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Securing ecosystems and urban food supply Thriving Neighbourhoods Conference

Securing ecosystems and urban food supply Thriving Neighbourhoods Conference

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Securing ecosystems and urban food supply Thriving Neighbourhoods Conference

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  1. Securing ecosystems andurban food supplyThriving Neighbourhoods Conference Michael Buxton RMIT University

  2. Melbourne peri-urban region • Melbourne, population 4.2m; Australia 2013 population of 23m moving to 42-46m, 2056 • Melbourne’s peri-urban region – inner and outer areas: population 700,000

  3. Peri-urban land • This century, cities which protect the resources of their hinterlands will be the best economic performers • Productive peri-urban land one of our scarcest and most valuable resources - broader aims now to include health, food security. • Importance of peri-urban agriculture will increase – vital to retain future options • Corporate control of production and distribution of food incompatible with the necessary alternative futures needed. RMIT University

  4. Biodiversity Environmental impacts of metropolitan and peri-urban development • Much remnant biodiversity in peri-urban areas – over 50 per cent of threatened or rare plants and animals • Most vegetation and wetlands around and in cities lost; remainder declining in value • Increasing risk to fresh water systems and estuarine areas

  5. Loss of farming land • Peri-urban regions comprise less than 3 per cent of the land used for agriculture, but account for over one quarter of the stated gross value of agricultural production (probably 40% in total) • Australian agriculture based on unsustainable harnessing of natural resources in broadscale and irrigation districts • Meanwhile, we continue to build over some of our most valuable soils and productive land RMIT University

  6. Potential for new industries • Viticulture: area under vineyards- 1973/74: 43 ha- 1977/78: 17 vineyards- 1998: 114 vineyards and 50 wineries, with 2,500 ha cultivated with an annual turnover of $100 million • Tourism and recreation- By 1998, 600,000 visitors annually • Other industries developed – ie education RMIT University

  7. Peri-urban agriculture • Melbourne’s green belt (inner peri-urban area) is second highest producer of agricultural products in Victoria with a gross production in about $890 million from 4010 farms (underestimate) • Agriculture on 64% of land but declined by 18 per cent between 1986-2001 • Agricultural output per hectare highest in Victoria, at four times the state average RMIT University

  8. Peri-urban agriculture • Outer peri-urban agriculture still important- risen from 4.1% (1997) to over 5% (2006) of Victoria’s $7.5 billion farm output • Almost 2,500 farm businesses (output >$5,000)- underreports production • Average regional EVAO for all farms (2006) was $157,613 and for farms with an EVAO <$100,000 was $36,450 RMIT University

  9. Impact of land use planning • Land use planning an independent factor affecting: - land supply and therefore land price- capacity for lot amalgamation, rate of return on farm investment, and therefore farm viability- incompatible uses RMIT University

  10. Median Price/ha by Property Size (Victoria $2006) Source: Barr & McKenzie 2007

  11. Impacts of planning regulation • In 1970s, State government used planning system: limit urban growth, protect farming in Mornington Peninsula and Upper Yarra Valley • 1971 SPP3 and SPP4 • Legislation to protect natural values- ie 1976 Upper Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges Act • Regional authorities and strategy plans to implement SPPs and legislation. RMIT University

  12. Threats • Metropolitan and regional development • Extensive land fragmentation • Rural subdivision • Inadequate use of planning provisions • Zone changes expand development in Green Wedges and Farming zone RMIT University

  13. Metropolitan development RMIT University

  14. Loss of peri-urban values will lead to catastrophic impacts this century

  15. Regional development RMIT University

  16. Land fragmentation and subdivision RMIT University

  17. Solutions • Break cycle of reactive, incremental, approvals based on market/landowner preferences • Retain larger properties:- properties 40ha and above comprise almost 28% of total, contain 49% of remnant vegetation (over 100 ha 22%), and are critical for the future of agriculture • Prevent development on fragmented lots and subdivision • Shift development pressure to townships RMIT University

  18. Use of tenement control

  19. Development capacity “BAU–rural preservation scenario” by zone 87,000 additional dwellings (BAU); 112,000 additional dwellings (RP) Achieved through transfer and promotion of high densities in TZ, UGZ, CDZ in RP compared with BAU.

  20. Key findings: Bendigo Greenfield / broadhectare Core Infill Bendigo’s total dwelling supply = 62,561

  21. Solutions • Importance of regional planning and a settlement policy which integrates metropolitan, township and rural spatial planning • Cross-sectoral planning and institutional integration critical: interrelationships between land use, water supply, agriculture, biodiversity, costs etc. RMIT University