Nursery levy to continue building argument for green space

Green_CitiesThe nursery industry levy is helping to fund a number of innovative research projects, as part of the Green Cities Fund set up by Horticulture Innovation Australia (Hort Innovation).

This Strategic Co-investment Fund builds on the foundation of the 202020 Vision and shares a common goal of building scientific knowledge and providing policy makers with facts and figures to back up their decisions to increase green space.

As the Australian population grows, urban developers and government are increasingly recognising the importance of green space in a community. The research generated through these projects can help inform government policy, nursery industry decisions and customer advice.

The latest project with nursery contributions is Measuring Australia’s green space asset (GC15004). This will review the tools and methods globally available for mapping, monitoring and recording urban greenspace, then work to determine their suitability for application in Australia and come up with a ‘blueprint’ for an Australian set of metrics.

The research will include extensive consultation with stakeholders using interviews and focus groups to piece together the needs, barriers and opportunities with respect to the uses and limitations of current greenspace planning and management.

Several other projects are being funded through Green Cities:

  • Which plant where, when and why database for growing urban green space (GC15002) will investigate the suitability of various plants species under current and future climate scenarios, with the aim of developing an online interactive tool for nurseries, developers, landscape planners and designers, councils and individuals.
  • Greener cities, healthier lives (GC15005) will provide evidence on the benefits of green space from birth to older age, and the minimum threshold of local green space necessary to make a difference to health and social outcomes.
  • Investigating the performance of green roofs and walls on temporary buildings (GC16000) will determine whether the benefits of temperature control, buffering noise and improved aesthetics outweigh the cost of installation.
  • Expanding the living architecture industry in Australia (GC15001) will explore whether mandating green roofs and walls in planning legislation is feasible and appropriate for Australia. It’s an approach taken in several cities around the world, but at the moment councils here encourage rather than mandate their adoption.

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