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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
million litres of water which previously polluted Sydney harbour. The cost of making these ‘leaky’ drains was less than $100 because the existing drains were used; a couple of dozen holes were drilled into the drains and they were shortened by about 50mm so they leak when it rains rather than expel the roof water to the street.

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.

Related links

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
SMH 27 July 2009 - We are stewing in our own oven



Sustainable Services

We offer services to design and obtain approvals for profitable projects which will cut carbon dioxide emissions by at least 50% compared to business as usual, and preferably by 100%.


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email: info@sustainablehouse.com.au
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street: 58 Myrtle St Chippendale NSW 2008 Australia

©2009 Michael Mobbs ABN 80 571 933 970
Last Modified 25 July 2009