Chippendale Road Gardens Project
Download the presentation: The Chippendale Project: a new road design for Australia [PDF 770kb]
The project is intended to demonstrate how existing roads may be used to grow food, store rainwater and cool the houses and buildings beside the road. The project is being documented so it may form the basis for a new national road standard by 2010. The low cost, innovative designs are intended to be affordable to all communities and able to be adopted within existing council road and park budgets.
Roads have increased Sydney city temperatures by over 1 degree since 1860 and Australian food production is becoming less reliable with climate change. By growing food where we live and work we can improve the security of our food supply.
For almost a year the project has used waste food from local cafes and houses and composted it in public compost bins to make soil to improve the poor quality of the roadside soil. This has cost the residents and businesses nothing; a local café that serves 600 meals a day has cut its food waste bill completely at no cost.
The food waste has been diverted
from garbage. Thus the food recycling reduces
climate pollution caused by transport and from
council garbage tips, and is taking carbon from
the air to make the soil during the aerobic
decay process of the bins. The water from roofs
of houses adjoining the roads was harvested to
irrigate the road gardens with some 4
Plants were chosen which grow on the shady side of the street, and citrus and other productive, edible plants were planted on the sunny side of the street. Residents planted these outside their own houses and they maintain them along with occasional community working bees. The food grown is for everyone to pick and take.
The presentation above was first made to the "Reinventing our City Streets - A conversation" conference in July 2009.
Consult with Michael: Submit a road or community garden Expression of Interest Form
Read the follow-up and view other presentations on Reinventing Our City Streets at the AJ+C website.
Paul Sheehan (SMH columnist) writing on the recent seminar