Innovation

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Roads of the Future

In late 2015, Rob Catchlove started questioning why streetscapes continued to delivered in a very simplistic and traditional fashion, despite research and strategies requiring a more integrated approach. Streets make up 30% of a city, therefore, the design, construction, use and maintenance is critical. The purpose of this project was to place road engineers at the centre, rather than viewing this as another WSUD or Green Infrastructure project. To confirm the scope and nature of the problem, Rob spoke to seven state government agencies including VicRoads, 21 local governments, tertiary institutions and the major road industry groups. 

The project initially 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 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.


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Driving down the cost of water sensitive urban design (WSUD) 

One of the clear indicators in adopting new technologies, like WSUD, is the reduction in price per unit. In 2015, Rob presented an analysis to the Stormwater Victoria conference suggesting WSUD is stuck in an innovation or prototype phase. In the last 15 years WSUD has been unable to demonstrate a change in trajectory and a reduction in price of these technologies. The key elements that enable this change, or progression are appropriate regulation, mass production, targeted research, and consumer acceptance. Rob’s presentation explored the status of these issues for WSUD.

The purpose was to influence the industry and create a conversation regarding the rate of WSUD adoption and highlight that price is a barrier to moving forward. Where is the Gigafactory and Powerwall of WSUD?