A New Normal Exhibition

"Showcasing urban agriculture and organic waste-to-energy exhibitions, inspired by Landcom’s Bomaderry and Glenfield projects demonstrates how we are driving toward a sustainable future" 

- Alex Wendler, CEO of Landcom

Vivid Sydney: A New Normal Exhibition, solutions for a self-sufficient city

A New Normal brings together more than 50 of Sydney’s most ambitious designers, architects, developers, technologists, brands and architects to actualise new solutions to solve some of the city’s most persistent challenges.

Presented at the Powerhouse in partnership with Vivid Ideas Sydney, Zen Energy and Landcom, A New Normal Sydney provides an opportunity to experience solutions that represent a $120BN investment into profitable initiatives that will pay for themselves within seven years.

The three week long exhibition is part-gallery, part pavilion and part community meeting place that give visitors the opportunity to experience ‘new normal’ solutions for a self-sufficient Sydney.

Date: 24 May - 15 June
Time: 6pm - 10pm
Where: The Harwood Building Courtyard & Carpark, 84a Mary Ann St, Haymarket NSW 2000

Our Projects

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What does an Urban Agriculture model look like?

Urban foodscapes, the spaces in which food is grown, connect social wellbeing with sustainable urbanism by bringing people, places and environment together.

This artists impression of new apartments shows how this could be integrated into higher density living. Communal garden sheds, with shared tools and work benches open out to gardens and allow residents to do the messy work involved in potting plants or maintaining planter boxes, keeping mess out of their apartments. The north facing green space has vegetable gardens, raised planting beds in the central courtyard and communal gathering spots/bbq deck, herbs and edible plants growing next to large picnic benches for residents and friends to use while kids enjoy wild play.

Careful native planting greatly reduces the amount of maintenance required, so funds are diverted to establishing productive gardens that the community and/ or the gardening team can tend. Clever landscape design allows layers of private, semi-private, communal and even public spaces such as street verges (between the footpath and the street), to be productive gardens, fitting the level of interest from the community and the local natural setting.

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How to make Waste-to-Energy a vital and integrated part of contemporary city-making?

The AGora is located in Glenfield, in Sydney’s south-west. Glenfield is an area identified for significant increases in density due to its proximity to Glenfield Station.

Glenfield has a strong agricultural history with the Hurlstone Agricultural College occupying the centre of the Glenfield since 1926. The beautiful patchwork of gridded allotments, the simple elegant forms of sheds and outbuildings, and the large stands of mature trees create a landscape quality that will shift as the site urbanises. The project celebrates these evocative rural sensibilities as part of the new urban future of Glenfield.

The AGora works with organic waste-to-energy technology. The system can treat up to 25 tonnes of food waste per day – enough to divert the average 1kg food and garden organic waste per day per household from landfill. The system produces up to 20KL recycled water, 12.2MWh heat, 11.6MWh electricity (enough to supply energy for nearly 600 homes) and 2 – 2.5t fertiliser as abundant by-products for local reuse. The Agora celebrates a circular loop. As a 21st century physical symbol of progressive public policies, it provides a highly imageable ‘civic shed’ for the digester, and makes a repeatable, modular delivery system for free heat, energy, water and fertiliser.

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Urban Farming

Green spaces are essential ingredients for doing housing density well, delivering good design, sustainability and community outcomes to all kinds of housing whether urban, regional, high rise, new release, urban infill, affordable and social housing through:

  • Naturalistic planting styles
  • More informed communal spaces for connecting
  • Residents being able to shape their spaces with their own choices
  • Care plans and lower maintenance costs
  • No mow lawns
  • Connecting with and caring for Country
  • Indigenous edible plants
  • Shade
  • Lower irrigation requirement / water usage

Urban foodscapes and gardens should be central to urban planning and development. The documented benefits are vast –from improved community wellbeing and relationships, strengthened urban resilience and biodiversity, enhanced sense of place and identity, local economic development, and healthy eating.

  • Restore bush to self sustaining state
  • Protect remnant natural areas
  • Improve amenity + aesthetic value for enjoyment
  • Improve + re-establish wildlife corridors between vegetation communities
  • Improve water quality
  • Provide habitat
  • Preserve cultural heritage
  • Enhance genetic diversity
  • Observe + interact
  • Produce no waste
  • Use small + slow solutions
  • Integrate not segregate
  • Catch + store yield
  • Self-regulate + accept feedback
  • Design from patterns to details
  • Creatively use and respond to change
  • Use + value renewable resources + services
  • Use diversity, edges + value the marginal
  • Diverse + complex relationships with Country
  • Understanding + reciprocity
  • Social, cultural and spiritual relationships between people + all beings within country
  • Traditional lore that defines and governs the ways in which to live
  • Balance
  • Collaboration and recognition of the right to ‘speak for Country’
  • Meaningful partnerships with First Nations peoples
  • Education
  • Respect

Organic Energy

AGora is located in the heart of the sporting hub of Glenfield, fuelling and feeding the constant energy and intensity gathered by the community powerhouse that is local sport in Australian society. The AGora accommodates –

  • A receiving bay where e-mobility vehicles deliver food and crop waste from the community, local restaurants and Hurlstone Vollege
  • Storage for mobility vehicles and charging facilities
  • Waste to energy plant that generates heat and electricity

Repeatable, modular bays make use of hybrid timber construction and recycled materials to evoke the beautiful rural traditions of minimal structures while reducing carbon. The AGora gives back to its community –

  • A 21st century community garden utilising urban hydroponics/aquaculture
  • Fertiliser without dispersal into natural systems
  • 24 hour renewable grow lighting provided by the AGora energy plant
  • Food for a community market and a local café/canteen for the sporting hub
  • Water for public amenities and irrigation across the precinct
  • Power for floodlighting of recreational fields and evening use of small public rooms
  • Free e-mobility charging
  • Bio-gas bbq’s for community use

AGora’s community garden is not only for the weekend gardener, but has the ambition of making a serious contribution to issues of food security, scarcity and affordability as extreme climate events and social change make simple aspects of life more challenging for all communities. It can help provide volume food production for local residents and businesses. It is also a resource for experimentation by the Hurlstone Agricultural College, that explores the future of agriculture.

AGora will be a glowing lantern in the landscape of the new Western Sydney. A living symbol of the circular economy that demonstrates how doing more with less can become an integral and engaging core of community activity and visually celebrate Glenfield’s ambition for sustainably rich civic life.

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