Now in its second year, the Smart Seeds innovation competition, organised by GHD, has cultivated a fresh array of ideas for getting more out of existing urban infrastructure.

Over a six-week period, young professionals from seven participating organisations put their heads together to solve real urban development challenges in Melbourne, Australia. Each of the groups had a senior mentor to assist with the innovation process.

At a showcase event at the State Library of Victoria, the young professionals presented their concepts to an audience of more than 100 representatives from infrastructure organisations and a panel of judges. The judges included Professor Rob Adams (Director City Design, City of Melbourne), Tony Kelly (Managing Director, Yarra Valley Water), Cheryl Batagol (Chair, EPA Victoria) and Peter Seamer (CEO, Metropolitan Planning Authority).

The judges awarded the winning prize to an idea for utilising smart water meters to improve sustainability and extend the life of major infrastructure.

The people’s choice award was given to a proposal to set up temporary ‘pop up’ shops, galleries and meeting places on disused and vacant urban sites.

Kevin Begg, one of GHD’s principal urban designers who led Smart Seeds 2014, says, “Smart Seeds provides a great platform for bright young minds to work together to influence the future of our cities. Next year Smart Seeds will expand to New Zealand and we continue to look for more interested organisations on both sides of the Tasman.”

For more information and to view the highlights video, go to the Smart Seeds website.


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