Queensland Flood & Cyclone Response: Build It Back Green QLD

Flood of ideas - new thinking drives recovery

Queensland Design Council Submission to Flood Inquiry
Download and read the full submission
MX: Up to the task - Flood of Ideas on how to keep city safe
Read the full artilce in MX
Michael Rayner, Cox Rayner & Queensland Design Council, BIBG QLD Workshop Design Presentation
View the presentation Michael gave at the Stakeholder Workshop

After the 2011 floods something new emerged - a group of entrepreneurial thinkers developed an ideas incubator to drive innovation through recovery.


Green Cross Australia is a proud partner of Flood of Ideas.


Below Green Cross volunteer Lisa Wilhelmseder interviews one of the drivers behind this ideas flood - Alan Hoban of Healthy Waterways, a not-for-profit organisation working collaboratively with government, industry, researchers and the community. Alan is an environmental engineer and urban water specialist. He initiated the project along with Peter Skinner, Damian Thompson and Christian Duell.


Lisa Wilhelmseder - What's this all about?

Alan Hoban - FLOOD OF IDEAS was launched on the 1st of March 2011 in response to the devastating Queensland floods. The initiative is gathering diverse and creative ideas for how we could plan and respond to floods and natural disasters in the future, and to make recommendations for government. The floodofideas.org.au website has had over 90 submissions and received 3600 visits in its first week post-launch.


Submitted ideas can be grandiose or humble, at the scale of a catchment or the scale of a house. It might be an infrastructure solution, a new building design, a policy idea, or a way we can build stronger communities. Whatever your idea, Flood of Ideas wants to hear and see it.


LW -  what inspired Healthy Waterways to launch the Flood of Ideas project?

AH: Just after the floods occurred it seemed everybody had some sort of idea of how we could better plan and respond to floods and other natural disasters. So we thought there was value of collecting those ideas and making them part of the public memory. We thought it would be a great exercise to contribute to the expression of a social healing exercise as well as use the ideas to inform


LW:  I see you have more than 90 submissions on the website at present, do you see any trends or recurring themes?

AH: So far we have seen a great mix of ideas around adapting to floods as well as ways to resist them. Ideas range from individual dwellings to large scale strategies for re-designing public open space and protecting public infrastructure. We have many well considered submissions from landscape architecture students at QUT looking at resilience of the Brisbane riverscape.  On a smaller scale, the floating house concept has come up a few times.


LW: have you seen any trends around who submits ideas to the project?

AH: The Brisbane urban design community is very engaged in the initiative. But we also had many submissions from the broader community, and Brisbane City Council is strongly behind the project and promoting it to the community.


LW: what are the most interesting and creative ideas you have come across so far?

AH: I personally really like the 'Portable folding river walk'. I also think the 'Every Park has a Knoll' is an interesting albeit possibly controversial idea (more grassy knolls anyone?). It talks about moving critical infrastructure in parks onto knolls built above the Q100 flood level. I also think the 'New Farm' idea is very interesting, it suggests to move low lying houses to higher ground and create community gardens in flood prone areas.


For more information and to submit your own idea go to www.floodofideas.org.au


Lisa Wilhelmseder is a Reseach Supporter for CSIRO's Futures Stream where she is building on a project CSIRO did last year called Our Future World: An Analysis of Global Trends, Shocks and Scenarios. Lisa is spatial information expert with five years of experience with Hyder Consulting. Green Cross welcomes her volunteer contributions to Build it Back Green and HardenUp.org projects.

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