WEEKLY URBAN GREENING NEWS

3 July 2020

Welcome to the hub of urban greening news!


Every Friday, Greener Spaces Better Places shares a weekly highlight of urban greening news from around the world. We’ll be giving you the latest in industry news, recent research, and articles from our network partners and advocates.

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WEEK COMMENCING JUNE 26TH

Brisbane tree-changers snap up acreage properties amid COVID-19 pandemic
Domain | 25 June 2020
Luxury acreage homes just a stone’s throw from the Brisbane CBD are luring scores of cashed-up tree-changers keen to “feel the serenity” while being a short drive from top schools and a creamy latte.The rising trend comes amid a recent upswing of multimillion-dollar sales in some of the city’s most sought-after acreage hot spots, with property experts putting the rising inquiry rate and sales down to a pandemic-fuelled desire to live closer to nature.

Wagga locals urge city to keep green spaces as population grows
The Daily Advertiser | 25 June 2020
As Wagga looks to increase its population significantly over the next several decades, locals are hoping the city will keep its natural spaces as more developments proceed.

Pandemic exposes biodiversity-health nexus
Mirage News | 25 June 2020
Billions of people using the Earth’s resources and changing or destroying ecosystems are not only creating the global environmental and climate crisis, but also compromising human health and long-term survival of our species, experts warn in an open letter to world leaders.

OVER 60% OF ADULTS FIND RELIEF FROM COVID-STRESS IN NATURE
Euro news | 25 June 2020
Research commissioned by the Mental Health Foundation found that 62 per cent of UK adults found relief from the stress of COVID-19 by taking a walk.

NSW government releases 'shared backyard' vision for greener city
SMH | 25 June 2020
Parks and other open spaces should be within 200m of high-density homes and 400m from schools and workplaces, under new NSW government guidelines prioritising greenery in the wake of COVID-19.

Sydney’s Lower North Shore is getting an “urban farm” venue from Acre
The AU review | 24 June 2020
After the successful launch of restaurants in Camperdown and Melbourne, the Acre Group is expanding even further by launching its third venue in Sydney’s lower north shore.

Five ways to kickstart a green recovery
The Conversation | 24 June 2020
With a recession looming, it’s time to come up with a good recovery plan. There is no point in simply reinventing an outdated economic model, and recent research by economists and health experts has underlined how instead a “green recovery” could benefit not just the climate but also human health and prosperity.

Pendle Hill: Almost 900 units for retirement village at Dunmore St
Daily Telegraph | 23 June 2020
A western Sydney retirement village with stately heritage-listed homes and sprawling lawns could transform into a complex of almost 900 homes in multi-storey blocks.

Sydney's water supply unable to cope with population growth, drought
SMH | 23 June 2020
Sydney's water supply will struggle to cope with population growth and future droughts because the NSW government has failed to investigate, implement or support water savings measures.

‘Nature Deficit Disorder’ Is Really a Thing
NY Times | 23 June 2020
Children’s behavior may suffer from lack of access to outdoor space, a problem heightened by the pandemic.

Self-watering green roadblocks help cities implement emergency transport plans
Smart Cities World | 22 June 2020
Climate action charity Possible has created a self-watering ‘green’ roadblock to help cities’ with their Covid-19 emergency transport plans.

The built environment matters for mental health
Stanford Daily | 21 June 2020
The coronavirus pandemic is going to push the campus into a mental health crisis. In a recent poll from Kaiser Family Foundation, 45% of adults in the United States reported that their mental health has been negatively impacted due to worry and stress over the virus.

Greening urban spaces
Architecture & Design | 20 July 2020
Melbourne-based architect, interior designer and plant cultivator Jason Chongue launched The Plant Society as an online social hub for gardeners, offering help and information on must-have trends in the plant world.

Stainless steel systems for green walls
Architecture & Design | 20 July 2020
Green walls and vertical gardens have become the go-to greening solution for buildings in space-constrained urban environments. Stainless steel tension systems and wire ropes used for green walls help create resilient, long-lasting and very strong structures while also providing the flexibility to configure various arrangements across multiple situations.

During COVID-19, nature has taught us what we need to do to help it
Brisbane Times | 20 June 2020
The pandemic that has restricted our freedom has had the opposite effect on other species. There is no doubt that COVID-19 has been a disaster. The economic fallout will probably continue for years, and the tragedy of so much suffering and death among the millions who have contracted the virus has been sobering for the entire world. However, there is a gift that COVID-19 has given us, if only we have the wit to see it. It is a glimpse of a possible, much brighter (literally) future.

Park lands advisory board calls for more info about park lands flood mitigation plan
The Adviser | 21 July 2020
A $25.5 million plan to raze about 120 trees in the parklands has been sent back to the drawing board in another set back to the Brownhill Keswick Creek upgrade project.

WEEK COMMENCING JUNE 19TH

Victorian government found to have failed to protect critically endangered grasslands
The Guardian | 17 June 2020
The Victorian government has failed to protect critically endangered grasslands as promised under a deal with the federal government for the urban expansion of Melbourne, the state’s auditor has found.

Air quality impacts early brain development
Science Daily | 17 June 2020
Does living close to roadways pose a risk to the developing brain? A study found a link between traffic-related air pollution and an increased risk for changes in brain development relevant to neurodevelopmental disorders.

One of the inner-city’s biggest trees has days to live
Courier Mail | 18 June 2020
A huge gum tree believed to be one of the biggest in Brisbane’s inner west is the latest of 58 trees to be cleared from a housing site.

How investing in green infrastructure can jump-start the post-coronavirus economy
The Conversation CA | 18 June 2020
COVID-19 has turned the world on its head. Many socio-economic benefits Canadians took for granted are now under threat, and the economic, infrastructure and environmental problems that we were once content to ignore are now glaringly obvious.

The vision of a sustainable urban future has become reality
Independent UK | 18 June 2020
With the streets empty of cars and the skies empty of planes, the pandemic has shown us our dream of a modern utopia is perfectly within our grasp, writes Paul Chatterton

Study in Philadelphia links growth in tree canopy to decrease in human mortality
Science Daily | 16 June 2020
Increased tree canopy or green space could decrease morbidity and mortality for urban populations - particularly in areas with lower socioeconomic status where existing tree canopies tend to be the lowest.

Rooftop gardens and green walls bring this coastal residence to life and elevate its sustainability credentials
Architecture & Design | 15 June 2020
Finding innovative ways to incorporate greenery within the built environment is a huge part of the push towards greater sustainability in architecture. So it’s no wonder that vertical gardens and green roofs are becoming increasingly ubiquitous. As well as being great insulators, contributing to the regeneration of our natural environments and offering health benefits to occupants, they also have outstanding visual appeal.

Planting non-native trees accelerates the release of carbon back into the atmosphere
The Conversation | 15 June 2020
Large-scale reforestation projects such as New Zealand’s One Billion Trees programme are underway in many countries to help sequester carbon from the atmosphere.

Creating an urban forest in Hobsons Bay
Mirage News | 15 June 2020
Over 50,000 trees will be planted over the next five years across Hobsons Bay in an ambitious plan to increase the city’s tree canopy cover to 30 per cent by 2040 as part of Council’s draft Hobsons Bay Urban Forest Strategy, which is open for feedback until 23 July 2020.

WEEK COMMENCING JUNE 12TH

How much does a tree really cost in Canberra? Libs, government fight over planting plans
Riot ACT | 12 June 2020
Building on the back of their one million trees in the ACT announcement, the Canberra Liberals have promised every child starting kindergarten a voucher to buy a tree from any Canberra nursery.

How cities can add accessible green space in a post-coronavirus world
The Conversation | 12 June 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced governments to weigh the benefits of keeping green spaces open against the public health concerns that come from their use. During the pandemic, playgrounds have been taped off, parks locked and access to outdoor spaces for recreation cut off.

Green Roofs For Healthy Cities Announces $10,000 Green Infrastructure Training Scholarship For Black Youth
Living Architecture | 11 June 20202
Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, in response to the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the historic oppression against Black people in North America, is creating a scholarship fund to help break down the barriers of entry for Black youth into the green infrastructure industry.

How a stone wedged in a gum tree shows resilience of Aboriginal culture in Australia
Mirage News | 11 June 2020
Trees marked by Aboriginal cultural practices are a distinctive part of the Australian landscape. A recent discovery on Wiradjuri country in New South Wales shows some of these “culturally modified trees” may be much younger than anybody thought.

Green roofs can boost economy - Vanya Veras
Times Malta | 9 June 2020
June 6 marked the very first World Green Roof Day. For a world just emerging from the isolation of lockdown into social distancing, the presence and importance of nature in our lives has become acutely evident.

Why we need to assess the performance of the great outdoors
The Fifth Estate | 9 June 2020
How do we know if the thing built meets expectations? There are ways to measure this so you can check out the “performance gaps” – the difference between the way a building, or any kind of space, was expected to operate, and how it operates in reality.

We want a green recovery and we want it now!
The Fifth Estate | 9 June 2020
Around 70 per cent of Australians expect the government to put the environment centre stage in its pandemic recovery, according to a new Ipsos survey, reflecting the significant media coverage of this idea.

Melbourne launches largest ever revegetation project to green the city
Smart cities | 8 June 2020
Plans to plant 150,000 trees and shrubs form part of the Australian city’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic by creating jobs and enhancing public space, in addition to tackling the climate emergency.

Canberra Liberals promise one million trees to save the bush capital
Riot ACT | 7 June 2020
The Canberra Liberals have promised to plant one million trees over the next decade and ensure that every Canberran is within a 10-minute walk of green space if they are elected in October.

Greening our grey cities: here's how green roofs and walls can flourish in Australia
Phys org | 6 June 2020
Tomorrow is the first World Green Roof Day. Cities around the world will celebrate the well-documented environmental, economic and social benefits of green roofs. New ground-level green spaces are difficult to create in high-density urban areas. As a result, other forms of city greening—green roofs, green walls and vegetated facades—are increasingly popular.

WEEK COMMENCING JUNE 5TH

Four new sustainable building materials to watch
The fifth Estate | 3 June 2020
With the need for better buildings more urgent than ever, great minds across Australia are finding innovative ways to reshape the building sector with sustainable construction materials

Fender Katsalidis designs elevated parks and office tower for Melbourne’s Southbank
Architecture AU | 2 June 2020
As a response to the lack of green spaces in Southbank, the project will include 2,000 square metres of publicly accessible parkland, including an elevated park and a further 2,000 square metres of landscaped open spaces.

A blueprint for better air quality in Sydney
Mirage news | 3 June 2020
A special report on improving Sydney’s air quality identifies a number of ways to mitigate air pollution, including phasing out wood heaters in urban areas, reducing the number of vehicles on the roads, encouraging low-emission vehicles, and improving air-quality monitoring.

Rolling out green carpet for Green Square
Mirage news | 3 June 2020
Residents moving into one of the fastest growing precincts in Australia at Green Square are set to benefit from more open space for recreation and relaxation with plans for a new City of Sydney park taking shape.

"It is expected that growers will soon recover after crisis"
Floral Daily | 1 June 2020
Nearly three-quarters (71%) believe that most growers will soon recover after this crisis, a new survey of grower associations, by the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) and FloraCulture International (FCI), reveals.

Living Walls: University researchers develop green tech for treating wastewater from microbreweries
RIT | 2 June 2020
Rochester Institute of Technology and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) researchers received a patent for green wall technology that will provide craft breweries cost-effective and sustainable options for wastewater treatment. The team found a way to make the common Pothos and recycled glass an environmental solution to support the growing microbrewery trend in the region.

‘Lean’ times for landscaping in Australia?
Floral Daily | 1 June 2020
Greener Spaces Better Places conducted a 'Pulse check' in April 2020 of Government greening at the time of COVID-19. 60% of respondents said that Urban Greening (including tree planting, maintenance, potted colour displays), and other capital works projects like new parks have been considered ‘essential’ and expenditure will remain the same or be brought forward.

Heatwaves can kill – research uncovers the homes most vulnerable to overheating
The Conversation | 2 June 2020
Around 19% of EU households get uncomfortably warm during the summer and in some countries, the figure is close to 50%. It isn’t simply a matter of comfort, though – overheating in homes can be fatal. In the UK, there were 892 excess deaths resulting from summer heatwaves in 2019, with many occurring in houses and care homes.

City of Melbourne releases design of new park Seafarers Rest on Yarra River’s north bank
Herald Sun | 2 Jue 2020
A neglected part of the Yarra River’s north bank is to get a new park as part of a $500 million redevelopment with a maritime theme. Here’s how it will look once complete.

Addressing Indigenous heritage through design
Architecture AU | 1 June 2020
The inclusion of Indigenous voices in architectural practice is gaining momentum in Australia and around the world. But for many non-Indigenous practitioners, addressing Indigenous heritage can “send people into conniptions,” as Dillon Kombumerri highlighted at AA Roundtable: Rights and Reclamations, a discussion moderated by Carroll Go-Sam, which also included Sarah Lynn Rees. In this edited except, Kombumerri clearly articulates that connecting to Country, rather than being overwhelmed by thousands of years of culture and history, is the first step to an architectural future more enriched by Indigeneity.

Council welcomes State and Federal Government funding for Brimbank
Mirage News | 1 June 2020
Brimbank Council has welcomed recent government funding announcements aimed at supporting vital projects across Brimbank in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

$1.5m to investigate benefits of urban green spaces
Government News | 1 June 2020
Researchers will collaborate with urban planners and policy makers to investigate the health benefits of urban green spaces in a project that has won $1.45 million of funding from an international research collaboration.

A time to embrace the edge spaces that make our neighbourhoods tick
The Conversation | 1 June 2020
As we emerge from COVID-19 lockdowns, it is timely to reflect on how the design of our neighbourhoods and the ways we interact with them affect our lived experience.

Green space in Sydney’s Central Park wins top international award
Domain | 31 May 2020
A communal green space in the middle of buildings at Sydney’s Central Park development has won a major international award for being designed as “a welcoming place in which to replenish the spirit”.

Call of the wild: listen up, people, time is running out
AMH | 29 May 2020
For decades, humans have been ignoring Mother Nature’s warnings about the future of the planet. Exactly how loudly does she have to scream?

Being black while in nature: 'You’re an endangered species'
The Guardian | 31 May 2020
Many black nature-lovers have to employ defense mechanisms – lest a situation turn sticky and they have to answer questions from a suspecting police officer

WEEK COMMENCING MAY 29TH

Climate crisis making world’s forests shorter and younger, study finds
The Guardian | 29 May 2020
Climate breakdown and the mass felling of trees has made the world’s forests significantly shorter and younger overall, an analysis shows. The trend is expected to continue, scientists say, with worrying consequences for the ability of forests to store carbon and mitigate the climate emergency and for the endangered wildlife that depends on rich, ancient forests.

Australia, you have unfinished business. It’s time to let our ‘fire people’ care for this land
The Conversation | 28 May 2020
Since last summer’s bushfire crisis, there’s been a quantum shift in public awareness of Aboriginal fire management. It’s now more widely understood that Aboriginal people used landscape burning to sustain biodiversity and suppress large bushfires.

Blue + Green + Social distancing = Healthy and liveable communities
Water services association Au | 27 May 2020
The water services of Australia, a committee and network who work to enrich communities where water services have broad economic, environmental and social values, highlighted the Greener Spaces Better Places ‘pulse check’ survey in a piece on the importance of green space.

Manyana bushland clearing halted as protest group launches federal court challenge
The Guardian | 27 May 2020
Clearing of bushland in the small New South Wales south coast town of Manyana will be halted temporarily after a community environment group trying to save the unburnt habitat began legal action in the federal court.

Bushfire royal commission: Fire damaged prehistoric Wollemi Pines but most saved from major destruction
ABC | 27 May 2020
The critically endangered prehistoric Wollemi Pines — whose location is a closely-guarded secret — suffered minor damage from last season's fires, but escaped major destruction thanks to prevention efforts.

How Covid-19 could redesign our world
BBC | 28 May 2020
As many countries ease lockdown restrictions, residents are returning to old spaces that now feel unfamiliar. The places themselves did not change – but from wearing masks to avoiding crowds, the way we are allowed to navigate them is going to be radically different.

Public parks guaranteeing sustainable well-being
Science daily | 27 May 2020
An international team led by the University of Geneva (UNIGE) has ascertained how green spaces contribute to the well-being of city-dwellers. The research shows that parks play an essential role in the well-being of individuals, regardless of their social class, and that they cannot be replaced by other venues where people meet, such as shopping centers. When these parks are closed -- as during the COVID-19 pandemic -- it intensifies inequalities in well-being.

Native forests or single-species plantations: What's better for addressing climate change?
Research Matters | 27 May 2020
Restoring degraded forests by planting trees is often offered as an antidote for mitigating global warming. Since trees take in carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, and store in other forms within plant matter and soil, several climate policies focus on tree planting as a strategy. However, not all forests are the same in terms of storing carbon for extended periods and sensitivity to imbalances in the climate. Understanding how different natural and man-made forests differ in these respects can therefore can be important for navigating the climate crisis.

Rejuvenate green spaces to fight rise of immune diseases, experts say
SMH | 27 May 2020
The coronavirus pandemic is an opportunity to redesign urban green spaces, experts say, arguing that biodiverse natural environments help prevent illnesses like allergies and asthma, improve mental and physical health, as well as generate employment. A new study from Adelaide University has found that re-introducing a diverse array of native plants to public spaces can help strengthen people's immune system by exposing them to beneficial microbes, including bacteria.

Thousands of new trees to be planted across Sydney
Mirage News | 27 May 2020
The NSW Government is investing nearly $5 million to plant thousands of new trees across Greater Sydney to expand the city’s green canopy in partnership with Greening Australia and Landcare NSW.

Town of Victoria Park’s Urban Forest Officers: little green men and women boosting the tree canopy
Perth Now | 27 May 2020
Local government employees whose roles have been affected by the COVID-19 crisis are being redeployed as ‘urban forest officers’ (UFOs) to help green streets in the Town of Victoria Park.

Here's why you're craving the outdoors so much during the coronavirus lockdown
Medical Xpress | 26 May 2020
When the long-awaited warm sunny weather arrived in Toronto over the weekend, hundreds flocked to Trinity Bellwoods Park in the city's west end. Ontario Premier Doug Ford said it looked like a "rock concert," but added that he understood people wanted to be outside and enjoy the outdoors.

Coronavirus has changed our sense of place, so together we must re-imagine our cities
The Conversation | 25 May 2020
Is it time to re-imagine our fundamental relationship with cities? People bring cities to life. They interact, work, socialise and travel. Without this, cities are just collections of buildings and infrastructure.

We found 2˚C of warming will push most tropical rainforests above their safe ‘heat threshold’
The Conversation | 23 May 2020
As they photosynthesise and grow, tropical forests remove enormous amounts of carbon from the atmosphere, reducing global warming. However, forests are also themselves affected by this warming. If it gets too hot or too dry, trees will grow less and may start to die faster, decomposing and releasing that carbon back into the atmosphere.

More than 20 new parks and off-leash dog areas revealed
The Age | 23 May 2020
Melbourne's high-density inner suburbs will be among the first to receive more than 20 new "pocket parks" and off-leash dog areas as part of an Andrews government greening project to begin next year.

WEEK COMMENCING MAY 22ND

Tropical forests soak up huge amounts of greenhouse gas. Climate change could end that
Science Mag | 21 March 2020
Tropical forests have been one of Earth’s best defenses against rising carbon dioxide levels. The trees suck carbon from the atmosphere as they grow, and researchers estimate that, despite ongoing deforestation, tropical forests hold more carbon than humanity has emitted over the past 30 years by burning coal, oil, and natural gas. But scientists have worried that the ability of tropical forests to act as carbon sinks will diminish and ultimately reverse with continued global warming, as trees stressed by heat and drought die and release their carbon.

The 19th Century’s “Best Planned City” Tries Again
Vice | 22 March 2020
Mid-sized cities around the country are hoping to attract businesses and residents that can no longer afford the big cities. Will a “mobility revolution” help? Buffalo wants to find out.

How staying indoors effects your immune system
BBC | 22 May 2020
While staying inside our homes is helping to shield us from the pandemic, missing out on time outdoors might be effecting our risk of catching diseases in other ways.

Coronavirus is a ‘sliding doors’ moment. What we do now could change Earth’s trajectory
The Conversation | 20 May 2020
The numbers of people cycling and walking in public spaces during COVID-19 has skyrocketed. Cities from Bogota to Berlin and Vancouver have expanded bike lanes and public paths to accommodate the extra cycling traffic. In Australia, the New South Wales government is encouraging councils to follow suit.

To prevent pandemics, stop disrespecting nature
National Geographic | 19 May 2020
A leading conservationist and biodiversity scholar, with decades of experience in the Amazon, reflects on the lessons of COVID-19.
A leading conservationist and biodiversity scholar, with decades of experience in the Amazon, reflects on the lessons of COVID-19.

Cities Prepare for Green Initiatives Post-Coronavirus
19 May 2020 | Environmental protection
The COVID-19 pandemic is a life-changing event that will be prominent for the foreseeable future. As countries and cities prepare to lift lockdown or stay-at-home orders, many officials are looking for ways to enforce social distancing while restarting economies.

'How do you do density?' Infrastructure Victoria asks residents
The Age | 19 May 2020
Residents are willing to give up the suburban dream and live in greater densities as the city grows, but they expect easy access to public transport, jobs and open space, the state's lead infrastructure advisor has found.

Logging in fire-ravaged native forests no longer sustainable: study
SMH | 18 May 2020
Massive bushfires are occurring unnaturally, often in native forests in south-eastern Australia, prompting the collapse of ecosystems and rendering logging unviable, according to a new study published overnight in the journal of the National Academy of Sciences in the US.

Parks matter more than ever during a time of sickness – something Frederick Law Olmsted understood in the 19th century
The Conversation | 18 May 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has altered humans’ relationship with natural landscapes in ways that may be long-lasting. One of its most direct effects on people’s daily lives is reduced access to public parks.

People who live near parks should be taxed more to maintain their upkeep, thinktank warns
Yahoo | 19 May 2020
People who live in close proximity to parks should pay higher taxes for their upkeep, emulating the same system which exists in some US cities, a think tank says.

Just how hot will it get this century? Latest climate models suggest it could be worse than we thought
The Conversation | 18 May 2020
Climate scientists use mathematical models to project the Earth’s future under a warming world, but a group of the latest models have included unexpectedly high values for a measure called “climate sensitivity”.

South Australian ecologist creates vegetation regeneration program to reduce bushfire risk
ABC | 17 May 2020
Joan Gibbs is happy to be called a "tree hugger", but she has not forgotten what lies beneath the canopy. The ecologist from the University of South Australia says grass is a crucial — and often overlooked — part of any ecosystem, particularly when it comes to mitigating bushfire risk.

How urban planners' preference for male trees has made your hay fever worse
The Guardian | 16 May 2020
Horticulturists urge better sex mix of city trees to mitigate rising asthma and CO2 pollution levels

NSW south coast residents battling to save unburnt bushland ask Sussan Ley to intervene
The Guardian | 15 May 2020
A dispute over plans by a property developer to raze a local forest on the bushfire-ravaged south coast of New South Wales has been escalated to the federal environment minister amid concerns the project could threaten endangered species.

Shrub encroachment on grasslands can increase groundwater recharge
Science Daily | 15 May 2020
A new study modeled shrub encroachment on a sloping landscape and reached a startling conclusion: Shrub encroachment on slopes can increase the amount of water that goes into groundwater storage. The effect of shrubs is so powerful that it even counterbalances the lower annual rainfall amounts expected during climate change.

WEEK COMMENCING MAY 15TH

Greening our way through the pandemic
UNSW Sydney newsroom | 14 May 2020
A group of UNSW cross-discipline experts discuss the benefits of plants, gardening and green spaces during COVID-19.

Infrastructure report to help SA economy
Canberra Times | 13 May 2020
A roadmap outlining South Australia's 20-year infrastructure strategy has been released to help the state grow its economy and create jobs, and is backed by the state's peak transport lobby group.

7 ways to rebuild Australian resilience
The Fifth Estate | 12 May 2020
The flipside of crisis is opportunity. The past six months have seen two extraordinary stressor events play out across Australia with devastating impacts – the eastern Australian drought and bushfires, closely followed by Covid-19.

New podcast episode: Architects as climate activists, with Caroline Pidcock
The Fifth Estate | 12 May 2020
In our latest episode of How to Build a Better World, managing editor of The Fifth Estate, Tina Perinotto, speaks to Caroline Pidcock, an award-winning Australian architect and advocate for sustainable design.

Planting trees is not a silver bullet against climate change
European Scientist | 12 May 2020
In a perspective published on 8 May in Science, Prof Karen Holl and Prof Pedro Brancalion argue that planting trees is not a simple solution to climate change and should certainly not be viewed as a solution by itself (1).

Loss of green space in India shown to be associated with higher cardiometabolic risk
Medical Xpress | 11 May 2020
Although the health benefits of green space are supported by a growing body of evidence, few studies on this topic have been carried out in low- and middle-income countries. A new study by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), a centre supported by the la Caixa Foundation, which analysed data on more than 6,000 people living in an area south of Hyderabad (India), offers evidence that urban development leading to a reduction in green space may be associated with an increase in several cardiometabolic risk factors.

This rainforest was once a grassland savanna maintained by Aboriginal people – until colonisation
The Conversation | 11 May 2020
If you go to the Surrey Hills of northwest Tasmania, you’ll see a temperate rainforest dominated by sprawling trees with genetic links going back millions of years.

Street smarts required in heat mitigation
Science Direct | 11 May 2020
Researchers investigated how solar reflective coatings on select Los Angeles city streets affected radiant heat and, in turn, pedestrians' comfort on a typical summer day. The idea is, if you coat a street with a lighter color than traditional pavement black, it will actually lower the surrounding temperatures. But researchers wanted to measure what effect reflective coating had on pedestrians.

Government urged to act on Callan Park revamp plan
SMH | 10 May 2020
Sydney's languishing Callan Park would have buildings blocking water views removed, vehicle access scaled back and a greater pedestrian network under a draft plan by the state government as the community clamours for more open spaces during the COVID-19 crisis.

Forestry academics say Victorian Government can't see the wood from the trees
ABC | 9 May 2020
Forestry academics have issued a warning over the Victorian Government's decision to scale back the harvesting of native timber forests in the lead up to a 2030 ban.

WEEK COMMENCING MAY 8TH

Cities will endure, but urban design must adapt to coronavirus risks and fears
The Conversation | 7 May 2020
The long-term impacts of coronavirus on our cities are difficult to predict, but one thing is certain: cities won’t die. Diseases have been hugely influential in shaping our cities, history shows. Cities represent continuity regardless of crises – they endure, adapt and grow.

How do we build urban resilience in face of crises like COVID-19?
Mirage news | 7 May 2020
The coronavirus pandemic has tested the resilience of cities around the world. It has revealed gaps in governance, urban infrastructure and the provision of critical services. It has put a strain on health-care systems, global supply chains and the economy.

Call for more attention to streetscapes and green spaces post-COVID-19
Rio Act | 7 May 2020
A community council is calling on the ACT Government to commit to ongoing investment in streetscapes and green spaces across Canberra, with the COVID-19 shutdown highlighting just how important they are to the community’s health and wellbeing.

Ballarat’s largest ever tree planting program begins in Wendouree
Mirage news | 6 May 2020
Progress towards an aim of 40 per cent tree coverage in Ballarat has started this week in Wendouree.
https://www.miragenews.com/ballarat-s-largest-ever-tree-planting-program-begins-in-wendouree/

Recent Australian wildfires made worse by logging
Science Daily | 5 May 2020
Logging of native forests increases the risk and severity of fire and likely had a profound effect on the recent, catastrophic Australian bushfires, according to new research. In the wake of the country's worst forest fires in recorded history, researchers have been investigating Australia's historical and contemporary land-use.

We can’t let coronavirus kill our cities. Here’s how we can save urban life
The Conversation | 5 May 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic restrictions have reminded us of the vital role public space plays in supporting our physical and mental well-being. We need to move, to feel sunlight and fresh air, and to see, talk and even sing to other people.

Openwork designs sensorial garden for Heide Museum of Modern Art
Architecture AU | 4 May 2020
Openwork has designed a garden for the Heide Museum of Modern Art that will harness the curative and healing properties of plants. The Healing Garden will be planted between Heide founder Sunday Reed’s original heritage-listed kitchen garden and the Heide cottage.

City of Sydney unveils strategy for towering clusters
Architecture AU | 4 May 2020
City of Sydney has unveiled a new planning strategy for the city centre, which will allow for buildings of up to 330 metres to be built in new “clusters.”

The best trees to reduce air pollution
BBC | 5 May 2020
Urban trees can help cut air pollution from New York to Beijing, but which trees do the best job? Future Planet weighs up the options.

Could a variation to the territory plan bring about a greener future?
The Canberra Times | 4 May 2020
Save for chronic insomniacs, draft variations to the ACT Territory Plan are not generally considered to be appealing bedtime reading. However, Draft Variation 369 (Living infrastructure in residential zones) is an exception that is well worth a read at any time of day or night, and the ACT planning authorities should be congratulated for producing it. Its overall objective is to achieve a 30 per cent tree canopy cover, and 30 per cent in permeable ground surfaces in urban areas by 2045.

Relaxed coronavirus restrictions see NT parks open up; Kakadu, Uluru, Nitmiluk remain shut
ABC | 2 May 2020
Restrictions on outdoor activities, including hiking and camping, have been lifted just in time for the start of the dry season in the Top End.

Rush to parks, cycleways during shutdown reveals Sydney's great divide
SMH | 2 May 2020
Stitching together a patchwork of small parks, cycleways and pedestrian paths will help close the divide between the Sydney suburbs lacking green space and those with large parklands, experts say.

‘Living Architecture’ Key to Post-Pandemic Cities
The Urban Developer | 3 May 2020
Lessons can be learned from the Covid-19 pandemic to design people-friendly buildings and cities that embrace the natural environment and make us more resilient to future pandemics.

Making infrastructure sustainable offers a bigger bang for our buck
The Fifth Estate | 30 April 2020
Infrastructure’s social licence to operate is in jeopardy thanks to the community’s construction fatigue and sheer opposition, with around $20 billion worth of infrastructure projects delayed, cancelled or mothballed over the past decade. Making these projects certified under a sustainability rating scheme could turn the tide.

WEEK COMMENCING MAY 1ST

Victoria is running a Tree of the Year competition and voting is now open
Time Out | 29 April 2020
Trees do not get enough credit. Not only do these woody plants provide shade, but they also filter carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, promote biodiversity by creating homes for animals, reduce heat in urban areas and reduce erosion. Such overachievers, right?

Think tank wants more bike lanes
Architecture & Design | 29 April 2020
Sydney has a unique chance to use the current lockdown period to rapidly expand its cycle network, says the Committee for Sydney.

ASBEC slams WA NCC delay and says more sustainable design equals better economic outcomes
Architecture & Design | 28 April 2020
The decision by the WA Government to significantly delay implementation of the latest updates to the National Construction Code (NCC) is ‘deeply concerning at a time when energy efficiency is critical for supporting economic stimulus’, says the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC).

Climate explained: why higher carbon dioxide levels aren’t good news, even if some plants grow faster
The Conversation | 29 April 2020
Compared to pre-industrial levels, the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO₂) in the atmosphere will have doubled in about 20 to 30 years, depending on how much CO₂ we emit over the coming years. More CO₂ generally leads to higher rates of photosynthesis and less water consumption in plants.

More trees, parks may mean longer lives for city dwellers
Medical Xpress | 29 April 2020
More green spaces in cities could significantly reduce premature deaths and their costs, researchers say. Focusing on Philadelphia, they concluded that increasing the city's tree canopy by about one-third—from 20% to 30% of land area—could prevent more than 400 premature deaths a year and save nearly $4 billion in related economic costs.

NSW government to fast track 24 major projects
Architecture AU | 28 April 2020
Twenty-four major projects in New South Wales will have their fate decided within four weeks after the state government announced it would fast-track its assessment process to boost the economy amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Fast-tracked planning for the coronavirus recovery: Can triage help?
The Fifth Estate | 27 April 2020
Western Australia and New South Wales are using State Emergency powers to accelerate planning decisions and to extend planning permissions already granted but not yet started due to the lockdown.

NSW government spend $350m on local council stimulus
Daily Telegraph | 26 April 2020
Playgrounds, libraries, sporting fields, swimming pools and suburban roads are set to benefit most from a $350 million local government stimulus package announced today. NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet is offering $250 million in cheap loans to the state’s 128 local councils to ensure they get shovel ready projects off the ground.

Urban Taskforce responds .. to a host of issues on planning and fast tracking
The Fifth Estate | 28 April 2020
Firstly, the Urban Taskforce is not advocating for throwing out the planning system with its checks and balances. Merit based assessment based on strategic and site-specific analysis is fundamental to the planning system. Local controls are important, but were never meant to apply to each and every site – that is why SEPP 1, which allowed for flexibility based on a merit assessment) was introduced (now applied through Cl 4.6 of the Standard LEP instrument).

Why the focus of stimulus plans has to be construction that puts social housing first
Architecture AU | 27 April 2020
Australia has done better with COVID-19 than anyone dared hope. This opens up the prospect of a progressive relaxation of restrictions later this year. Organizations that could participate in an economic stimulus program will need to be in a position then to deliver “shovel-ready” projects to help revive the economy.

How Pandemics Spurred Cities to Make More Green Space for People
History | 27th April 2020
Cholera tore through New York City in the summer of 1832, leaving its victims with sunken eyes, blue skin, severe diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. It had swept from its origin in Asia and then made its way across Europe before arriving at New York’s shores. It only took a matter of weeks for cholera to claim the lives of more than 3,500 of the city’s 250,000 citizens (at a similar death rate, the fatalities in New York City would top 118,000 in 2020).

Where 4,000 trees will be planted this autumn in new stimulus package
Riot Act | 24 April 2020
The ACT Government will plant more than 4,000 trees across 87 Canberra suburbs this autumn as part of a $3 million refresh that will also support local businesses and create jobs during the COVID-19-induced economic downturn.

Pedestrians and cyclists are taking back street space but can they keep it?
The Fifth Estate | 23 April 2020
The push by pedestrians and cyclists to use more street space during the coronavirus lockdowns could prompt a major rethink of how we use our public space after we emerge from the crisis.

New climate report warns 11 of 12 hottest years have occurred since 2000
Eco News | 23 April 2020
According to a new report by the European Union’s climate monitoring service 11 out of the 12 hottest years to date have all occurred since 2000.

WEEK COMMENCING APRIL 24TH

4000 new trees to be planted as part of coronavirus stimulus plan 
Canberra Times | 23 April 2020 
An estimated 4000 trees will be planted across Canberra in a bid to keep city service workers in jobs during the coronavirus crisis. The $3 million program will also include a makeover of the city's playgrounds and public spaces as part of the ACT government's COVID-19 stimulus package.

Sydney's inner west gets $20m for cycleways to revitalise open spaces
SMH | 23 April 2020
Three cycleways and a neighbourhood park are among 10 small projects that will begin within months in Sydney's inner west after the state government doled out $20 million to spruce up areas along the Parramatta Road corridor.

Better public spaces on way for inner west 
Mirage News | 23 April 2020 
Communities in Sydney’s inner west will benefit from new and improved public spaces, thanks to $20 million in funding from the NSW Government’s Parramatta Road Urban Amenity Improvement Program.

How green space can keep the blues at bay
Medical Xpress | 22 April 2020
Ecology and health expert Professor Pierre Horwitz from Edith Cowan University believes the key is to get outside and breathe some fresh air.

Tree planting underway in the City
Mirage News | 22 April
The City of Greater Geelong’s annual tree planting program has commenced. More than 1800 trees are set to be planted across the region during the 2020 planting season, which is currently scheduled from April to September.

Urban forests of the future: Treetopias
The Conversation UK | 22 April 2020
The 21st century is the urban century. It has been forecast that urban areas across the world will have expanded by more than 2.5 billion people by 2050. The scale and speed of urbanisation has created significant environmental and health problems for urban dwellers. These problems are often made worse by a lack of contact with the natural world.

Big plans to revive Campbelltown's green spine
The Fifth Estate | 21 April
South West Sydney has plans to make the most of its unprecedented population growth, protect its bushland and build resilience to a range of environmental challenges. Campbelltown City Council has big plans for its central business district, the driving force behind the entire region. Key to a new masterplan for the township, Re-imagining Campbelltown’s CBD, is the rejuvenation of the Bow Bowing canal that runs through the CBD and into neighbouring centres in Macarthur and Leumeah.

The coronavirus has made me so grateful for city parks. We should fight for them
The Guardian | 20 April 2020
Parks are one of the few spaces left to retain a sense of normalcy, but not everyone has easy access to them

How Will We Live Together With All Other Species?
Arch Daily | 19 April 2020
Hashim Sarkis, the curator of the 17th International Architecture Exhibition organized by La Biennale di Venezia, launched a striking visionary theme at the beginning of this year: “How will we live together?”. This fundamental question finally transcends all disciplines and opens an existential portal for humanity. It does not refer only to humans but all species, the nonhuman organisms as well.

Can Climbing Trees Replace Preparing for Tests?
New York Times | 19 April 2020
Nature-based preschools are becoming increasingly popular. But what are they, and are they effective?

Meet the man helping to future-proof Melbourne
Brisbane Times | 18 April 2020
Melbourne City Council’s chief resilience officer Toby Kent first warned in 2015 that a pandemic was among the 20 things that could threaten Melbourne’s liveability.

How to green our cities without putting communities at risk of bushfire
The Fifth Estate |17 April 2020
The pursuit of greener urban areas in NSW will bring us resilience to climate change and increased liveability but if we’re not careful, urban greening policies could be the kindling for future bushfire events that destroy lives and property. The good news is there are a host of techniques that allow us to vegetate responsibly, such as choosing fire retardant plants and putting them in the right spots. This is a long read but an important piece highlighting an issue that’s been largely overlooked. It’s relevant for other states and territories as well.

WEEK COMMENCING APRIL 17TH

Balancing community safety with our innate need for nature
Eco Voice | 16 April 2020
As cities around Australia continue to enact high levels of restrictions for community movement during the COVID-19 pandemic, experts from urban greening initiative Greener Spaces Better Places have come together to impress the importance of following government guidelines of physical distancing to safely use green and open spaces – critical for mental health and wellbeing during a time of increased community stress.

Architecture to combat loneliness in a post-COVID society
The Fifth Estate | 16 April 2020
With the need for human contact more apparent than ever, Make Architects is reimagining the built environment as a way to reunite societies and restore human connections in the post-COVID-19 world.

Green spaces help soothe COVID-19 restrictions
Architecture & Design | 15 April 2020
As Australia continues its high levels of restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, Greener Spaces Better Places has come together to impress the importance of following government guidelines of physical distancing to safely use green and open spaces — critical for mental health and wellbeing during a time of increased community stress.

Climate explained: how white roofs help to reflect the sun’s heat
The Conversation | 15 April 2020
Generally, white materials reflect more light than dark ones, and this is also true for buildings and infrastructure. The outside and roof of a building soak up the heat from the sun, but if they are made of materials and finishes in lighter or white colours, this can minimise this solar absorption.

Don’t let self-iso shut you off from nature
Mirage News | 15 April 2020
Stuck indoors and have some spare time on your hands? Now might be the perfect opportunity to pay some extra attention to your indoor living friends.

Will we have business as usual or a brand new world after COVID? Urban planning impacts and some thoughts from home and abroad
The Fifth Estate | 14 April 2020
Self-isolation is becoming a curiously shared experience, as is the shift to view my home less as a castle than as a 21st century sweatshop, complete with child labour – or “home-schooling” as it’s officially known – and parsimonious tidbits hurriedly shared across the family in the workplace while the overseers – Skype, Zoom and Microsoft Teams – check that we don’t waste too much work-time on such fripperies. Get me out of here – but where?

NSW Bushfires: Milton subtropical rainforest may take a lifetime to recover from bushfires
Daily Telegraph | 14 April 2020
The recent black summer may be the tipping point for a lot of plants devastated by bushfire, raising fears some species may be lost forever.

WEEK COMMENCING APRIL 10th

Conifers are better than broadleaved trees at absorbing sound with their bark as scientists say they could help combat noise pollution in urban environments
Daily Mail UK | 4 April
If you want to minimise the amount of noise in an urban environment it's better to plant conifers than broadleaved trees, scientists claim.

Park Closures Show the Importance of Natural Spaces in Urban Planning
Promodo | 3 April 2020
With COVID-19 ravaging the world, all eyes are on the race to produce more supplies, tests and maybe even a vaccine. However, there are other areas of research, far from the biomedical field, that are becoming increasingly relevant now that the world is more disrupted and shut down than ever.

Researchers calculated how much food urban green spaces could produce
Anthropocene | 3 April 20202
Hectares of untilled gardens, overlooked verges, and unused parkland: these are the tools that cities can muster to make our food systems more sustainable and secure. This is the message of a recent study published in Nature Food, which shows that the city of Sheffield in the United Kingdom could feed a surprisingly large chunk of its population – 15% – by devoting just a small percentage of its available green space to fruit and veg farms.

Singapore ramps up rooftop farming plans
The Star | 9 April 2020
SINGAPORE has announced new measures to accelerate local food production as the coronavirus pandemic disrupts global supply chains, including a plan to turn car park rooftops in public housing estates into urban farms.

Don't look to mature forests to soak up carbon dioxide emissions
Science Daily | 8 April 2020
Research published today in Nature suggests mature forests are limited in their ability to absorb "extra" carbon as atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations increase. These findings may have implications for New York state's carbon neutrality goals.

Museum to launch national programme to protect urban nature as it announces plans to transform five-acre London gardens into the nation’s urban nature ‘epicentre’
Natural History Museum | 8 April 2020
The Natural History Museum is set to transform its five-acre gardens into an exemplar of urban wildlife research, conservation and awareness – galvanising a national drive to reengage people with the natural world and urban biodiversity, which it warns is under threat like never before.

A decarbonised Australia is possible, and buildings are low-hanging fruit
The Fifth Estate | 7 April 2020
It’s possible for Australia to limit temperature increase to 1.5°C but only if every sector – including the built environment – commits to an “all in” approach, according to a new report from ClimateWorks Australia.

Romeciti set to launch its second “green building” in Macquarie Park
The Fifth Estate | 7 April 2020
Sydney based developer Romeciti has agreed to pay more than $40 million to buy a second site for its “Green and Smart” residential project offering at Macquarie Park, 28 kilometres north west of Sydney. The deal follows lengthy negotiations with the owners of 36 strata title units to amalgamate the site.

‘School on a hill’ and ‘school in the trees’ planned for Chatswood
Architecture AU | 7 April 2020
Architectus has unveiled designs for a major overhaul of the public high school and primary school at Chatswood, a high-growth suburb on Sydney’s lower north shore.

Climate change: UK forests 'could do more harm than good'
BBC | 7 April 2020
Badly-planned trees would increase greenhouse gas emissions, say the government’s advisers on the economic value of the natural environment.The report comes from the Natural Capital Committee (NCC), which says planting trees into peat bogs would prove a serious mistake. Peat locks up vast quantities of carbon - but trees dry out peat. This can release more greenhouse gases than the trees absorb.

Why time outdoors is crucial to your health, even during the coronavirus pandemic
Medical Express | 7 April 2020
As state and local officials pleaded for residents to stay at home in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, many included a caveat: You can still enjoy the outdoors, as long as you can maintain a safe social distance. In the absence of widespread testing, social distancing remains the most important tool to fight the spread of COVID-19.

Closing the UK's parks and public spaces really could be a tipping point
The Guardian UK | 7 April 2020
There is always compromise, always managed space – but banning exercise in this country would be a disaster

GREEN GIGS: National Arboretum, revamping parks, satellite system and engineering in national parks
The Fifth Estate | 6 April 2020
The best way to learn about Australia’s beautiful environment is to experience it up close and personal. Canberra is looking for a design consultant to revamp the National Arboretum to accommodate rising visitor numbers while encouraging sustainable, future proofed development.

We need trees to fight pollution in cities—but which trees we use matters a lot
Fast Company | 6 April 2020
Placing trees between roads and pedestrians can make life way healthier, but some trees perform their task better than others.

Parks and green spaces can be great calmers only if there is social distancing
The Print | 6 April 2020
The photo stopped me in my tracks: Californians jogging, walking and cycling along a crowded bike path. Surely it must have been snapped weeks ago, before “social distancing” became a phrase on everyone’s lips? No: The photo was dated March 28, almost 10 days after Governor Gavin Newsom issued a “stay at home” order to combat the coronavirus pandemic in the state.

Scientists say Joshua trees may warrant listing as a threatened species
Phys Org | 14 April 2020
Joshua trees face the risk of extinction after decades of development, drought and more frequent wildfires due to climate change in their Mojave Desert stronghold, according to California wildlife authorities who are recommending that the trees be considered for listing as an endangered species.

Fighting fire with fire
ABC | 13 April 2020
He's a keeper of memories. Custodian of a knowledge that has been handed down for thousands of years: the ability to see when the land is sick and know how to heal it.

Jane Goodall says global disregard for nature brought on coronavirus pandemic
ABC | 11 April 2020
Renowned conservationist and activist Dr Jane Goodall is hoping the coronavirus pandemic will be a wake-up call, warning the crisis is a result of human disregard for nature and animals.

Australian forest study may challenge climate change optimism
ABC | 11 April 2020
As Australia's forests burned earlier this year, people around the world worried about the impact of all that smoke on our climate. At the same time, researchers in New South Wales were finalising a study looking at the capacity for forests to consume and store carbon from the atmosphere

 

Urban planning in a post-pandemic world
Government News | 9 April 2020
Urban living in a post-pandemic world will be more local, compact, pedestrian-friendly and connected, according to a leading urban planner.

Coronavirus self-isolation highlights poorly laid-out neighbourhoods, experts say
ABC | 9 April 2020
As we retreat into our homes and our worlds shrink to the size of our immediate neighbourhoods, experts say issues with the way our houses, towns, suburbs and cities are set up will come into sharp focus.

Planning in an era of COVID-19 and high density living
The Fifth Estate | 9 April 2020
Suburbia is partly a product of fears of disease prevalent in the late 19th century. What does this mean for our planning today in the wake of COVID-19?

WEEK COMMENCING APRIL 3rd

Car park to plaza conversion fails to square with locals
Architecture AU | 1 April 2020
When Melbourne's City of Stonnington embarked on a project to converted a supermarket car park into an "European-style plaza," members of the public were anticipating a inclusive and welcoming space. However local architect Domenic Cerantonio found the result is the exact opposite.

Victoria's plans for logging in bushfire zones 'grossly irresponsible'
The Guardian | 1 April 2020
Logging will continue in bushfire ravaged areas of Victoria for another 10 years but conservation groups say the state government's renewal of management plans for logging in native forests fails to protect the flora and fauna.

Longing for the Great Outdoors? Think Smaller.
City Lab | 2 April 2020
Access to parks, nature, and wildlife is critical for physical and emotional well-being. Now some city dwellers sheltered at home must find it in new ways.

How Deforestation Damages Even the Rainforests That Survive It
Harvard magazine | 1 April 2020
LAST SUMMER—seemingly a lifetime ago—the news was dominated by reports of the escalation of human-created fires in the Amazon rainforest. For many readers, the Amazon fires brought awareness not just of the immense suffering deforestation inflicts on the people and animals who live there, but also of tropical rainforests’ role in maintaining a stable climate for the planet. Tropical forests hold about 25 percent of the world’s carbon in their trees and other plant species; when they’re burned, all of that carbon is emitted into the atmosphere—and all of the vegetation that acted as “carbon sinks” to absorb carbon disappears. Without rainforests, climate scientists warn, the global-warming consequences could be catastrophic.

Despite the fires, logging continues in damaged forests
SMH | 1 April 2020
Despite bushfire damage to half of NSW state forests, logging has returned at pace to unburnt areas, while so-called “salvage logging” has been approved in 11 burnt state forests, prompting fears that vulnerable species will be pushed further towards extinction.

North Sydney roads to become pedestrian zones, parks under $26.4m project
Daily Telegraph | 31 March 2020
New plans have been revealed for a transformation of the North Sydney CBD including converting streets into pedestrian zones and converting a disused tram viaduct into a park. See the list of projects.

Researchers investigate how forests are changing in response to global warming
Phys Org | 31 March 2020
As the climate is changing, so too are the world's forests. From the misty redwoods in the west to the Blue Ridge forest of Appalachia, many sylvan ecosystems are adapting to drier conditions.

How Urbanism Will Help Solve Climate Change
Harvard Politics | 31 March 2020
In his Economics of Cities course at Harvard College, professor Ed Glaeser tells a story of environmentalism that contradicts many nature lovers’ instincts.

Now, more than ever, we need open spaces
Fauquier Now | 31 March 2020
In these emotionally and physically trying days of COVID-19 quarantines and social distancing, many people are increasingly turning to iconic parks, trails and green spaces for solace, exercise and restorative access to nature. And that’s great news.

Sydney’s complacent planning when we need resilience and urgent change
The Fifth Estate | 30 March 2020
What do you get for $2.5 million in Sydney? The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment has been throwing this sort of money at Sydney councils to do some strategic planning, and is just about to learn how poor value-for-money Sydney can be.

How to increase biodiversity across cities
Euro News | 30 March 2020
Cities and their surrounding areas are expanding. And this dramatically affects ecosystems.Urban areas are often perceived to have lower biodiversity than the countryside, but some recent studies suggest that urban land can support pollinator populations.

WEEK COMMENCING MARCH 27th

Experts comment on a strategy to green our cities before it's too late
Urban.com.au | 26 March 2020
Greener Spaces Better Places is an initiative which gives a voice to advocates looking to make changes for the better in our urban environments. The goal is to increase and diversify the tree canopy cover to alleviate the impacts of the heat island effect and other climate change-related impacts, from both a council and house-hold level.

This exciting and comprehensive piece of coverage on Greener Spaces Better Places features our wonderful advocates; Dr. Tony Matthews, Leigh Staas, Professor Tonia Gray, and Hort Innovation chief executive Matt Brand, as they discuss the importance of greening our cities.

Tropical forest trees are the centerpiece of debates on conservation, climate change and carbon sequestration today.
Heritage Daily | 25 March 2020
While their ecological importance has never been doubted, what has often been ignored is their ability to store cultural heritage. Using recent advances in scientific methods and a better understanding of the growth of these trees, researchers can now uncover, in detail, the growing conditions, including human management, that have occurred around these ancient giants over their centuries-long life span.

Coronavirus: urban parks can be a lifeline – if we respect lockdown rules
The Conversation | 25 March 2020
Recent statements from the UK government have made it clear that everyone, not just the elderly or those with pre-existing medical conditions, needs to play a part in controlling the spread of the novel coronavirus.

High streets and how to make them great people places
The Fifth Estate | 24 March 2020
High Streets are the lifeblood of a city. They’ll be back after the current COVID-19 fears inevitably subside, but we need to ensure they’re designed for vibrancy and people.

State government overrules ‘reckless’ council to save Geelong green spine
Architecture AU | 24 March 2020
The Victorian government has moved to protect the award-winning Geelong Green Spine from the local council’s wrecking ball.

As coronavirus forces lockdowns, parks lift spirits in cities
Reuters | 24 March 2020
BANGKOK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - As the coronavirus outbreak shutters gyms, malls and swimming pools, residents from Los Angeles to Bangkok are heading to parks and open spaces during lockdowns, highlighting their vital role in protecting health and wellbeing, urban experts said.

'The forest is now terribly silent': land set aside for threatened species entirely burnt out
The Guardian | 22 March 2020
New photos showing the devastating impact of bushfire in east Gippsland forests are sparking renewed calls for the Victorian government to rethink its approach to logging and bring forward the promised 2030 phase-out of the native timber industry.

Trees as infrastructure: Part one
Climate KIC | 23 March 2020
We are seeing a growing acknowledgement of the importance of trees to combat (and mitigate the impacts of) the climate crisis—including within our cities. However, a series of structural problems inherent in our urban forestry management processes are working against the more and more ambitious tree-planting targets that cities are announcing

The fight to save the Amazon is a matter of life or death for those trying to protect it
ABC | 22 March 2020
Amazonian tribes and local campaigners who stand up to the illegal networks that are destroying the world's largest tropical rainforest are being threatened, attacked and even killed.

International Day of Forest: Forests are more than just trees
Economic confidential | 22 March 2020
A single look at the forest, and most people assume it is all about the trees. In Nigeria for instance, ask the man in the street what a forest is, and he’ll define a forest in terms of forest reserves with his focus on the trees. I believe this misconception of the word ‘forest’ is one of the major reasons our forests are being destroyed daily at a very alarming rate. The aim of this piece is to enlighten people on what a forest stands for, and shed light on the complexity of the forest (especially the tropical rainforest) to celebrate this year’s International Day of Forests (IDF).The theme for this year IDP is forest and biodiversity, too precious to lose.