On Saturday March 1, 2014, I walked the Dandenong Creek Trail from Vermont South to Dandenong Railway Station, a distance of some 24 kilometres. Melbourne is blessed with wonderful walks along the various creeks maintained thanks to the efforts of local councils, community groups and Parks Victoria. I’m gradually working my way along the various trails.
Walking is one of the key ‘active’ modes of transport and being at a slower pace than cycling, perhaps a better way to enjoy the local environment. Walking has obvious physical and mental health benefits – there is something nice about the greetings from the walkers and cyclists you meet along the way.
By one of those strange co-incidences I’ve been asked to review a Sustainability Management Plan (SMP) I first prepared in May 2011. I’d written: “A key sustainable feature of the proposed development at xxxx Street, Dandenong is the increase in density on a site that is in easy walking and cycling distance of substantial parkland (and the Dandenong Creek Trail)”.
Sustainability Management Plans are used by local councils to help increase the amount of sustainability as sites are developed usually into blocks of apartments. We work with architects, informing and encouraging the ESD principals, trying to get better outcomes for those owning and living in apartments.
The SMP is a kind of contract between the developer and the council to maintain the ESD ideas through the design, construction and occupation phases. The earlier we are involved in the project, usually the better the outcomes. I observe that it costs around the same to build a bad building (from an ESD point of view) as good building – it’s just about acquiring the knowledge of good sustainable principles.
Stephen Ingrouille, Principal, Going Solar Pty Ltd