Around the world, urban greening is increasingly high on the agenda – with many outstanding examples for Australian planners, policy makers, and developers to draw inspiration from.

The first and foremost is no doubt Singapore, with its five-decade long approach to evolving the urban area into a “city in a garden”. This greening was, “initially driven by the desire to attract foreign investment and to ensure long-term water security through integrating water management into landscaping and urban planning. Singapore’s more recent policies have also emphasised benefits of population wellbeing, attracting tourists, increasing wildlife in the city and mitigating the heat impacts of climate change.”

In Madrid, we see another city pursuing urban greening as a means of cooling, increasing general wellbeing, and improving water security. In the recent report >Madrid + Nature by Arup, Madrid documented plans to, “expand and restore city parks, create 22 new urban gardens, turn vacant public land into community gardens and plant trees along the banks of the Manzanares river to create a linear park. There will also be funding for green roofs, vertical greening will be encouraged and paved squares will be retrofitted with plant beds that function as rain gardens. The city also plans to fund a new urban gardening school.”

Back in Australia, in December last year, the City of Freemantle announced an urban greening plan, which aims to ensure every person is within 400 metres of open green space. The Green Plan 2020 also set a target of, “20 per cent tree canopy cover for tree planting by 2020, with the council initiating an Urban Forest Strategy to manage and guide tree and vegetation population across public and private realms.”

Sacha Coles, director of ASPECT Studios, said the role of the federal government in increasing urban greening is to ensure there is a good system that supports local and state governments with funding for social infrastructure, including ensuring access to urban green space and great parkland spaces for everyone to enjoy.

Source: The Fifth State