Page 42 - Final Report-8 NO TRANSPARENCY

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Resilient urban systems:
a socio-technical study of community scale climate change adaptation initiatives
“If I lived at Epping Station I would be very happy, but I have to drive to get to the station
and, the idea that they were going to build a train line, doesn’t look like it’s going to
happen”. (A8)
“Café, school, childcare centre, all these things that were going to be done by now you
know, or at least started by now.” (A7)
“I came from Lalor and I really miss, like I was very close to the streets, local shopping
and for you to get to a bit of local shopping there’s nothing here. I don’t know how young
families are finding to get a loaf of bread or a bit of milk or anything. There’s not even a
convenience store here. You have to drive back into Epping.” (A2)
For some householders, money may also limit options:
“Two weeks after the warranty ran out, the whole [solar hot water] system broke down
and there was no hot water and they initially refused to fix it at no cost, but then I got to
speak to someone else and they agreed that they would waive the fee.”(A12)
The increased importance of the knowledge sharing and support that comes from social cohesion for lower-
income households and/or isolated communities with family priorities has been noted in studies of social
resilience (Orthner et al., 2004, Pelling, 2003):
“As a household’s economic resources (savings etc.) and income declines, it becomes harder to expend
time and resources on community level work or obligations”
. (Pelling, 2003)
Some households at Aurora appear to neither have the resources that might increase their individual
resilience, nor access to appropriate mechanisms for community cohesion.
Contrast this with WestWyck, where not only is there the capacity to share certain costs associated with
systems across the whole community, but there is also a sense of greater financial freedom for some
householders which provides them with more options in responding to disturbance. For example, going to
a hotel when it is too hot, working from another office if it is too hot/cold, or spending winters at a second
home to avoid the cold. It is perhaps through having options such as these that some householders at
WestWyck are able to better tolerate extremes of heat/cold and avoid feeling the need for air-conditioning or
additional heating.
Differences in priorities and finances between the interviewees at each case study location also suggest
that there may be differences their attraction to, and willingness/capacity to interact with, different types
of energy and water systems. An acknowledgment of the diversity of Victorian communities, in terms of
lifestyles, priorities, background and capacity, should underpin the assessment of ‘appropriate’ resilient
House and system design
The design of the homes at WestWyck and Aurora appears to contribute to a generally increased capacity
for householders to tolerate extremes of heat/cold, as compared with their previous or other homes. As
illustrated in section 5.3.2, interviewees at both locations observe that their homes tend to stay cool/retain
warmth for longer and, provided householders have good practical knowledge regarding how to heat/cool
their homes efficiently, features such as orientation, insulation, window size/location, air flow and material
use, provide them with a range of passive heating/cooling options.