Michael Mobbs and neighbours in the Chippendale streets

24 November 2011: Total Environment Centre has won the National Canon Environmental Grant for its “Cool Streets” project in Chippendale Sydney, created in association with Michael Mobbs, a columnist with The Fifth Estate.

The Canon Environmental Grants program, worth $5000, will use a Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera to produce a film “Cool Streets” to document the installation of a modular, self-assembled pop-up community garden.

Ruth Hessey, TEC Communications manager and writer director of the award winning TEC documentary “Waste Not” said the project would showcase the positive impact of cooling urban areas with indigenous vegetation, while increasing awareness about sustainable lifestyles.

“The grant will allow us to film our experiment and show how the pop-up garden concept can help communities grow food, increase bio-diversity and absorb heat – as well as bringing the local community together,” Ms Hessey said.

“Eventually we want the project in Chippendale to generate its own solar power. Hopefully ‘Cool Streets’ turns out to be the first chapter in a movement that leads to taking a whole suburb off the grid,” she said.

Canon Oceania quality, safety & environment manager of

Janet Leslie said other winners included: Small Farms Network (NSW); Conservation Volunteers Australia (NT/WA); Woppa-burra Land Trust TUMRA committee (QLD); and Stephen Fujiwara from University of Technology Sydney – Terrestrial Ecohydrology Research Group (NSW).