◀ Work

EcoWalk

An experiential walking tour: where arts meets sustainability

Service Design • Strategic Design • Graphic design

Arts and Culture 🎭 | Education 🎓 | Environment 🌍


The challenge

To address the issues of urban heat and water scarcity in Box Hill Metropolitan Activity Centre (BHMAC)

The outcome

An experiential self-guided walking tour where visitors discover the hidden laneways of Box Hill and Box Hill Garden.

Team: The Sustainable Futurists

Ian Lim, Jing Yang , Juliet Wong Min , Neha Shetty , Tammy Yang

Project developed for

The OFC 2020 competition

How it began 🎬

In 2020, I participated in the Our Future Cities (OFC) 2020 competition with my friends Jing, Ian, Neha and Tammy. This competition was organised by OFC and supported by the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities and the City of Whitehorse.

The aim of the competition was to design best practice solutions to the unique sustainability challenges in the Box Hill Metropolitan Activity Centre (BHMAC).

The Sustainable Futurists

The Sustainable Futurists

The design process ⏳

Discover and Define 💡

The competition included attending workshops sessions where various speakers talked about the SDGs, frameworks, existing solutions and tools that can help us design solutions.

Our group used information available online (especially from the WhiteHorse City Council website) to understand better the challenges that the Box Hill site faced. Based on our collective research, we found that the increasing population in Box Hill has resulted in some issues and we decided to focus on these mains ones:

  • Increased urban heat island effect due to climate change and urbanisation
  • Increased pressure on water use and availability
  • Community complaints on degraded roads and lack of pedestrian infrastructure and greenery
  • Insufficient environmental and arts programmes

As part of our research, we also looked at which areas of the site the proposed solution would be implemented. Some of the spaces we identified were parking lots, small lanes, foot paths.

Current urban heat map of the site using the WSC Scenario Tool

Current urban heat map of the site using the WSC Scenario Tool

Develop and Testing 🛠️

For the ideation, we looked at existing solutions that were being implemented in cities around the world. Looking at the different water storm solutions and how we can adapt them to suit the context of Box Hill. We were also particularly interested to combine the arts and culture in our solution as a way to increase engagement with the residents and tourists.

We tested our ideas by sharing them with our mentors and also some of our friends and close network.

The Outcome 📸

EcoWalk is an experiential self-guided walking tour where visitors discover the hidden laneways of Box Hill and Box Hill Garden.

The laneways have been revamped to address the issues identified, whilst attracting visitors with beautifully designed urban green spaces consisting of indigenous flora and educating them on these features through the local arts. Having this tour, people will be encouraged to walk around the city instead of driving.

The increase green coverage for Box Hill laneways, reduce car dependency by introducing self-guided walking tour address the urban heat issue. To tackle pressure on water use and availability, our solution included a system that allows the reuse of stormwater runoff from raingardens, bioswales, and porous systems.

Click here to view in detail the posters

Personal learnings 🌱

For me personally, the highlight of this competition was being a member of the Sustainable Futurists! It was a great experience to be part of the team, sharing our ideas and skills to create something that we are proud of in 3 weeks! I believe that we were able to combine everyone’s strengths and with the guidance of our mentors, create concrete concept.

I have definitely learned a lot from my team such as the engineering side of the stormwater mitigation, how the ecosystem has to be taken in consideration and different engagement methods.

Furthermore, the SDGs is something that I have always been interested in and doing a project around it is always rewarding.

Acknowledgement 🎊

This project was designed by the Sustainable Futurist for The OFC 2020 competition. The competition was organised by OFC and supported by the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities and the City of Whitehorse.

I would like to first of all thank my friends and team members (Ian Lim, Jing Yang , Neha Shetty , Tammy Yang) who made this journey fun and memorable!

Our team would like to thank our mentors Brett Foulis & Jessamie Yule, Our Future Cities, CRC for Water Sensitive Cities and workshops speakers. Special thanks to Liz our team’s supporter!!