2040 City: Design Speculation

As part of the Victorian State of Design Festival and Melbourne Conversations program there were four ten-minute design speculations on Melbourne 2040.

One of these – Melbourne: the City of Short Distances – presented a short synthesis of VEIL scenarios for Melbourne. In this presentation, Chris Ryan talked ‘from the future’ when Melbourne has won (for the second time) the prestigious international award for liveability – the City of Short Distances Award.

In the presentation, Chris took an opportunity to reflect on how Melbourne of 2010 had transformed under the influence of climate change, the need for resilient life-styles (in the face of new environmental conditions) and the end of the era of cheap oil. The ‘short-distances’ refers to the measure of the distance between production and consumption of key resources – energy, water, food – as well as transport.

Neighbourhoods in the city that once (2010) had to rely on long distribution chains (based on long linear infrastructure systems) now have a dispersed (localised) network of diverse forms of renewable energy (solar, wind, geothermal) , diverse sources of water (rain-water, storm water, recycled water and reticulated water) and food supplies that mix local fruit and vegetables with rural produce.