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Articles on green cities

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Cities could get more than 4°C hotter by 2100. To keep cool in Australia, we urgently need a national planning policy

Cities occupy just 3% of the Earth's surface, yet more than half the world's population live in urban environments. We need nation-wide plans to keep our cities cool so no one gets left behind.
Traffic flows past trees that have been felled to make way for a highway in Nairobi, Kenya on November 12, 2020. Photo by LUIS TATO/AFP via Getty Images

The loss of vegetation is creating a dangerous heat island over Nairobi

Parts of Nairobi are already dealing with temperature increases and reduction in humidity. These conditions are associated with increases in mortality, especially in children and the elderly.
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.

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