WHAT IS GREENER SPACES BETTER PLACES?
Greener Spaces Better Places is a movement that brings together community, growers, government, business and every day people just like you to make our homes, streets and suburbs the greenest in the world.
It all started in 2013 as the 202020 Vision: an aim to increase and improve Australia’s urban green spaces by 20% by 2020. Since then, over 490 organisations and individuals have joined the network to increase, maintain and create better urban green space.
At the same time, the number of Australian urban local government areas with an Urban Greening Strategy grow from 7% to an impressive 88%.
Growing this success, Greener Spaces Better Places has rebranded to bring everyday citizens into the fold. After all, every green space counts towards a greener Australia. And when everyone gets involved, together we can bring the power of plants into every life.
WHO IS BEHIND GREENER SPACES BETTER PLACES AND HOW IS IT FUNDED?
Greener Spaces Better Places is an initiative of Hort Innovation Australia Ltd.
It is funded by Hort Innovation using the nursery research and development levy and funds from the Australian Government. For more information on the fund and strategic levy investment, visit horticulture.com.au.
WHAT’S THE MAIN PURPOSE OF GREENER SPACES BETTER PLACES?
The purpose is to put the power of plants in every Australian’s life. Our mission is to make our streets and suburbs the greenest in the world. We do this in several ways:
- Inspiration: plants, looks, showcasing of people and places that make you go wow and feel inspired to green your home, street or suburb.
- Education: information on different kinds of plants as well as basics of gardening to make your black thumb green.
- Connection: find a nursery that can help you, or (if you work in urban greening across government, horticulture and business), a person like you who you can share info and know how with.
To make the biggest impact and make Australia’s urban areas the greenest in the world, individuals and organisations need to work together, and by understanding the issues and barriers to increasing green space and then connecting on pathways and solutions and inspiring and educating others.
WHY ARE GREEN SPACES SO IMPORTANT?
The presence of green spaces can enhance the health and wellbeing of people living and working in cities, they provide oxygen and limit carbon in the atmosphere. They reduce air pollution, provide food and shelter for wildlife, minimise erosion and maintain healthy soil, increase rainfall, and absorb sunlight as energy. Find out more about the benefits of green space here. Simply put, we can’t survive without it: greener spaces make better places.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE GREEN SPACE?
Greener Spaces Better Places defines green space as parks, verges, street trees, nature strips, green walls, community gardens, large parks, small parks, playgrounds and other shared greened areas. Greener spaces however, can be created almost anywhere you see a patch of possible – backyards, inside our homes, balconies, walls, and rooftops.
WHAT ROLE DOES GREEN SPACE PLAY IN TOWNS AND CITIES?
In Australia, we live in one of the most urbanised nations in the world. With our cities expanding, infrastructure projects on the rise, as well as extreme weather events occurring at alarming rates, the role of green space is paramount.
Green space in the built environment can help mitigate some of the negative impacts and social consequences of urbanisation, and make cities more resilient to these changes.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE URBAN AREAS?
Urban areas mean there is a density of structures such as houses, commercial buildings, roads, bridges, and railways, within towns, cities, and suburbs.
WHO CAN GET INVOLVED WITH GREENER SPACES BETTER PLACES?
Our network is diverse, passionate and dedicated. We are always keen to hear from individuals and organisations across a range of sectors including government agencies, landscape architecture and place-making, horticulturists, community members, and not-for-profit organisations, academics, developers, peak bodies and passionate urban greening enthusiasts.
WHAT IS THE BENEFIT OF BEING PART OF GREENER SPACES BETTER PLACES?
Big change is about collaboration and we can’t do it alone. By joining Greener Spaces Better Places, we can showcase your work to the world, inspiring more green spaces, funding and support. Your partnership will give you access to an impressive research library, a network of professionals and potential media and profiling opportunities.
WHAT DOES YOUR ADVOCATE PROGRAM INVOLVE?
Green Spaces Better Places partners with urban greening and industry professionals to drive local, state and national conversations with media and the network. We partner with experts to share and promote urban greening initiatives that are linked to new research or projects that have had a positive impact on the wider community.
WHO ARE YOUR ADVOCATES?
The Greener Space Better Places advocates embody a commitment to improving the way green spaces are valued – this could be through research, one-off projects or large-scale ones.
The full list of advocates can be accessed here.
WHO ARE YOUR PARTNERS?
We have over 490 partners who consist of individuals, organisations, and businesses working towards creating more and better urban green space in Australia.
The full list of partners can be accessed here.
HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED WITH GREENER SPACES BETTER PLACES?
There’s a range of ways to get involved.
- Join our Living Network newsletter here to receive monthly updates straight to your inbox.
- Join the LinkedIn community to participate in discussions, share resources and network with over 2000+ members.
- Become an advocate and help us spread the word about the benefits of urban green space. If you consider yourself an urban greening expert, we would love to hear from you. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Become a partner organisation to promote a project, research or initiative.
I’M A JOURNALIST, WHO CAN I SPEAK TO?
Greener Spaces Better Places has a dedicated media team. For all enquires call 02 8097 8746 or email email@example.com
DO YOU PROVIDE FUNDING FOR RESEARCH?
To help promote green space research and projects, funding is available from The Green Cities Fund. The Fund seeks to identify and reveal the trends for green infrastructure in cities, and to identify opportunities for more green life through world-class research in the horticultural sector.
SO WHERE DID 202020 VISION GO?
Technically, we’re still here, we’ve just updated our look to reflect our purpose beyond 2020. We see both big challenges and big opportunities for urban greening. What won’t be changing is our commitment to working towards more and better green spaces across the country.
DID 202020 VISION ACHIEVE ITS GOAL OF 20% MORE GREEN SPACE BY 2020?
The aspiration of 202020 Vision has generated a vast amount of activity in terms of research, advocacy, awareness, policy and actual plants in the ground.
Along the way, we have developed and produced a number of projects to help achieve the 202020 Vision’s overarching goals.
While we haven’t reached 20% more green space by 2020, our achievements go well beyond a number.
- 88% of Australian urban Local Government Areas now have an Urban Forest Strategy or are in the process of developing one (up from 7% in 2013)
- 7000+ individuals and organisations have come together with Greener Spaces Better Places to form the world’s biggest network of green space advocates
- Engaged and collaborate with over 5000 people across five states representing almost all local governments located within urban areas
- Launched the Urban Greeners’ Resource Hub (a collaboration with Living Melbourne): a curated collection of best practice tools, guides, resources and case studies to help urban greening professionals protect and enhance Australia’s urban forests and green cover in our towns and cities.
- Created Australia’s first benchmark measurement of urban green space by measuring green space in all 139 of Australian urban and peri-urban LGAs (in partnership with UTS)
- Followed by the second benchmark report, Where Should All the Trees Go? (in partnership with RMIT and CSIRO Data61 which utilised a vulnerability index scale to determine the states and urban councils most at risk of extreme heat, current green and canopy cover, and the top greening opportunities to mitigate the impact of future heatwaves
- Trained 80% of Australia’s urban councils in how to implement an urban forest
- Inspired the creation of Hort Innovation’s Strategic Fun, which has led to $16m of co-funding
- Generated over 1,300 stories with media and our network
- Named the number 1 leading sustainable cities program at the Banksia Awards
CAN I STILL ACCESS PAST RESOURCES?
All of our resources are still available here.