Project update – December
This month we continued to work with the community, while applying CSIRO science to restore and improve key environmental values.
Strong autumn and winter rains and the enthusiasm of many volunteers from the Ginninderra Catchment Group, universities and environmental groups, enabled the planting of one thousand plants on the site as part of the Ginninderra grassland project.
Citizen science is an important focus for us and it was wonderful to have local people and groups participate.
This was a follow-up to the autumn burn grassland restoration trials set up across 13 sites (five of them on the CSIRO Ginninderra property) in the Ginninderra catchment in April 2016.
As progress continues in our search for a development partner, we have refined our vision and are in the process of setting goals, objectives, benchmarks and measures that will underpin Ginninderra and make it unique.
Our next update to the community will be at the Gungahlin Community Council Annual General Meeting tonight (Wednesday 14 December).
We remain committed to engaging with community groups and individual citizens as we move deeper into planning processes in 2017 and beyond.
If you would like to stay up-to-date with our news on a more regular basis, please like our Facebook page.
We would like to wish everyone a happy and safe holiday season and look forward to communicating and working with you again next year.
Sustainability targets underpin vision
CSIRO’s Ginninderra Project team has been busy refining the vision, and setting the goals, objectives, benchmarks and measures that will underpin Ginninderra and make it unique.
At Ginninderra, we aspire to partner in creating a world-leading sustainable urban community that is supported by science and best practice.
As part of the planning that will feed into the next stage of attracting an outstanding joint development partner, our team workshopped the sustainability framework including:
- Refining the project vision, drivers, objectives and constraints
- Identifying risks and opportunities
- Examining national and international examples of benchmark design
- Defining sustainability benchmarks and targets in environmental, social and economic aspects. This included targets for energy and water efficiency, ecology, materials and waste management, economic activity, jobs, transport, affordable housing and community activity among other focus areas.
CSIRO’s aspiration continues to be to create a community and urban precinct that showcases world’s best practice in nature conservation, urban design, construction and long-term liveability. The aim is for the Ginninderra to be an exemplar, both nationally and internationally, with a community proud of its place in the Canberra region.
CSIRO’s priorities for the Ginninderra project include restoring and improving key areas of the natural environment, while setting a new benchmark for design and development.
Through the planning, design and construction of Ginninderra, we want to create a place where people want to live and enjoy living.
Given the size, location and long development timeframe, Ginninderra affords a great opportunity to trial, test and research various technologies, innovations and initiatives.
Help shape our vision for Ginninderra
We are excited to be working with the community to create something unique at Ginninderra. With this in mind, we invite you to attend one of our upcoming drop-in sessions in August.
Our engagement with community groups, nearby residents and industry associations began in September 2015.
Our first round of engagement included three drop-in sessions at Gold Creek, Evatt and Charnwood and involved more than 220 people. The aim of this consultation was to ensure in particular that residents in suburbs adjacent to the site had an early opportunity to be aware of, and comment on, the proposal to change the use of the site.
Community engagement was strong and constructive, and covered a wide range of areas including housing, environment, traffic and community facilities, as documented in the Phase 1 Consultation Report.
This was only the beginning. Now we aim to involve more people and groups in the discussion about how we can design and work together for a liveable, sustainable and resilient urban area.
To continue our conversation, we will be holding further neighbourhood drop-in sessions in Evatt and Gold Creek later this month to provide community members with an opportunity to receive an update on the project and to ask any questions about plans for the site.
Session 1 – Evatt
Date: Thursday 25 August 2016
Time: 3:00pm to 6:30pm
Venue: Evatt Scout Hall
Address: Heydon Crescent, Evatt
Session 2 – Gold Creek (Nicholls)
Date: Saturday 27 August 2016
Time: 12:00pm to 4:00pm
Venue: The Abbey
Address: Gold Creek Village, Nicholls
There will also be the chance to provide general feedback about the project or particular issues identified.
If you can’t attend either session, but still want to provide feedback, please complete the online feedback form.
Many people have already taken the time to speak to us and provide their comments on the future of Ginninderra. Thank you for your valuable contribution.
Bold green vision for Ginninderra future
Over the past few years a vision has been emerging for what a sustainable urban development backed by science and innovation could be like.
Our vision is to restore and improve our natural environment while setting a new benchmark for sustainable urban development.
The terms ‘benchmark and sustainable’ apply to the extent to which we can maximise and maintain the stream of future environmental, social and economic benefits, that flow from the development and its surrounding natural values.
The aspirations for Ginninderra are closely aligned with many of Australia’s key policy settings and targets namely in areas of national innovation, infrastructure, cities and built environment, energy and climate, water and the economy.
CSIRO is well placed to significantly address these important issues because of our coverage of relevant research areas and our capacity to draw on all of these and engage the right collaborators and partners.
We are looking to provide multiple benefits through combining a diversity of housing, community and recreational facilities together with some retail and commercial opportunities, all integrated with the restoration, conservation and management of the landscape and its important natural and heritage values such as the endangered Box Gum Grassy Woodlands.
We are absolutely committed to the management and restoration at Ginninderra of areas of threatened vegetation types and species that are protected by ACT or Commonwealth legislation.
Protection of trees regulated and administered by the Tree Protection Act 2005 is an essential component and CSIRO is developing guidelines that extend beyond its regulatory obligations to ensure their preservation.
This commitment has extended to comprehensive environmental studies that sees approximately 130ha of the site largely protected by legislation and a further 80ha that CSIRO has identified should be managed to protect ecological and heritage values.
Ginninderra residents and other water and energy users will draw benefits from the efficient and sensitive management and use of water and the leading-edge energy efficiency and renewable energy opportunities that we are exploring for the site.
We want to contribute to the evolution of urban areas from being ‘consumer and polluter’ to being ‘energy and water efficient’ and ‘environment protectors’.
We want to help solve the issue of affordable housing, particularly for those in the lower 40 per cent of incomes.
Encouraged by the ideas and feedback generated at our recent gathering of experts – The Affordable Housing Think Tank – we are firmly committed to providing real and lasting affordable housing options, among the property mix at Ginninderra. This will extend well beyond the asking price for moving into the neighbourhood, to various other aspects that affect the cost of living including energy, water and transport.
These topics and others including urban food growing, waste minimisation, recycling and reuse have regularly been raised in our community conversations and we will continue to explore these in future planning together with our joint venture partner.
We are aspiring to urban planning and design that can promote such features, encourage social interactions and connections and maintain an accessible open space network.
CSIRO is committed to keep building this vision with the community and to plan the development with and for the community. There are many steps and stages in front of us before any development occurs and we want to work with the community throughout.
We see community innovation and opportunities for ‘citizen science’ as fundamental components in the creation and future success of this venture.
Citizen science and community activity is already underway and helping to deliver our environmental commitments at five sites across our Ginninderra property, led by the Ginninderra Catchment Group, Landcare member groups and some of its 500 volunteers. This group is extending its work with autumn burning to recover and restore native grasslands in the Ginninderra catchment.
This and other community-driven work will provide valuable insights on how best to restore and conserve areas of the endangered White Box-Yellow Box-Blakely’s Red Gum Grassy Woodland and Derived Native Grassland located on the site.
CSIRO is committed to remaining involved and achieving the exemplar in sustainable urban development.
The reason we are seeking a joint venture development partner is because we want to be closely involved with Ginninderra – firstly, to ensure that we can achieve these conservation, sustainability, liveability and affordability goals. Beyond that we want to realise knowledge and innovation from this development that can be applied more broadly for benefit in the ACT, Australia and beyond.