A Pedal-Powered Essay

I’m excited to announce a very special event in conjunction with the Melbourne Writers Festival on 24 August and 30 August. It’s called “Ride: Pedal-Powered Essay”, and it’s a cross between a social bike ride and a public lecture, exploring the past, present and future of cycling in Melbourne.

To prepare for the event, I ordered cycling journals from the 1890s through the State Library of Victoria and spent many days pouring over their musty, faded pages, gleaning some interesting (and rather quirky) anecdotes about Melbourne’s early cycling history.

I discovered, for example, that an early sighting of what we might consider a bicycle was in an undertaker’s shop. A group of young engineers had heard about this novel device – called a ‘velocipede’ – and decided to check it out. Perhaps not knowing that it needed momentum to balance, the young men tried to get it to stand up while stationary, but it kept flopping to one side. Puzzled and disappointed, one of the engineers suggested that the undertaker had probably concocted the apparatus from “a purely business point of view”, anticipating that its introduction would be “immediately followed by a startling and desireable increase” in mortality.

Here’s the full story in Australian Cycling News, November 10, 1883:

'An Antiquity', WOne of my favourite images came from a journal called The Austral Wheel, published in Melbourne in the 1890s. Mr. Chas. E. Duryea, described as “a leading American cycle mechanician”, is quoted as saying that the diamond-frame bicycle design is inferior and will be surpassed by a triangular design. With utmost conviction, he declares: “Ages hence, when by the slow process of blundering along, progressing and retrogressing by turns, we find ourselves using the perfect bicycle, it will look something like this.”

Triangle bicycle of the future, Austral Wheel, 1896 close upSorry Chas., old chap, but I think history may have proven you wrong on that one.

Details of the event are here, here, and on the flyer below. Please share this with any cyclists you know in Melbourne.

MWF pedal-powered essay 24 and 30 Aug flyer

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized |

Slow food in Winter

SLOW19-magpackThe latest issue of Slow Magazine is out now. I’ve contributed a story about Artist as Family‘s incredible bike-camping adventure up the east coast of Australia documenting wild edibles for a book about free food. I caught up with them when they were in northern New South Wales, and as I write this they’re heading north-west from Gympie, Queensland, trying to avoid the nasty Bruce Highway.

If you pick up a copy of the magazine, make sure you pass it along to someone who is interested in living a simpler way of life, but hasn’t made many changes as yet. A magazine such as Slow is a good way to spread the message.

More details about the magazine here: http://www.slowmagazine.com.au/current-issue

 

 

Posted in Food |

For a Leisurely Life, Cycle

Street art

Say you’re in the market for a second car. You’ve already got the station wagon to drop off the kids at school, but your partner drives it and you want your own set of wheels, something zippy and hassle-free. You travel into the city for work so it’s got to be small and easy to park in tight spots. And fuel efficient, that’s important too. Money’s tight enough as it is.

If you went shopping for a vehicle with all these characteristics – small, fast, efficient and suitable for short trips into the city – what would you end up with?

You’d end up with a bike.

When you think about it, a bicycle is the ultimate inner-city car. All the reasons to buy a Barina, Fiesta or Yaris are magnified in the much-underestimated bicycle. Manoeuvrability? You can hug the road by leaning into corners and practically U-turn on the spot. Price? Under $1000, ride-away, no more to pay. Fuel efficiency? All you need is calories, and the cost of a salad sandwich is remarkably stable. Parking? Every street pole is a potential spot.

Of course, a car is more convenient for travelling vast distances quickly, especially with luggage; for moving house, picking up friends from the airport or transporting pets. But for regular trips under 10 kilometres – the bulk of most inner-city travel – the bicycle is far and away the best tool for the job. Sydneysiders are starting to realise this, which is why the number of people riding to work in metropolitan Sydney has increased by 50 per cent since 2006.

The NSW government’s December 2013 cycling strategy, Sydney’s Cycling Future, states that “riding a bike can be quicker than a car for trips up to 5 kilometres and faster than public transport for trips up to 8 kilometres”.

That’s an understatement. In commuter races in Sydney and Melbourne, the bicycle has outpaced the car over much greater distances than that. But even if the car had crossed the finish line first, its average speed would have been slower. That’s because a holistic analysis of “speed” takes into account not just the minutes spent travelling, but also the minutes spent working to earn the money to own and operate the vehicle itself. Rego, petrol, parking, tolls, infringement fines – all these have a “time cost” in terms of the hours we need to work to pay for them.

Associate Professor Paul Tranter, a human geographer at UNSW Canberra, has used this holistic analysis to calculate the “effective speed” of a car in Australian cities. His calculation uses the standard formula – speed equals distance divided by time – but all the time costs are considered. In Sydney, a driver of a small, efficient car who earns an average wage crawls through traffic at 12.7 kilometres an hour. Your typical commuting cyclist can beat that without breaking a sweat.

The clincher is lifestyle. Judging by ads for the Barina, Fiesta and Yaris, would-be hatchback owners are hoping their car will help them to reap the rewards of living in a hip, inner-city location. Stopping by the cafe with friends. Visiting an art gallery. Picnicking in the park. And yet all these lifestyle benefits rely on drivers having a single scarce commodity: free time.

This is where the promise of small car ownership stalls. According to NRMA figures, even the least expensive car to run in Australia, the Mitsubishi Mirage, has operating costs of $4851 a year. If you earn $35 an hour, each year you’re working 18 and a half days just to pay for your mode of transportation.

With a yearly cost of well under $500, a decent commuting bicycle enables a fuller city lifestyle simply by freeing up time to enjoy yourself. It turns out that the secret to securing the rich, leisurely social life depicted in car ads is to not own a car.

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, Sunday May 25.

Posted in Travel, Work | Tagged |

La Trobe consumption project – survey

A La Trobe honours student (Bachelor of Psychological Science degree) has contacted me about a research project looking at consumption of goods and how this affects our experience of life. She needs people to fill out a survey, which should take about 30 minutes.

Details are provided below. Please get involved – research into consumption is vital if we are going to address the ecological impacts of affluence in rich developed nations like Australia.

You are invited to participate in a study into the way we consume goods and how that affects our life experiences. Why does it matter? Because there is currently not enough understanding in this area; and understanding can lead to change for the better. But to understand we need you!

All you are asked to do is spend thirty minutes of your time completing an anonymous questionnaire. It can be completed online or in paper form on request. Easy! Participation is entirely voluntary and you can opt out at anytime before completing the questionnaire. There will be no repercussions either way.

The study is being conducted by an honours student in the Bachelor of Psychological Science degree at La Trobe University, Wodonga campus. For more information or to get involved, please click on the following link: http://latrobepsy.az1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_3t0Ig6VSdWFBLkV

Alternatively you can email the investigator at sarich@students.latrobe.edu.au for more information or to receive a paper version of the questionnaire.

Thanks for your help!

Posted in Uncategorized |

Sydney Writers’ Fest events

Sydney-Writers-Festival-logoI’m excited to be part of this year’s Sydney Writers’ Festival, especially since they gave the go-ahead for my unusual ‘Read & Ride’ event in the Blue Mountains on May 25.

First I’ll appear in a panel session with Emma Ayres, the author of Cadence, who cycled from England to Hong Kong with only a small violin for company, and Chris Flynn, author of The Glass Kingdom. The event is titled ‘Life on Two Wheels’ and will be held at The Bar at the End of the Wharf, Sydney Theatre Company, Pier 4/5 Hickson Rd, The Rocks, on Thursday May 22 from 10am to 11am. It’s a free event, but you’ll need to book.

Next I’ll be on a panel titled ‘Simple Living’ with Luke Slattery (Reclaiming Epicurus), Inga Simpson (Mr Wigg) and the Finch Memoir Prize winner. Our interlocuter will be 702 ABC’s Richard Glover, which makes me slightly nervous. It’s at Sydney Dance 2, Pier 4/5, Hickson Road, Walsh Bay, on Saturday May 24 from 11:30am to 12:30pm. Again, it’s free, but you’ll need to book.

Finally, the grand event, a ride through the Blue Mountains! After a chat with Gregg Borschmann, environment editor at ABC Radio National, we’ll head off on a two-hour cycle tour from Katoomba to Wentworth Falls and back. Titled ‘Changing Gears: Read & Ride‘, this event will be held at Blue Mountains Cultural Centre, 30 Parke Street Katoomba, on Sunday 25 May from 10:00am. (The talk will be from 10am to 11am, and the ride from 11:15am to 1pm.)

Here’s the flyer:

Read and Ride SWF event flyerA lot of work has gone into organising this last one, so there’s a cost of $15 for the talk or $30 for the talk plus ride, and you’ll need to book in advance.

A few people have emailed me asking about the ride: will it be too onerous? Don’t worry folks, this will be a fun, comfortable ride, not a race. It’s about enjoying the outdoors, not getting to the finish line first. (In fact, the finish line is actually a cafe in Leura, where we’ll swap stories about cycling.)

The ride will be lead by Tristan from Bikeminded bicycle store, who can adjust his pace depending on people’s riding ability. You can view a rough map of the route on Bikely:Read & Ride Bikely routeAnd in case you’re wondering, no, I’m not cycling to Sydney like I did last time. (I don’t have two weeks to spare!) Instead, I’m taking the train and staying in accommodation, which will make a nice change from the crappy Aldi tent.

That’s it for now. Hope to see some blog readers in the audience.

 

 

 

Posted in Our journey, Travel |

Review of The Simple Life

the-simple-life

Why choose to live more simply? What are the pleasures and rewards of getting back to basics? These are some of the questions Rhonda Hetzel quietly contemplates in her most recent book The Simple Life, published by Penguin. Reading it made me think about my own experience of simple living, so I’m going to talk about both the book and myself in this review.

At 56 pages, The Simple Life is a slender work, and it’s crafted from humble materials. The prose is natural and uncluttered, using everyday vocabulary. This is appropriate for the subject matter: a book advocating simplicity in life should aim for simplicity in language. Such commitment to plain English inevitably leads to repetition, but Rhonda’s voice still emerges in judicious flourishes of metaphor and alliteration. There’s also a rhythm to the prose, a sense of “flow”, of time floating by.

It’s not a book of practical advice, focusing instead on values. Rhonda explains what she wants out of life – one item on her list reads “contentment that explodes into happiness occasionally” – and then raises questions that she and her husband Hanno had neglected to ask themselves before making their change. This gets to the heart of simple living, which is primarily about rearranging your life to match your values. Integral to this is redefining what success means to you – are you successful if you have a stockpile of money and material wealth, or more free time and skills for self-reliance?

As the book identifies, one of the biggest benefits of simple living is increased autonomy. “We’re living on much less than we ever did in the past, yet we have more independence,” writes Rhonda. She cautions that this way of life is a lot of work, but as a trade off you gain a greater sense of control over your days.

Now to how the book made me ponder my own lifestyle and habits. Rhonda writes a lot about routines and rhythms, which I’ve always struggled with. My facial hair is like a neglected lawn, growing out of control until I slash it all at once. I will leave the laundry unfolded for days, rebelling against my own authority. I still have a goal-orientated mindset, so sticking to a repetitive routine is hard for me.

The Simple Life makes a passionate argument for the importance of making the bed and setting the table as a way of establishing a productive household routine. If Rhonda ever saw my bed, she would immediately have to disinfect her eyes with some of her homemade cleansers. As for our kitchen table, well, it’s less of a table and more of a four-legged dumping ground for unopened mail.

(Sophie and I desperately need to organise our house better but we’re hampered by the fact we don’t like to buy anything new, and we don’t own a car to transport furniture or storage devices from the op shop. I waited more than three months for a bookcase to turn up on one of the nature strips near our apartment complex!)

In the book, Rhonda writes about how society views homemaking as “mundane, monotonous and menial”. Although I love to cook and see the value in growing my own food (especially herbs, which are absurdly expensive to buy), I still hate cleaning. When I get down on my hands and knees to scrub the bathroom tiles with bicarb soda, I don’t think about the value of that work in keeping my household productive and hygienic. I think, God, this really sucks, I wish I was reading right now. Guess I’ve still got some way to go in this whole simple living caper.

But The Simple Life does offer some very useful advice for reluctant homemakers like me. Creating a “homemaker’s manual” to collect information about gardening, cooking and cleaning saves you time and helps you keep organised. Another suggestion is to view your household as a small business.

The most useful advice of all, I think, is that everyone does simple living differently. My way is less about creating a beautiful home environment and more about reducing ecological impact. We don’t own a TV, fridge, freezer or any kitchen appliances other than a toaster, stove, oven and kettle. Our electricity consumption is under 2 kilowatt hours a day. Our water use is also very low by Australian standards – under 20 litres per person per day. I eat a largely vegetarian diet and don’t own a car.

Sometimes I feel guilty about not doing – or being interested in – the homemaking activities that are often described on other simple living blogs, but Rhonda’s book helped me to realise that my way is no less valuable than her way. I don’t know much about making soap, baking or sewing, but I can teach others about living without a car, scavenging furniture, fixing bikes, making do with less and cultivating a sense of community with the neighbours. That’s a valuable contribution too.

Ultimately, this book reaffirmed my interest in living more simply, even if my lifestyle lacks the homemaking focus that Rhonda talks about. Succinct, accessible and written in a warm, nurturing tone, The Simple Life is the perfect introduction to the joys of a more self-reliant and sustainable life, so pick up a copy for any relatives or friends who need a gentle nudge in a new direction.

Rhonda’s books Down to Earth and The Simple Life are available as a print book and ebook in Australia and New Zealand, as an ebook internationally from Amazon or your preferred seller, and as an international download from the following stores:

Bookworld

Booktopia

Amazon

Penguin

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , |

World’s Biggest Green Drinks – video

As part of the Sustainable Living Festival last February, I gave a speech at the World’s Biggest Green Drinks at Federation Square. Here’s a short 10-minute video of that speech – which is also a succinct summary of Changing Gears, if you haven’t already read it.

WBGD Greg Foyster from Influence Change on Vimeo.

Posted in Environment, Our journey |

Banyule Monday morning peak transport race

It’s a tale of two commutes. At 7:30am on Monday March 31, Banyule City Councillors Tom Melican and Craig Langdon stood outside an apartment complex at 42 Bamfield Road, Heidelberg Heights, about to join the rush of workers heading into the city. They couldn’t have looked more different. Cr. Melican wore a bright red T-shirt and black lycra bike shorts, the colourful garb of a serious cyclist. Mayor Langdon was dressed in slacks, shirt and tie, appropriate attire for driving into the city.

Monday morning peak group shot Murundaka webPosing at the start of the race, 42 Bamfield Road (not all participants pictured).

The councillors were part of a group of locals who had organised a “race” to Journal Café on Flinders Lane in the CBD. The aim was to compare different modes of travel in peak hour, including bikes, electric bikes, various combinations of public transport, and cars. In total, 20 people took part in the event, with 14 leaving from the Bamfield Road address, including myself.

The event was the brainchild of Dr John Merory who wanted to draw attention to the health, environmental, economic and social impacts of these various forms of transport.

At 7:30am participants posed for a photo, and at 7:33am the race began. Cr. Melican whooshed down the street on his racing bike and Mayor Langdon clambered into his car and then pulled away from the curb.

Cr. Melican took a route down Southern Road and Oriel Road. At 7:40am he was on Grange Road, cruising past stationary traffic – which might have included the Mayor, who crossed the railway line at Grange Road, near Alphington station, before 7:50am. Ten minutes later, Mayor Langdon’s car had had only just crawled across Heidelberg Road into the Chandler Highway bottleneck at the old railway bridge. Meanwhile, Cr. Melican had already powered onto Alexandra Parade, more than four kilometres further along.

A car might go faster than a bike, but not by much in peak hour. Cr. Melican estimates his top speed during the journey was 50 kilometres an hour, while Mayor Langdon’s top speed was 60 kilometres an hour. Another cyclist who took part in the race, John Tucker, recorded his route using GPS software and clocked up a top speed of 54.5 kilometres an hour. “Riding on the road at peak hour is a great experience – in many locations, you are the fastest vehicle on the road, not the cars,” said Tucker in a post-race survey.

Not all the cyclists were concerned with going fast. Heidelberg West resident Jenny Lewis cycles into the city on weekdays as part of a “Banyule Bike Train” with two or three other women. They do the 34-kilometre return trip in ordinary work clothes, not lycra. Lewis says she likes to pick a route based on nice scenery, good air quality air and enjoyment rather than speed.

During the race on Monday, she led a group of four cyclists, travelling along part of the Darebin Creek Trail, under Rushall Station and through Edinburgh Gardens. Rosanna Resident Peter Castaldo takes a similarly scenic route to work, but decided to go the fast way on his electric bike this time. “I went faster than I would normally down the more direct routes but it wasn’t fun and relaxing like my usual journey,” he explained.

The people who chose to travel by public transport took longer to get started. One resident drove to Ivanhoe Station, then caught the train to Flinders Street. Another resident, Rachel Kennedy, caught the train from Macleod station. Interestingly, even the cyclists who took the scenic route kept pace with the public transport users. Rachel Kennedy’s train arrived at Dennis station at about 8:00am, the same time the group of three commuting cyclists led by Jenny Lewis pedalled past, glancing at the train passengers packed in like sardines.

At 8:05am Cr. Melican rolled up to Journal Café, the first person who left from Bamfield Road to arrive. The 15 kilometre journey had taken him only 32 minutes. At 8:07am another cyclist turned up, followed by an electric bike rider at 8:08am. A fourth cyclist turned up at 8:13am. At 8:23am the first public transport user who left from Bamfield Road arrived, and over the next twenty minutes the café filled up with more cyclists and public transport users. But where was the Mayor?

Parking, apparently. At 8:48am Mayor Craig Langdon finally entered the café, 75 minutes after he set off, and 43 minutes after Cr. Melican had arrived. The Mayor’s commute had cost an estimated $10 in petrol. (The bicycle journeys had no upfront costs, although the electric bicycle used an estimated 4 cents of electricity for a single trip.) In his post-event survey, Mayor Langdon wrote that the journey was actually pretty normal for a weekday commute. Participants then mingled in the café to swap stories, but at 8:58 there was an announcement: the Mayor’s car was in a 15-minute parking zone, and he needed to move it.

After the Mayor had left, Cr. Tom Melican stuck around for a chat. He said that he was once asked how, with his busy life, he found time to ride a bike. His response was telling, and it summed up the key lesson of the event: “I haven’t got time to drive a car.”


By the numbers

Participants who left from 42 Bamfield Road, Heidelberg Heights

Departure Mode Name Arrival Minutes Upfront cost
7:33am Bicycle Cr. Tom Melican 8:05 32 $0
7:33am Bicycle John Tucker 8:07 34 $0
7:33am Electric bicycle Peter Castaldo 8:08 35 8c electricity
7:33am Bicycle Paul Gale-Baker 8:13 40 $0
7:33am Car and train Anonymous 8:23 50 $4, plus petrol
7:33am Bus and train Mary Stringer 8:26 53 $1.79 (Concession)
7:33am Bicycle John Merory 8:27 54 $0
7:33am Bicycle Greg Foyster 8:28 55 $0
7:33am Bicycle Jenny Lewis 8:28 55 $0
7:33am Bicycle Monique Edwards 8:28 55 $0
7:33am Electric bicycle Robert Stringer 8:29 56 Missing
7:33am Car Mayor Craig Langdon 8:48 75 $10 in petrol
7:33am Bus and train Greta Gillies 8:50 77 Missing
7:33am Bus and train Anonymous 8:53 80 Missing

 

Participants who left from other locations

Departure & Location Mode Name Arrival Minutes Upfront cost
7:08am (7:20am train from Heidelberg) Bicycle and train Diane Kraal 7:50am 42 $3.03 (Zone 1&2 adult)
7:30am Macleod Walk and train Steve Gilbert 8:10am 40 $3.03 (Zone 1&2 adult)
7:30am Macleod Walk and train Rachel Kennedy 8:23am 53 $3.03 (Zone 1&2 adult)
7:30am Montmorency Walk and train Sally Kinrade 8:25am 55 Missing
7:30am Blackburn Bus Anonymous 8:30am 60 Missing
7:30am Balwyn North Tram Ian Hundley 8:33am 63 $3.58 (Daily Myki Money concession)

 

NOTE: Some participants who took public transport were delayed. One had to top up a Myki, and the other was unsure about the location of a bus stop. The public transport times, therefore, aren’t indicative of how fast public transport can be in the right circumstances.

Posted in Community, Environment, Our journey, Travel | Tagged , , , |

Free ticket to Murundaka Cohousing Open Day

As I wrote earlier this month, Sophie and I finally have a home. We moved into a cohousing community in Heidelberg Heights called Murundaka, which is having an Open Day this Saturday February 22.

Entry is $50 and includes panel sessions with members of Cohousing Australia, a presentation on community life by Lisa Moore (PhD candidate with OASES), a tour of the site, a meet & greet with members of local groups Urban Coop and Banyule Cohousing, a talk from me and Sophie, and a delicious vegetarian BBQ with produce from the communal garden. You can book at www.murundaka.eventbrite.com.au

In the spirit of spontaneity – a word which describes quite a lot about life at Murundaka – the community is offering a last-minute give-away. To win a free ticket, describe in 100 words or less why community is important to you.

Send your entry to info@murundakacohousing.org.au with the subject line “Free ticket give-away”. Entries close 5pm Friday 21st of February.

To get you started, here’s a phrase I like to use about community: “Community is a place where you can be gainfully unemployed.”

I’m sure you can come up with something better.

slf flyer_A5_free ticket v2_sml

 

Posted in Community, Our journey, Shelter |

Living Simply in the City – SLF Panel

simpleincityKeeping chooks, saving water, growing food and reducing energy use – simple living sounds easy in theory, but how do you put it into practice when you live and work in a large city? How do you resist social and culture pressures to buy, buy, buy? And do inner city dwellers have higher or lower environmental footprints than their regional counterparts?

That’s the subject of a panel session I’m hosting at this year’s Sustainable Living Festival in Melbourne. The panellists will be Gavin Webber (www.greeningofgavin.com), Kat Lavers (Cultivating Community) and Mike Hill (WestWyck).

Below are some themes we’ll be exploring during the session. There will be 25 minutes at the end for questions from the audience, so please come along and contribute to the discussion. Although the panel will deal with practical matters as well, I want to focus on some of the more theoretical questions in this blog post.

Work

Living more simply and sustainably often involves committing time to activities around the home – gardening, recycling, preserving, composting, etc – or to volunteer-run organisations that campaign for a better environment. But at the same time, you have to pay the rent or the mortgage. As Dr Samuel Alexander and Dr Simon Ussher have pointed out in one of their research papers from The Simplicity Institute, a 40-hour week is considered “standard” in many industries and it can be hard to find suitable part-time employment. How do you juggle the time demands of simple living with the need to earn an income, however small?

Consumption

The dominant culture in our society is consumerism, and that culture is strongest in cities. Every day, city-dwellers are confronted by ads, shop front signs, magazine headlines and even overheard conversations reinforcing the message that increased consumption will make them happier. In fact, a 2011 survey from The Simplicity Institute highlighted “resisting consumer temptations” as the fourth biggest barrier to living simply, after suitable employment, suitable transport and suitable housing.

So how can you stay true to your values of living sustainably when there are so many messages out there telling you to buy more stuff?

Social pressure

Another barrier to living simply is social pressure. Let’s say you choose to reduce your income and consumption, but your friends still have well-paying full-time jobs and want to go to a nice restaurant. What do you do? How do you resist this sort of pressure to spend?

Environmental footprint

Due to their sheer scale, cities can deliver environmental efficiencies. Inner city-dwellers generally have shops within walking distance, access to public transport and more compact housing, which should reduce their environmental footprint. But they also tend to have higher incomes, which means more spending – and more stuff. In 2007 the Australian Conservation Foundation put together a “consumption atlas” mapping environmental impact across the country and found that although inner-city households are less car-dependent, they “outstrip the rest of Australia in every other category of consumption”.

So it follows that one of the best ways to reduce your impact is to take advantage of the density of city living without succumbing to the urge to splurge. But how?

(My strategy for minimising my footprint is to have a relatively low income, but are their other ways? Does a high income have to mean high consumption, or can the two be “decoupled”?)

Disconnection

As Daniel Quinn’s classic environment novel Ishmael pointed out, the underlying assumption of Western civilisation is that the world is made for man, meaning that we believe natural “resources” exist only for us to exploit. This belief is the deep-seated reason for many of our actions that despoil the environment.

(Quinn isn’t the only environmentalist to argue this, by the way – it’s a consistent theme through the work of deep ecology thinkers.)

As “human monocultures”, large cities can increase our disconnection from nature, which fuels the underlying assumption that we are separate from the environment. What’s more, as centres of cultural, financial and political power, cities push this view onto residents in other parts of the country.

So one of the great tasks we face is to give city-dwellers a sense of connection with the natural world, thereby challenging their underlying assumption that the environment exists only for them to exploit.

But how can we bring the wild, natural environment into the “urban jungle”? How can suburbanites tap into the rhythms of nature? Is it even possible?

As you can see from the above questions, it should be a fairly wide-ranging discussion. I’ve included the details below – hope to see you there.

Living Simply in the City

Saturday, 15 February 2014

5PM – 6PM
Under the Gum
Birrarung Marr Park
Melbourne, VIC 3000
Cost: FREE!
Website: http://www.slf.org.au/festival14/living-simply-city

 

Posted in Uncategorized |