Tag Archives: climate change

Eco Compound is 17 years young!

17 years ago the Eco Compound project was passed for construction by the Cottesloe Council.

Eco Compound

Eco Compound

It seemed to be a turning point in thinking at the time. We buried a time under the house explaining why there was such a strong focus was on Sustainable Architecture from the beginning of the 20th Century.

See the then Mayor Rob Rowell and then leader of the Opposition / future Premier Colin Barnett, Julia Hayes and Garry Baverstock putting some weight into the shovel.

Mayor Rob Rowell and then leader of the Opposition / future Premier Colin Barnett, Julia Hayes and Garry Baverstock

Mayor Rob Rowell and then leader of the Opposition / future Premier Colin Barnett, Julia Hayes and Garry Baverstock

Passive solar design of houses is needed more than ever. Energy efficiency measures are a step forward but it really is up to the community to do something positive to avert Climate Change. Building a passive Solar home or retro-fitting to lower energy use is still the most effective way

to lower emissions in the atmosphere. Ecotect Architects can advise you on this.

Unfortunately the architecture and building professions have over the last decade taken the foot off the pedal in pushing this invaluable approach to home design.

Now that Climate Change ravages are starting to bite into our economic future, it is time for a resurgence in designing and building our homes to maximise energy efficiency. We need to use the sun to maximize the heat our homes in winter and ventilate and shade for natural cooling in summer.

Coastal Planning Western Australia

Reading the draft State Coastal Planning Western Australia policy document it appears that the new policy for coastal planning in part seems to be based on some ‘convenient truths’ that support current government positions on coastal development.

Limits on Building Heights

The first anomaly in the new draft policy document for coastal planning Western Australia, compared with the old document is the conditions covering “the maximum heights adjacent to coastal boundaries of 5-storey maximum. This limit to be less where community support for lower height is evident.’

This limit has disappeared from the new document, leaving the question of height completely open to interpretation.

Ambiguity Leads to Misinterpretation

The correct interpretation simply did not happen with Cottesloe Beach LPS3 proposed planning scheme. This omission to references to height limits appears to conveniently suit the current government’s stance.

Height Limits for Coastal Planning Western Australia

If credibility is to be achieved with this document height limits based on objective criteria must be clearly defined in scientific terms. The final writing of  the Coastal Planning Western Australia policy document represents a unique chance to protect our coastal environments for generations and reflect great credit on the Barnett Government.

Continue reading

Australian Carbon Price will Reduce Carbon Pollution

With a new Australian carbon price voted in, irrespective of political positions Australia can no longer be accused of ‘dragging its feet’ or being a ‘climate change bludger‘.

Australian Carbon Price

Australian Carbon Price

Finally with this Australian carbon price decision, after four years of frustrating manoeuvring by lobby groups and destructive attempts by climate sceptics there is tangible action on the table. The volatility surrounding this legislation has made a mockery of democracy. In 2007 the Australian people clearly wanted something to happen and the establishment of a new economy that addressed climate change that would deliver leadership for our region in the world.

The Realities of an Australian Carbon Price

The price on carbon, as Malcolm Turnbull former Liberal Party leader correctly points out, will come at a cost. It is not a wasted cost and will be an investment with large returns in the future. Our lives and those of our children and our grandchildren will be more secure with an Australian Carbon Price strategy adapting effectively to and curtailing, extreme climate change.

Continue reading

Ocean Level Rising

The reality of ocean level rising at Cottesloe Beach and its impacts, need to be accurately explained beyond just technical data and facts.  Geotechnical information needs to be comprehensive for the job to be done properly.

Implications of Ocean Level Rising

Many people do not understand full implications for ocean level rising. Many have real problems in visualizing three dimensions and therefore misunderstand the implications of heights and setbacks arguments and the threats to the amenity to beach goers.

It is often just as difficult for professionals to understand ocean level rising ramifications. This is why the general public must be fully informed of the implications of planning decisions in areas near to the beach

Not enough resources have been applied to communicating  the visual impact of ocean level rising and planning decisions.

Accuracy has to be an effective first step in the process.  Levels and alignments of the beach and promenade are critical components for an effective design process.

Ocean Level Rising Cottesloe

Ocean Level Rise Eliminates Beach

Beaches Eliminated As Oceans Rise

The reality is that  the ocean level rising will eliminate the current stretch of beach sand. The primary sand dunes will also be lost or greatly degraded over time.

We need to adapt and plan for that eventuality now, before any hugely expensive developments commence. With ocean level rising there could be 20 metres of beach lost over the next 20 – 30 years. .

Extra space must be reserved to accommodate moving the beach eastwards.

Beaches will eventually cease to exist due to ocean level rising and if current development plans continue unchanged, there will be no allowance for a future Cottesloe Beach, as the ocean naturally tries to move it eastwards.

Ocean Level Rising

Ocean Level Rising Moves Beach Eastwards

We as a community and electors of government simply need to intervene now before expensive developments begin to evolve.

This was recommended as early as 2004 and anticipation of ocean level rising was included in our original  report: Cottesloe Foreshore Plans carried out for the Town of Cottesloe. Climate change must be addressed. In other areas of this website we have written extensively on the problems created by lack of population control, by energy consumption growth and the need for improvement in our built environment to help greenhouse gas reduction.

Reposition Beach Developments

Apart from moving Cottesloe Beach eastwards we also need to extend a development zone eastwards, to make it possible for economically viable projects to proceed over time.This is a key element for creating a future beachfront of value.

We also need full morning sun to reach the promenade, key social areas and the beach along the waterline.

Cottesloe Foreshore Plans

Overshadowing the beach

If a wall of shade prevails, these areas will no longer be attractive to the public.

Oceans To Rise 1-1.5 Metres

It is obvious that inaction over ocean level rising due to climate change is ensuring that we can expect the full one metre rise.

In fact, it is more likely to be 1.5 metres due to the slow action in abating CO2 and other greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere by most of the developed world.

My suggestions regarding moving the beach eastwards should be considered simply as ‘damage control’.

Issues such as public parking,  attractive access to the beach by nearby residents and the maintenance of heritage views need to be considered in any integrated vision for the precinct.

Key issues needed for a 100-year plan: Cottesloe Beach

  1. Moving the beach stage-by-stage eastwards allowing 30 metre extra buffer zone
  2. Setbacks of 30m from Marine Parade for all new developments
  3. Identifying a development zone for commercial development expansion, subject to the proposed new 30 metre set back
  4. Establishing rear access to the central car park off Marine Parade, to reduce summer car congestion.
  5. Establishing low-key 2-storey height development as a front to a new 2 storey car park and reduce existing parking at the CBH/Indiana precinct.

Planning this beachfront is really a very complex task.  It should not be oversimplified.The issue of ocean level rising is a serious matter.