Geelong UNESCO City of Design
Geelong is a smart and creative city in Australia, about 1 hour's travel from the state capital of Melbourne with an area of 9 992 km² and 5 078 million inhabitants. The city has a long and proud history as a leader in design and is known as an emerging center for healthcare, education, and advanced manufacturing.
We asked fellow UNESCO City of Design Geelong for their inspiring stories around education, innovation, design, and economy.
Here are some of their exciting projects:
Social housing design collaboration
Social Housing Design is an initiative of a partnership between Deakin University and Geelong company "FormFlow" to build tiny houses quickly. This as a goal to use as emergency shelters and against homelessness. Unfortunately, Geelong has the highest number of Aboriginal homeless in Australia. But the tiny houses can also be used as emergency shelters for people fleeing from domestic violence, for example.
Geelong Tech School leading innovation in education
The Geelong Tech school, a state-of-the-art technology center gives local high school students the opportunity to learn more about STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics). The Geelong Tech School was built as part of the government's education program to ensure that all habitants of Victoria, Australia have access to the highest quality education and training, regardless of their background or where they live. One of the projects of the Geelong Tech School is "Bees with Backpacks".
The "Bees with Backpacks" program takes students on a discovery to understand why the bee population is declining in Geelong. Students create "bee-friendly" environments while also learning more in the areas of science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) that were not previously covered.
In Kortrijk we also place great importance on STEAM through many activities in the BUDA::lab, check our website here.
New surgical masks that destroy COVID-19 use antiviral technology refined in Geelong
Materials technology company Xefco, in collaboration with Deakin University, developed a surgical mask that destroys COVID-19. The technology was used by Swiss textile innovation company HeiQ Materials AG to make medical-grade mouth masks. The HEIQ antiviral masks are based on a technology whose materials emit copper ions that deactivate viruses and bacteria, with the metallic-looking masks destroying all tested viruses and bacteria with up to 100% effectiveness compared to other mouth masks.
Age defying bridges for a clever and creative city
To encourage sustainable innovation, the city, with support from Cleantech Innovations Geelong, issued a tender in 2017 for a 100-year maintenance-free pedestrian bridge. The tender invited companies to come up with solutions to the expensive maintenance problem of traditional bridges that cost the city approximately $500,000 each year to inspect, repair, maintain and replace.
The winning entry researched an innovative new construction product including some recycled materials that would be stronger and last longer than existing products. The tender was the first in Australia to use a Procurement for Innovation process, which aims to encourage the development and viability of clean technology by leveraging the significant purchasing power of public procurement.