Urban Biogas for Queen Victoria Market

Urban Biogas for Queen Victoria Market

Urban Biogas for Queen Victoria Market

This projects aims to investigate the feasibility of ‘closing the loop’ for food and human waste and energy production through the use of anaerobic digestion in Melbourne and the potential to partially de-centralise waste management and energy generation.

This project applies the ‘living lab’ concept to the generation of energy and management of food and human waste in urban precincts in Melbourne. It will investigate how and at what scale anaerobic digestion could be integrated into the Queen Victoria Market (QVM) precinct to produce an energy positive outcome, be acceptable to the community and reduce the pressure on existing urban waste infrastructure. It will require working closely with local government partner, City of Melbourne and other stakeholders such as C40 and Resilient Melbourne.

By 2050, the population of Melbourne will grow to seven million. Unless consumption is reduced, overall energy demand will increase. At the same time, existing centralised energy and waste management infrastructure will be put under increasing pressure from new urban development precincts and the necessity of mitigating and adapting to climate change.

Recent findings from the Foodprint Melbourne project estimate that 900,000 tonnes of food waste are generated in Melbourne each year, with significant associated greenhouse gas emissions. QVM is an iconic area in Melbourne that generates large amounts of food waste from its fresh food market. It is also a site for new urban development.

At the same time, Melbourne is heading towards the limit of its current waste water treatment infrastructure. To meet the needs of a growing population, the current centralised system would require both greater carrying capacity and upgrading of existing plants. Installation of larger scale infrastructure would be expensive, cause significant disruption to other urban systems such as transport, and potentially require more land in areas where it is already contested.

Urban biogas generation turns organic waste and human waste into energy. It has been used in urban areas in other countries such as Linköping in Sweden, where biogas is produced from waste and used as public transport fuel, and the Lanxmeer community in Culemborg, The Netherlands, where anaerobic digestion is used as part of a combined heat and power system.

This projects aims to investigate the feasibility of ‘closing the loop’ for food and human waste and energy production through the use of anaerobic digestion in Melbourne and the potential to partially de-centralise waste management and energy generation. It will focus on new developments that are not yet connected to the existing sewer system to avoid technology ‘lock in” issues.

Image credit: Kimberly Lai

Farming Melbourne

Farming Melbourne

Farming Melbourne

Using citizen science to investigate urban agriculture’s role in resilient city food systems

Participate in the survey! Click on the link to take the survey: http://go.unimelb.edu.au/nx66

Is urban agriculture going to save the world? Could it help Melbourne’s food supply be more resilient? Is urban agriculture more, or less sustainable than other forms of agriculture? What resources get used to grow food in cities? How might this change in the future?

Until now, research about urban agriculture has often been concerned with what’s growing in cities. It often looks at what the current benefits of food growing are, or how much land is available to grow food.

But with the help of citizen scientists and gardeners, this project is creating a new urban agriculture dataset. This dataset will allow urban agriculture to be looked at in the context of its role in cities and in food supply resilience, both now and into a climate change affected future.

Become an urban agriculture citizen scientist

Participate in the survey! Click on the link to take the survey: http://go.unimelb.edu.au/nx66

Your garden doesn’t need to be amazing to participate, we’re interested in all food gardens, of all sizes, and of any level of productivity.

Prizes available

At the end of the year, gardeners who complete this survey will go in the running to win prizes. The more times you complete the survey the better the prizes, and your chance of winning!

If you complete the survey for three months (out of 12), you will go into the draw to win a $40 CERES voucher.

Those who complete it for six months go into the draw to win one of two $50 CERES vouchers.

Complete it for nine months to go into the draw to win one of three $60 CERES vouchers.

If you complete it for 12 months you will receive a thank you gift of Diggers seeds, AND you will go into the draw to win one of five $100 CERES vouchers.

The project team and partners

This project is led by Dr Seona Candy, a research fellow at the University of Melbourne. Research and communications assistance is provide by Sophie Jackson.

We are excited to be working with project partners:

3000 Acres

The City of Melbourne

Moreland Food Gardens Network

Biofilta

Visions and Pathways 2040

Visions and Pathways 2040

Visions and Pathways 2040

The Visions and Pathways 2040 project, funded by the Cooperative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living, is collaborative, multi-stakeholder project aiming to develop visions, scenarios and policy pathways for transitioning to low-carbon in Australian cities and increasing resilience to climate change impacts. It combines research with a range of creative engagement strategies. 

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Future Cities Distributed Infrastructure Project

Future Cities Distributed Infrastructure Project

Future Cities Distributed Infrastructure Project

This collaborative research project funded by the Cooperative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living identifies opportunities across Melbourne where critical infrastructure services like energy, food, water and waste can be delivered in a way that is more distributed, local and networked. It will explore what would be required to make these changes happen and the impacts on carbon emissions and resilience to extreme weather.

Image credit: Andrew Wuttke

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Foodprint Melbourne

Foodprint Melbourne

Foodprint Melbourne

The Foodprint Melbourne project investigates food production in Melbourne’s foodbowl and what it takes to feed Melbourne- how much land, water and energy is required and the food waste and greenhouse gas emissions generated. It also identifies vulnerabilities in Melbourne’s regional food system and some strategies for addressing them. It was funded by the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation.

 

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Floating Gardens Project

Floating Gardens Project

Floating Gardens Project

This project was led by CoDesign Studio in partnership with Agile Development in Cambodia. It involved using participatory design methods to develop low-cost floating vegetable gardens. The aim was to improve food availability and nutrition for impoverished water-locked communities living on Lake Ton Le Sap in Cambodia.  

Australian Food Supply Scenarios

Australian Food Supply Scenarios

Australian Food Supply Scenarios

This ARC funded project used scenario modelling to link land and resource use with the availability of a nutritionally adequate diet, and identify priority policy interventions to protect Australia's future food security in the face of environmental sustainability challenges. It was undertaken in collaboration with Deakin University and Australian National University, and uses the Australian Stocks and Flows Framework (ASFF), a model of the physical economy of Australia developed by the CSIRO.

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Appropriate Technology, Food Security and Nutrition in Nepal

Appropriate Technology, Food Security and Nutrition in Nepal

Appropriate Technology, Food Security and Nutrition in Nepal

This project investigated using culturally appropriate solar technologies to improve food security and nutrition in Humla, a remote impoverished mountain region in Nepal. It involved quantifying the shortfall in food available and then using a systematic approach to determine how greenhouses and solar dryers could be used in a complimentary manner to increase food production and preservation.