INVISIBLE CITY “Now i shall tell you the city that smells so good... Your nose shall be your eyes to find this... Invisible City.”
By Alan Lau Te Hong
Once per year in the metropolitan area of Melbourne, the Invisible City created by smell emerges and fills the suburbs. To produce these smells, people built a continuous belt of native flowers that would be harvested between the urbanised areas and green wedges. The selection of native flowers was specially chosen to enhance its individual identity to each of the local government suburbs.
Billardiera Kangaroo Paw
Alyogyne Port Phillip Bay
Urban Built-Up Areas
Invisible City Masterplan
Flowers bloom at different months and it would take a year for the farmers to complete the harvesting cycle along the entire belt.
Flower Bloom Timetable
Eremorphila Hume, Brinkam 353km long X 62m wide 106,000 Backyards 388L Essential oil Hume
Melton 524km long X 25m wide 39,000 Backyards 143L Essential oil
Acacia Wyndham 384km long X 45m wide 52,000 Backyards 190L Essential oil
Grevillea Whittlesea 602km long X 29m wide 51,600 Backyards 189L Essential oil
Nillumbik 211km long X 32m wide 20,000 Backyards 73L Essential oil Nillumbik
Manningham 107km long X 88m wide 28,000 Backyards 103L Essential oil
Kangaroo Paw Maroondah, Yarra Ranges 336km long X 83m wide 94,200 Backyards 308L Essential oil
Scaevola Knox 285km long X 58m wide 50,000 Backyards 183L Essential oil
Calytrix Hobsons Bay 236km long X 37m wide 26,000 Backyards 95L Essential oil
Alyogyne Greater Geelong 1422km long X 21m wide 86,000 Backyards 315L Essential oil
Casey, Cardinia 656km long X 53m wide 104,000 Backyards 382L Essential oil
Melaleuca Kingston, Greater Dandenong 204km long X 130m wide 79,900 Backyards 292L Essential oil
Hibiscus Mornington, Frankston 852km long X 37m wide 94,200 Backyards 345L Essential oil
The continuous flower belt connects the disjointed rural suburbs cut off by highways and rivers.It weaves through all sorts of terrains and brings people across the beautiful landscapes and attractions across Victoria. Its width expands and contract depending on the size of the suburb it passes by. Upon reaching the tip of the Mornington Peninsular, near the gateway of Port Phillip Bay, an ark would ferry people across the waters to Greater Geelong.
Eremorphila Hume, Brinkam
Calytrix Hobsons Bay
Melaleuca Dandenong, Kingston
Orchid Casey, Cardinia
Kangaroo Paw Marrondah, Yarra Ranges
The belt never ends as the cycle repeats itself forever like a wheel.
The flowers are harvested and distilled in the smell factories to produce essential oils. This essential oil is then mix with water at the water works to produce floral water which would be channelled to the garden taps in household backyards. When the time comes, taps and sprinklers would release the floral water into the air to produce the smell. In return, grey water from the households would be recycled to help irrigate the flower belts.
Area of flowers required to supply 30min of floral water per year 1 hectare = 7kg of flowers 100,000sqm (10 Hectares)
=1Kg Essential Oil
1.1L Essential Oil
110000L floral water
1 backyard with 30min of floral water per year
Flower Supplement Index Table
Flowers 70kg per 10 Hectare
Essential Oil 1.1L Essential Oil to be mix with water @ 1:100000
Flower Belt 10Hectares 400000L for irrigation per day Suburb Oval and Parks Irrigation Automatic sprinkler systems irrigates flower belt daily
Water Pond Filtration and Storage Located at 800m intervals(1 Hectare) Filters and store 350,000 L/3.5 days of water required irrigation
Floral Water 110000L for backyards for 30min per year
458.3 Backyards Supplies 26.4% of water needed to irrigate 458.3 Backyards 458.3 Households Based on 2.3person per household
Flower Extraction System Cycle
In Mornington, the yellow Hibiscus attracts local wildlife like parrots, hummingbirds, bees and butterflies. The Hibiscus are well taken care of by the locals as it is constantly being enjoyed by the people. Every year, visitors would flock here and they would parade along the streets together with the locals while they await the Invisible City to emerge.
Invisible City Emerges . Sowing . Pruning
Irrigation . Weeding . Harvesting
A2 Residential Backyards
Built Up Areas
Paks and Ovals
Mornington Penisular 1:20000
A4 Creek Crossing
Smell distillation factories and stables are located on gateways next to ovals and parks also provides a place for the farmers and their horses to rest. People get to rent horses to travel and visit other attractions and suburbs connected by the flower belt.
The extensive yellow Hibiscus belt stretches across the Mornington Peninsular and snakes between the residents and forested areas.
Flower Belt Gateway and Distillation Factory
At times, the flower belt follows through the edge of the suburb houses, extending the residentsâ€™ backyard.
Outdoor Exercise Deck
A2 Residential Backyard and Exercise Area
Outdoor deck exercise area
Residential Backyard and Exercise Area Section
The Invisible city not only attracts people, but also invites wildlife.
The Invisible City Emerges
As the Mornington railway meets the Hibiscus belt, they merge to embrace the surroundings together.
Farmers prune the plants to help the flowers bloom and are never alone.
Flower Belt Embrace Surroundings
The flower belt tackles all kinds of terrains and bridges across rivers and canals.
Creek Crossing Bridge
A4 Creek Crossing
Planting on bridge
Creek Crossing Section
Infrastructures created by the flower belt also benefit neighbourhoods.
Weaving and Bridging Through Rural Landscapes and Terrains
The Melaleuca belt starts to contract as it comes to meet the Hibiscus belt at the exchange point.
Melaleuca Flower Belt
Hibiscus Flower Belt
Melaleuca and Hibiscus Exchange and Collection/Rest Point
Collection/Rest Point Section
The flower belt is being sacrificed as a firebreak during a bushfire attack. People and wildlife rush to safety across the belt as firemen armed with flamethrowers prepare to light up the plants.
Flower Belt as Firebreak
The flower belt burns away, creating a ring of fire.