Radical Urban Housing Project Wins International Environment Award

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The Asia-Pacific Forum for Environment & Development (APFED), has announced the Christie Walk Ecocity Project, Adelaide, South Australia, a Silver Prize winner in the APFED Awards for Good Practices. This international environment award is given for outstanding achievements in the promotion of socially-equitable & sustainable development in the Asia-Pacific region.

Radical Urban Housing Project Wins International Environment Award.

The Asia-Pacific Forum for Environment and Development (APFED), http://www.iges.or.jp/en/apfed/award/about_apfed/index.html, which is hosted by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), http://www.iges.or.jp/, has announced that the Christie Walk Ecocity Project, Adelaide, South Australia, http://www.christiewalk.org.au/, has won the Silver Prize in the Ryutaro Hashimoto APFED Awards for Good Practices.

This new international environment award is given for outstanding achievements in the promotion of socially-equitable and sustainable development in the Asia-Pacific region.

Situated in the heart of the City of Adelaide, Christie Walk is an initiative of Urban Ecology Australia Inc http://www.urbanecology.org.au/ that has been underway for nearly seven years.

Designed by Ecopolis Architects Pty Ltd, http://www.ecopolis.com.au/, in accordance with the Ecopolis Development Principles http://www.ecopolis.com.au/theory/principles.html, the project incorporates and demonstrates virtually all aspects of urban sustainability, with an emphasis on the encouragement of a lively and attractive community environment. It has already achieved a number of 'firsts' for Adelaide and South Australia http://ecopolisnow.com/commentary/christie-walk-some-firsts/.

Principal architect and project protagonist Dr Paul Downton said "This award is a great thrill for our group, and provides a very high level of recognition of the value of undertaking ecological development and the merits of a co-operative and participatory approach to the way we shape our cities."

"I am particularly pleased that the architecture and urban design of Christie Walk have been able to create a living environment in the city that brings people together rather than creates barriers between them -- and has done this in a way that saves energy and water and directly addresses the problem of climate change."

"I cannot praise too greatly the people who've made Christie Walk possible -- the energy and commitment they've shown over the years has enabled this project to overcome many, sometimes surprising, difficulties."

"The project is unique, and now that it is nearing completion and our work is being recognised and rewarded, I can only hope that governments and developers will be able to see and understand the multiple 'triple bottom line' benefits of this integrated, community based approach to development -- and that they will want to see it repeated."

The awards programme covers many environmental fields, including climate change, air, forestry, freshwater, biodiversity, together with cross-sectoral issues such as governance, technology, information and capacity building. The selection criteria contains various factors such as outstanding environmental improvement and unique/innovative methods.

All applications had to satisfy the eligibility requirements and qualify by means of a peer-review registered in the APFED database followed by a comprehensive evaluation process.

The awards are for 1 Gold Prize, 2 Silver Prizes and Incentive Prizes.

Dr Downton commented "I understand that the Gold Award went to a rural coconut oil plantation project in the Solomon Islands and the other Silver Award to a river rehabilitation project in Korea. So we were beaten by a forest and shared second place with a river -- not bad for a bunch of buildings!"

The awards programme aims to not only honour the winners, but to also present and share the lessons learned and knowledge gained for sustainable development in the Asia-Pacific region, especially in the least developed countries. The programme is recorded in the APFED database, which is continually updated and is open to the public.

The APFED plenary meeting will be held on 31 July and 1 August 2006 in Adelaide, Australia, and Ecopolis Architects Director Dr Paul F Downton received the Award at a ceremony held on the morning of 31 July.

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