International competition to help Latrobe Valley

Wednesday, 04 July, 2012

An international design competition will be launched on 11 September to attract plans to help transition the Latrobe Valley into a low-carbon future. The competition will target the revitalisation of small towns, potentially rehabilitated mines and associated infrastructure, with the winners announced on 29 November.

The $120,000 project is being sponsored by RMIT University’s Office of Urban Transformations Research Laboratory in the School of Architecture and Design, Latrobe City Council, the State Department of Primary Industries Clean Coal Victoria Unit and the Gippsland Climate Change Network.

Dr Rosalea Monacella, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture at RMIT, said the competition was stage one of a five-year project to assist the area. She said the competition would look at low-carbon cities of the future and seek to capitalise on opportunities that existed within their current and future urban conditions. Local residents would then be asked to comment on the plans.

“Significant sites have been identified throughout Latrobe city and each team will select from these sites. At a minimum, teams have to have an architect or landscape architect involved,” Dr Monacella said.

“These sites will be announced at the launch of the competition on 11 September.

“Teams may also include urban designers, planners, engineers, scientists, entrepreneurs, economists, artists, students and local people.”

The Latrobe Valley is 70 minutes’ drive from the outskirts of Melbourne and is home to 75,000 people.

Dr Monacella said coal reserves cover 40% of the Latrobe City Council land area and directly or indirectly employ 20% of its population.

Electricity generated from brown coal mined in the area represents 90% of all electricity generated in the state of Victoria.

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