Saturday, February 7, 2015

The Curtin/Turin Poly Midland Think Tank Scopes and “mission”.

New Midland a vision for future Perth: a narrative.

The Midland Think Tank is a joint urban design, visioning and research venture established between Curtin SOBE (Curtin School of Built Environment) and Turin Poly DAD (Dipartimento di Architettura e Design, Politecnico di Torino).
The “mission” of the Midland Think Tank is to research and study through specific design experiences, visions and concepts for a “new city”.
The cross cultural venture will allow an innovative approach to problems and develop documented urban design solutions, new architectural visions and innovative technology applications.
Turin/Perth: Turin has a history of two thousand years of medium/high density urban design successes and failures. Perth has an urgent need to envisage an urban design culture that extends beyond bungalow housing - a culture able to thrive and meet the complex challenges of the 21st century. Both SOBE and DAD have the specific qualifications, as schools of architecture with strong technical backgrounds, to interact to create vital innovative propositions.

Midland, 20 km North East of Perth CBD, is a challenging area with huge potential. It is characterized by underutilized historic industrial buildings, abandoned commercial buildings, large expanses of parking lots and bungalow housing. It is one of the few suburban areas in Perth still surrounded by food producing land. Midland provides rail services to the east and north east as well as a regular train service to central Perth. It is an area ripe for change. However without a radical “new comprehensive urban vision” Midland is almost certainly doomed: little residential appeal, little commercial appeal, no economic draw card.
This is why Midland has been chosen for the first Think Tank exercise: to demonstrate how the strengths of a location together with design inspiration can attract people to want to live, work, learn and play in this compact Perth suburb.

A “new urban paradigm”
The exercise will be an in-depth exploration of a “new urban paradigm”. Higher densities, pedestrian- friendly streets, minimal long distance commuting, high percentage of local jobs, child-friendly urban environment, appealing residential architectural design… walking trails, vertical gardens, urban farming, alternative energy generation and grid integration.
Not a “dormitory” suburb: a full time living experience, residential, working, studying, entertainment, permanent education, new professions, senior citizens care.
A place to go and a place to live.
Any new urban paradigm must consider long term sustainability from socio-cultural, environmental and economic perspectives.

The new Midland vision will include socio-cultural sustainability by:
_revitalizing Midland to support a strong local community
_reusing existing building stock,
_providing new jobs associated with an enhanced food industry
_providing a new approach to indigenous food culture.

Environmental sustainability will come about through:
_reducing urban sprawl
_maintaining and enhancing agricultural land
_using the latest technologies to create low energy, low waste buildings

Economic sustainability will occur through investment in all aspects of the agri-food arena.

Technologies could include:
Climate responsive systems, passive heating and cooling, solar thermal, solar PV, wind turbines, sophisticated energy storage systems (such as latest generation fly wheels with high speed rotation, magnetic suspension in vacuum containers)

Jobs could include:
Slow food, Zero K food, local food processing, gourmet restaurants, food/health culture services, quality catering for schools and social institutions.
University and professional training in catering.
Food for the new hospital: 1200 people (staff, patients & relatives) will require 3600 meals a day ($2 M a year business) procurement, packaging, processing, delivery, waste recovery and waste processing, organic recycling: a full cycle.

New Midland would become a permanent urban design testimonial and urban management teaching structure. The University of food, professional training, permanent teaching structures and labs.

Sponsors Campaign
Target: 10 sponsors for $10 K each. Total target $ 100.000.00
Sponsors will be sought among
Small medium industries:
Food processing, Catering, Packaging, energy technologies, solar thermal, solar PV, wind generators, building components, advanced food production, individual mobility devices.
Local authorities:
Midland Municipality, MRA, City of Perth, Government of Western Australia, Western Australian Planning Authority,

What will the sponsor get
Advanced knowledge, technological innovation, know how, design competence, design vision, green buildings technicalities, qualified image, high public visibility, contacts, networking, cultural status, political status and technical credibility. A two part Report –Part 1 Building technology, Part 2 Agri-food.

Cash value of the results
15 “New Midland” Urban Projects for a total of 2160 student hrs plus 320 hours of critical thinking of Curtin SOBE/Turin Poly DAD faculty.
Total time approximate worth: $ 150 000.00

Knowledge value of the results: priceless.

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