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Livewell Clusters prepares for Yarra launch

Livewell cluster trial launch

Livewell Clusters will launch its first trial in the Yarra Council, inner Melbourne on 5 March 2015 at Fitzroy Town Hall. A key speaker will be Professor Ross Garnaut, professorial research fellow in Economics at the University of Melbourne author of two government-commissioned and highly influential Climate Change Reviews in 2008 and 2011.

At the end of the event attendees will be invited to form themselves into ‘decarb groups’ – mutual support groups in which, over a six month period, participants will calculate their carbon footprint, set a carbon reduction target, decide what they will do to reach this, and support each other to meet their targets.

Participants will be supported by a Livewell Clusters website, an introductory course, regular informational events and the chance to tap into the knowledge of local experts to empower them with the information they require.

Currently about 15 committed and well-informed volunteers are working with PhD student Darren Sharp and myself to prepare for the launch, the introductory course and the decarb groups, and to do the promotion necessary to promote the launch. The volunteers are also doing an informal trial of a decarb group, which they have called ‘Carbon Miranda’. Because it’s the first such group, we’re testing our online carbon calculators to see which one best suits the project.

We are receiving excellent support from Yarra Council and Yarra Energy Foundation, and building links with groups like Beyond Zero Emissions and the Alternative Technology Association.

A Steering Group has been set-up in Yarra to work out a plan to achieve Zero Carbon Stationary Energy in the city by 2020. Representatives on the Steering Group include Livewell, local residents, industry and other establishments.

Get Involved

We would love to hear from other CRCLCL members who have ideas or information for this project – or who live in the locality and would like to get involved.

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Darren Sharp – Livewell Cluster PhD student

One of Darren Sharp's principal focuses is the 'sharing economy' – community-based schemes that promote local production and trading, sharing equipment, redistribution, home provisioning and the like – and with the help of the Council and local agencies. He comes with a well aligned background in social research and consulting in the areas of ICT policy, digital futures, open government and user-led innovation. The Australian Editor of online magazine Shareable, and a sharing economy advocate, Darren is passionate about p2p systems, the commons and sustainable cities.

Darren ran a 'MapJam' in late October, at which people in this field mapped out the sharing economy initiatives in the municipality.

More on this later!

About the Author

Rob Salter is project leader for the Livewell Clusters project and a Senior Research Fellow in Sustainability and Wellbeing at Curtin University Sustainability Policy (CUSP) Institute.