27 March 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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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.


After another hot summer, here are 6 ways to cool our cities in future
The Conversation | 20 March 2020
Australia is a “land of climate extremes”. This is especially true for our cities, which have become hubs of extreme summer temperatures. This past summer was the second-hottest on record for Australia, following the 2018-19 record, with average maximum temperatures more than 2°C above the long-term average.

Run on silverbeet, spinach and herbs as panic-buying hits nurseries
The Age | 20 March 2020
Slabs of silverbeet and spinach. Punnets of potatoes. Loads of lettuce. And onions, so many onions. Steven Lloyd is watching them vanish from his shelves as fast as the nursery manager can stock them. His nursery, Town and Country in Balwyn, has barely got anything left. His suppliers have barely got anything either.

Green Walls Bridge Gap Between Urban Cities And Nature
Living Architecture Monitor | 18 March 2020
There is now a simple and easy way to remove pollution from the air, promote biodiversity and naturally control the temperature in your home – and it’s all thanks to a new community-focused resource designed to help urban dwellers go green.

Urban farming can feed surprisingly many people — at least in Sheffield
ZM Science | 18 March 2020
Using 10% of a city’s green spaces such as gardens and urban parks could provide the fruit and vegetables to feed 15% of the local population, according to a new study.

'Wave of heat' set to arrive in Sydney
SMH | 17 March 2020
Sydney's growing legions of home-based workers could be tempted to head to the coast in coming days as summer-like temperatures and warm seas offer a welcome distraction from coronavirus concerns.

Tree change: What happens when living heritage becomes dead wood?
The Foreground | 17 March 2020
Robin Boyd’s Walsh Street house had a ‘significant tree’ that became a 25-metre-tall significant problem. But there’s life in those bones yet.

Banks appetite for green bonds on the rise
The Fifth Estate | 17 March 2020
Banks issued a record number of green bonds in 2019, reflecting investors’ increased priority on environmental social governance (ESG) and the larger role banks will play as the economy transitions to low carbon.

Urban land could grow fruit and veg for 15 per cent of the population, research shows
Phys Org | 17 March 2020
Growing fruit and vegetables in just 10 per cent of a city's gardens and other urban green spaces could provide 15 per cent of the local population with their 'five a day', according to new research.

More green, more ‘zzzzz’? Trees may help us sleep
The Conversation | 16 March 2020
Not feeling sharp? Finding it hard to concentrate? About 12-19% of adults in Australia regularly don’t get enough sleep, defined as less than 5.5-6 hours each night. But who’d have thought the amount of tree cover in their neighbourhood could be a factor? Our latest research has found people with ample nearby green space are much more likely to get enough sleep than people in areas with less greenery.

Questions over how Canberra's leafy treescape will survive the furnace of climate change
The Canberra Times | 16 March 2020
When Canberra was described to Grand Designs TV host Kevin McCloud prior to his recent first visit, it was like "a park with buildings in it".

State MPs dismayed at NSW Forestry logging unburnt habitat after bushfires
The Guardian | 15 March 2020
Endangered species have lost up to 82% of their habitat but Environment Protection Authority says logging of unburnt forest is legal.

Carbon benefits of fast-growing trees have been clearly proven
The Guardian | 14 March 2020
Paul Brannen says the RSPB needs to see the bigger picture on woodland planting, while Stuart Goodall believes we need to follow the science if we are to tackle the climate crisis.

Climate change: Will planting millions of trees really save the planet?
BBC | 14 March 2020
From Greta Thunberg to Donald Trump and airlines to oil companies, everyone is suddenly going crazy for trees.