Viva! still on the hunt for Land

AerialView_BannerViva! Continues to look for land within the 4 Avenues

We continue to hunt for land in the city to develop our first city based Urban Village
– do you know of any land that would be suitable for our sustainable urban village?

Land size of approx 3000 m2 – 5000 m2 would be good.

We presently have land we are doing due diligence on however if certain conditions do not come together we need other options.

Contact Jane

East Frame Village Kick-off 13 May 2014

We are starting to make a difference in our city! On Tuesday 13 May The Viva Project met at CPIT to discuss the way forward with our Expression of Interest for land on the East Frame (recently submitted to CERA), for the development of our inner city Sustainable Urban Village.

Viva Community members in action, facilitated by Deirdre Kohler (top right)


Twenty five people form the Viva Community who have aspirations to live in and be a part of actively creating this village, took part in a ‘Design-thinking’ / Ideation workshop, facilitated by the talented local ‘design-thinking’ expert Deirdre Kohler.

IMG_9756Jane Quigley giving an update on our Expression of Interest to CERA

After Lin and Jane gave us an update of recent progress, incl. a meeting with Spanbuild and Whyte Construction, we selected the top four ‘How might we …’ questions to work on.

How might we …

… go about creating a sustainable urban village (SUV) we would love to live or invest in?
… work with CERA on a EAST Frame (SUV) development if/when we are picked on Friday?
… chose the size for our first SUV in terms of land, number of dwellings, people?  YES
… select the residents or investors for our first SUV?
… chose the design consultants, builders and other professionals required to create our first SUV?  (YES)
… create tangible commitment to being part of creating the first SUV?  YES
… make investing and living in our village affordable by all?  YES
… approach the design of the village to realise our aspirations?
… we create an SUV outside the city boundaries?
… fund our first village?
… create a high performance, Viva-values based team to make it happen?  YESIMG_9761s

Four teams formed, each taking on one of the ‘top 4’ to work on – with lots of energy, enthusiasm and laughter!


In addition, Ruth and Rex gave some thought ‘How might we chose the design consultants, builders and other professionals required to create our first SUV?

  • We ask for expressions of interests. We base our decisions on local skills-design and talent (capacity), reputation, passion, integrity (not just for fame and money).
  • First choice is to choose local businesses. We want to support business that is able to source locally first without compromising on the design and materials.
  • We want to be sure that there is a good working relationship between the different arms. For example, architect works well with builder, builder works well with architect and contractors and contractors work well with builder. There must be consensus among the teams.

Create, Pitch, Critique

The teams worked up their ideas around their respective topic, created and presented a pitch initially to the other teams, and after including the critiques given, pitched their proposal to the whole group.



Team 1: How might we chose the size for our first SUV in terms of land, number of dwellings, people?

Presenter of the pitch: Jenny Keightley.  Well done team!

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  • Breathe size felt too big and complex (just under 1 ha, 80+ dwellings, 200+ people, etc.).
  • Better size is more like 30 units, with dwellings taking up ~1,200 m2 foot print on 4,000 m2 section of land.
  • Dwellings are in 3 clusters, multi-level, mix of apartments & townhouses
  • Allow approx. 40 m2 per person, could house 90 people.
  • Find ‘sweet spot’ between affordability, economy of scale and ‘wants’ of community.
  • About 80% of units have their own car park (extra cost)
  • Communal facilities essential, such as garden, green space, playground, storage, heart space / community hall, swimming pool (?), etc.
  • Consider some commercial, like cafe, co-working spaces, etc.

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Team 2: How might we create tangible commitment to being part of creating the first SUV?

Presenter of the pitch: Karen Overend.  Well done team!
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Pitch picture says it all!  Highlights include:

  • Let’s start with some ‘seed money’ (say $1,000 or the equivalent in ‘sweat equity?), to get the process started!  It’s non-binding, but get’s people involved in the process, and will help fund professionals / consultants for the early investigative work, such as geotech engineering, planning, structural design, etc.
  • This will help progress the project, resolve many unknowns, risk will drop and at some stage we’ll have a decision to on a particular site, more serious investment will start, incl. deposits (say 10%, $50k), increasingly binding, team made up with people who actually want to live or invest there.

Team 3: How might we make investing and living in our village affordable by all?

Presenter of the pitch: Dave Robb.  Well done team!

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Again, the pitch picture says it all!  Highlights include:

  • We’ll need a needs assessment to answer the questions of ‘What is affordable to current participants?’.
  • Also, do we want to make it affordable to a broader group of people beyond the current participants?
  • The costs can broadly be split into ‘buy or rent’ (capital) and on-going ‘living’ costs (operational).
  • Good design can significantly reduce the ongoing living costs, especially energy bills, so we need to consider both initial and ongoing costs when assessing affordability.
  • The pitch above lists some of these, and some ideas on how we might be able to reduce both types of costs.

Team 4: How might we create a high performance, Viva-values based team to make it happen?

Presenters of the pitch: Martin Luff & Jane Quigley.  Well done team!

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Highlights from this pitch include:

  • First step is to hold a facilitated workshop to establish the shared core values for the project, to guide the team in terms of their financial, social and environmental work.
  • This workshop is also to start creating the strategic plan for the team going forward.
  • Leadership team of around 5 people (nominated/volunteered) with ‘skin in the game’. Must have a track record of delivery and inspirational leadership.
  • Must have the mandate by the wider community, be empowered to make it happen!
  • Payment – dependent on successful outcome.

 Wrap up

Have we answered the chosen ‘How might we …’ questions?  Well, we certainly made a GREAT start!


What about what the Core Team expected to determine?

    • How much land do we need? What is the ideal size for the first village, or first stage of our first village?
    • Who our partners will be; members of our design team.
    • Dates of future integrated design and materials workshops, and more.

Again, we got a much better idea, and have determined the next step – a facilitated workshop to establish the initial team’s core values, and draft a strategic plan!

Well done all!

IMG_9775Jane and Martin delivering the pitch on behalf of their team