical. The purpose of this project was to also put road engineers at the centre, rather than seeing this as another WSUD or Green Infrastructure project. To confirm the scope and nature of the problem, Rob spoke to 7 state government agencies including VicRoads, 21 local governments, tertiary institutions and the major road industry groups.
The project first worked with City of Moonee Valley, Moreland and Casey to identify all potential problems that arise when engineers are designing and constructing roads. The next phase has been to consider space allocations and design of future changes to transportation in streetscapes (particularly driverless cars). This work was captured in a presentation Rob Catchlove gave at the Urban Design Conference 2016 in Canberra.
Driving down the cost of water sensitive urban design (WSUD)
One clear indictor for the adoption of new technology is a reduction in price per unit. In 2015 Rob Catchlove presented an analysis to the Stormwater Victoria conference that suggested WSUD is stuck in an innovation or prototype phase, and has been unable, after 15 years, to demonstrate a change in trajectory and a reduction in price. Solar panels are one example that demonstrate what could be done if we get the policy and economic settings right. The key elements that enable this change, or progression along the learning curve, are appropriate regulation, mass production, targeted research, and consumer acceptance.
The purpose of the presentation was to influence the industry and create a conversation about the rate of WSUD adoption highlighting that price is a barrier to moving forwards.
Forecasting and creating change in the cost of delivery of green cities is critical. Where is the Gigafactory and Powerwall of WSUD?