Articles on Urban greening

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Imagine Hyde Park in Sydney without its tree cover … the impact on this space and the many people who spend time in it would be profound. EA Given/Shutterstock

Increasing tree cover may be like a ‘superfood’ for community mental health

Cities around Australia have plans to increase their green space, but new research shows not all green spaces are equal. Good tree cover is better than grassed areas for residents' mental health.
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.
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.
An impression of biodiversity sensitive urban design (BSUD) developed by the authors in collaboration with Mauro Baracco, Jonathan Ware and Catherine Horwill of RMIT’s School of Architecture and Design.

Here’s how to design cities where people and nature can both flourish

Australian cities are home to many threatened species but are also where biodiversity is being destroyed by development. But what if planning and design processes built nature into the urban fabric?
Stony Creek drain: untidy and often slightly threatening, informal green space still has value for residents, which appropriate intervention can enhance.

How do we turn a drain into valued green space? First, ask the residents

Residents often have concerns about informal green space but some still use it. Work to enhance these areas should aim to resolve these concerns without destroying what residents do value.
The Greening the Pipeline 100-metre pilot park at Williams Landing is the first step in transforming 27 kilometres of the heritage-listed main outfall sewer into a linear park and bike track. Greening the Pipeline, courtesy of Melbourne Water

How Melbourne’s west was greened

Tree plantings are making a visible difference to Melbourne’s west. It's the result of a collaborative model of greening, one that Australian cities need to apply more widely.
Perth has long had many fine parks but is losing vegetation cover in a band of increasingly dense development across the city. Ruben Schade/flickr

We’re investing heavily in urban greening, so how are our cities doing?

A new study shows major Australian cities are suffering an overall loss of green space – although some areas are doing better than others.
A drain carries water but does little else, but imagine how different the neighbourhood would be if the drain could be transformed into a living stream. Zoe Myers

More than just drains: recreating living streams through the suburbs

Drains take up precious but inaccessible open space in our cities. Converting these to living streams running through the suburbs could make for healthier places in multiple ways.
Generic plotting of ‘green space’ on an urban plan does not target mental wellbeing unless it is designed to engage us with the sights, sounds and smells of nature. Zoe Myers

Green for wellbeing – science tells us how to design urban spaces that heal us

Successful parks and urban green spaces encourage us to linger, to rest, to walk for longer. That, in turn, provides the time to maximise the restorative mental benefits.
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.
St Canice’s rooftop garden, where a horticultural therapy program demonstrated its benefits for mental health and wellbeing.

Biophilic urbanism: how rooftop gardening soothes souls

In a world of increasing urbanisation, density, pressure and, some say, isolation, there's a natural salve for stress, pressure and mental illness. And it’s right above our heads.
Whether it’s pressures of space or a warmer climate, which is affecting Melbourne’s elms, urban greening must respond to the challenges of 21st-century urban living. Joe Castro/AAP

Higher-density cities need greening to stay healthy and liveable

Greening cities that are becoming denser is a major challenge. City-dwellers' health benefits from both well-designed green spaces and urban density, so we must manage the tensions between them.

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