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.
A new study shows major Australian cities are suffering an overall loss of green space –
although some areas are doing better than others.
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.
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.
Greening cities have a huge impact. The trees go beyond just lowering temperatures. They help decrease the demand for indoor cooling like air-conditioners saving money.
We can't return degraded landscapes to their original state but we can change the way people relate to their local environments.
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.
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.
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.
Urban greening programs need to consider the harmful impacts of artificial lighting on ecosystems. Fortunately, we can do a lot to create more biosensitive lighting.
Recently published research has found that the concentration of poorer people in hotter places is a real problem for cities' capacity to cope with climate change.
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.
Not only do healthy, well-maintained trees provide shade and benefit the ecosystem, they can have a meaningful social impact: people in newly greened neighbourhoods start to look out for each other.
Green infrastructure can be delivered relatively easily using existing planning processes. The main obstacle could be psychological: planners are wary of disruption to embedded practices.
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.
It seems like a 'no brainer' to use urban greening to help cities adapt to increasing heat, but the uptake of green infrastructure, such as trees and vegetated roofs, surfaces and walls, is slow. Why?