Articles on green cities

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Allowing residents to remove trees within three metres of buildings or ‘ancillary structures’ could dramatically alter the green infrastructure of dense inner Sydney suburbs like Rozelle. Tom Casey/Shutterstock

Trees can add $50,000 value to a Sydney house, so you might want to put down that chainsaw

Greater urban density is making it harder to preserve, let alone increase, tree cover. It's vital, then, to demonstrate the full value of green infrastructure for healthy liveable cities.
Australian cities could lose some of their most common trees to climate change. Jamen Percy/Shutterstock

Our cities need more trees, but some commonly planted ones won’t survive climate change

Thirty tree species make up more than half of Australia's urban forests. Some won't survive climate change, so cities must plant a more diverse mix of the right species to preserve their tree cover.
Dalian is an emerging city and tourist destination in China, but its urban spaces could be improved in many ways. Paul J Martin/Shutterstock

China can learn from Australian urban design, but it’s not all one-way traffic

Australia has well established urban design guidelines, whereas many Chinese cities don't have any – and it shows. But Australia can also learn from China.
A shade tree makes a big difference to the comfort of this couple. Nancie Lee/Shutterstock

How do we save ageing Australians from the heat? Greening our cities is a good start

Two trends in Australia, an ageing population and warming climate, are increasing the threat that heatwaves pose to our health. Increasing vegetation cover is one way every city can reduce the risk.
Barangaroo is a development on Sydney Harbour with strong green credentials, but it’s overwhelmingly the well-off who enjoy the benefits. Brendan Esposito/AAP

Making developments green doesn’t help with inequality

Barangaroo is an example of a development with admirable green credentials, but it is also an exclusive precinct that has played a role in displacing the disadvantaged from this part of Sydney.
Green rooftops give a backyard feel to smaller housing units in Sydney Author Provided

Australian cities are lagging behind in greening up their buildings

Research shows if Australia encourages greenery on buildings, it will reduce temperatures in the city, as well as potential for flash flooding. It also creates new habitats and socialising spaces.
City mayors have taken on a prominent role in committing to action on climate change through forums such as the C40. Henry Romero/Reuters

This is why we cannot rely on cities alone to tackle climate change

It's a good thing that cities aspire to lead the way in acting on climate change in the absence of stronger national action. But a closer look reveals the limitations of current city-based efforts.
Providing green space can deliver health, social and environmental benefits for all urban residents – few other public health interventions can achieve all of this. Anne Cleary

Green space – how much is enough, and what’s the best way to deliver it?

Urban green spaces are most effective at delivering their full range of health, social and environmental benefits when physical improvement of the space is coupled with social engagement.
Greening Manhattan: bringing nature into the city is one thing, making it part of our culture and everyday lives is another. Alyson Hurt/flickr

Why ‘green cities’ need to become a deeply lived experience

The rise of urban greening is an opportunity to recast the relationship between people and environment. Humans and non-human species are ecologically intertwined as inhabitants of cities.
Continued development of our cities is putting pressure on urban green spaces. AAP/David Crosling

Does higher-density city development leave urban forests out on a limb?

Achieving green cities will require more than just canopy cover targets and central city strategies. It will need new approaches to urban planning and development.

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