The Green Light Tour is Australia's urban greening roadshow

Friday, 02 March, 2018

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The 202020 Vision — a national initiative to increase and improve urban green space by 20% by 2020 — is back on the road for its third urban forestry roadshow since 2014.

Consultation with the sector has found that the key barrier for increased urban greening in 2018 is the implementation of greening policies, according to the 202020 Vision, despite the evolution of such policies since the initiative’s inception. The Green Light Tour aims to bring together Australia’s urban greening experts to help build capacity among practitioners to overcome this barrier.

The roadshow has been curated to provide attendees with policy insights and updates, as well as practical advice on implementation, overcoming common barriers and engaging with the community. A recent report led by RMIT University, ‘Where Should All the Trees Go?’, has helped inform the tour’s agenda through the examination of green space incorporated into Australia’s metropolitan areas, linking socioeconomic and heat data to identify the most impactful areas for greening.

As part of the first event, held in Melbourne earlier this week, Associate Professor Joe Hurley from RMIT and the Clean Air and Urban Landscapes Hub spoke from a strategic urban planning perspective about Urban Monitor — a canopy mapping tool that’s been trialled in Perth and Melbourne to inspire a new movement of vegetation measurement and reform.

“The urban forest is one of the most important assets we have in making our cities great places to be,” said Associate Professor Hurley. “We need to know where the urban forest is, how it is changing over time and what is causing that change.

“A national approach to monitoring urban forests through Urban Monitor would provide accurate analysis to the extent of their change over time.

“This would allow national, state and local action through policy reform, infrastructure investment, and business and community effort to reverse the decline in urban forests and instead grow this critical asset for urban livability and sustainability.”

Jack Davis, development manager from Frasers Property Australia, meanwhile presented a case study on the Burwood Brickworks shopping centre development. This included how Frasers Property is elevating the community’s demand for more and better green spaces, while still achieving its triple bottom line.

“What we are creating at Brickworks is unlike anything ever tackled before in retail, so there are new challenges to overcome and lessons to learn,” said Davis.

“Since the launch of the expressions of interest campaign for an operator for the urban farm, one of the major insights we’ve gained is not only the broad level of interest from a diverse range of people, groups and businesses in operating the farm, but also the community’s anticipation for such a unique local asset.”

The roadshow will visit four other cities after Melbourne: Adelaide on 27 March; Perth on 1 May; and Brisbane and Sydney on dates to be confirmed.

Image credit: © NOSKOWSKI

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