Students re-imagine sustainable cities

RMIT’s Urban Futures Competition showcased the ideas of Victorian High School students surrounding the development of vibrant, liveable cities.

Nabeel Mohammed, Tudor Vuscan, Emily Cooper and Zoe Martin from Werribee Secondary College at the Urban Futures Award Ceremony with their teacher Rob Campbell.

The competition, which encouraged entrants to identify, communicate and propose solutions to urban issues, has recognised four winning students.

Tazim Morshed from Werribee Secondary College was awarded first place and $500 prize money for her submission highlighting the concept of urban heat islands.

Morshed explained how actions such as increasing vegetation, adding colour, reducing building height and adding more open space between buildings can help to minimise the heat trapped by city buildings.

Carla Verani from Huntingtower School was awarded $300 for her second-place achievement, which discussed the benefits of green rooftops and vertical gardens, such as reduced heat, reduced electricity consumption and improved air quality.

Aimee Clark from John Monash Science School and Amy Venema from Williamstown High School won third and fourth prize, awarded $200 and $100 respectively.

Dr Joe Hurley, Program Manager of the Bachelor of Urban and Regional Planning, has been running the competition for six years.

“The Urban Futures competition provides a fantastic opportunity to recognise the innovative and thoughtful ideas of secondary school students,” he said.

“The 2015 entrants were very impressive, displaying awareness and vision of the challenges and opportunities facing urban development.”

“RMIT’s Environment and Planning programs can help develop the skills and insights of these students, creating leaders in developing our sustainable cities.”

The award ceremony was attended by Phil Hanna of Villawood Properties, Judy Mraz, Geography Teachers Association of Victoria, Judita Mieldazys, Departments of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, and several representatives from the Planning Institute of Australia’s Victorian office, all showing their support for the excellent entries submitted.

RMIT would like to thank our generous sponsors; Villawood Properties, the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure, Planning Institute of Australia (Victorian office) and the Geography Teachers Association of Victoria for supporting the competition, which is open to all Victorian secondary school students in years 10 to 12.

The competition provides a fantastic opportunity for secondary school students and teachers to come together with urban planning and environment academics and professionals.

Story: Emma Morgan

Originally published on RMIT News.