ENGINEERING SOLUTIONS FOR GREENER CITIES IN THESE TRYING TIMES – OUR MODULAR ROOT DIRECTOR

In Australia, the Bureau of Meteorology has officially declared that a third La Niña is underway. With this announcement, it is safe that most Australians are looking forward to the eventual return of sunny skies; however, this cannot be said for other citizens around the globe.

The La Niña causing relentless rain for eastern Australia is also driving serve drought conditions in East Africa.

This is because there are ‘cool seas off Africa and warm seas off Australia, leading to rain falling over Australia instead of Africa’ (Deacon, 2022).

As the rains began to fall in Australia shortly after the Black Summer Fires in early 2020, rainfall sadly failed to eventuate in East Africa. This year, the Horn of Africa faces a record fifth failed wet season, which is impacting some of the poorest countries on earth.

The million-dollar question is what can be done about La Niña?

With climate change, these unusual, erratic weather events will be more frequent, and our cities need to be able to adapt.

At Citygreen, we believe that trees can help to alleviate the impacts of climate change, but first, we need to get them in the ground, so they thrive in our communities.

Planting trees in our bustling cities is no easy feat. The idea that you can plant a tree into a sidewalk or verge and hope that it will survive on its own during these erratic weather seasons we now face is an idea that has now been conclusively abandoned.

At Citygreen, we have been developing highly-engineering and researched products for over three decades, enabling trees to thrive and benefit our urban communities as soon as possible.

One of these products goes by the name of the RootDirector – a modular root management device designed to prevent root swirl and divert root growth downward and outward. This encourages profound root growth, which enhances the tree’s growth and overall stability.

Deeper and healthier root growth means the trees can access more subsoil moisture during dry periods. During wet periods, the roots have a greater and deeper span to find available oxygen in waterlogged soils.

Also, if tree roots are not directed downwards, they will grow horizontally and cause issues to other infrastructures like pipes and sidewalks.

At Citygreen, we believe that planting trees using an adequately designed root management system is a small cost compared to the time and labour needed to replant trees after premature death or removal due to infrastructure damage.

For more information download the free digital brochure below.
RootDirector Brochure

Water sensitive urban design could stem future flooding in Hobart

Australia’s island state, Hobart, is well known for its history of catastrophic fires, including the disastrous wildfires of 1897-98 and 1967. As the second-driest city in Australia, it’s easy to forget though that Hobart is also vulnerable to serious flooding. Until earlier this month that is, when a record 236.2mm of rain fell on Mount Wellington and 129.2mm fell in Hobart. The deluge flooded the city, with the Hobart Rivulet breaking its banks and flooding other lower lying areas in Sandy Bay, South Hobart, New Town, Lenah Valley and Kingston. In Hobart, cars were swept away in Collins St and Syme St and McRobies Rd in South Hobart.

Hobart’s closeness to nature and surrounding hilly terrain makes the city especially prone to wildfire and flash-flooding. But, the May 2018 flooding is also partly attributable to the city’s postwar planning. Like the rest of Australia, city planning in Hobart was dominated by, “a disconnection from nature. Creeks and streams were filled in, built over or walled off (taming nature), creating risks of catastrophic failure in unexpected conditions. This approach also overlooked the important ecological functions of watercourses.”

Unfortunately, the problem is only getting worst as Hobart expands, with houses, roads and buildings increasing the hardscaped area and decreasing green cover, which acts like a sponge. Planners now must apply water-sensitive urban design principles, including protecting floodplains from development, limiting the development of very steep land, and restricting land uses on flood-prone sites. Separately, thought must be given to the development of the urban forest – planting urban trees and carefully incorporating water sensitive urban design to better manage stormwater runoff. Good planning can help prevent future disasters and keep Hobart’s residents out of harm’s way.

Source: https://theconversation.com/lessons-in-resilience-what-city-planners-can-learn-from-hobarts-floods-96529

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