Growing together: Biodiversity in Australian cities

29 Aug 2019

Many of us are familiar with city life, whether it’s the bustling streets, noisy hum of traffic, or the humongous buildings that sit dotted along the skyline, twinkling at night.

Our cities are abuzz with life and energy, but where do we factor nature in as part of the ebb and flow?

Even as city dwellers, we love green spaces and being connected to nature. Take a stroll through Sydney’s Hyde Park during a weekday lunch hour and you’ll find throngs of people from all walks soaking up the sun or seeking shade under hundred-year-old trees.

Perhaps we see parks and green spaces as a refuge from fast-paced city living, but what we can often forget is that cities are thriving hubs of biodiversity and must be protected as we consider the sustainable transformation of the built environment.

Founded in 2013 by Hort Innovation, 202020 Vision has garnered Australia’s biggest network of green space experts, including over 400 organisational partners like the GBCA.

Most recently, we have teamed up with 202020 Vision on the Growing Together Tour across Australia’s major states, to identify barriers to creating more urban green spaces in our cities and unlock opportunities in each territory.

Samantha Ferguson, Hort Innovation Marketing Manager for the Nursery Industry, has attended each tour, and is pleased to see the initiative culminate in a collaboration between community, local councils, business and state government.

“Building sustainable cities that support our communities, aid our mental and physical health and that foster nurturing environments for our children is a paramount objective of this initiative,” she said.

 “We are achieving this by working hand in hand with national leaders in this space. 202020 Vision brings together the best and the brightest minds across industry, research and innovation to map the way to a sustainable future by investigating the most efficient ways to implement urban greening strategies.”

Taking place across Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide, the tour will unearth valuable insights from experts on how industry can accelerate planning for green spaces across our cities.

 “Our aim is to make our urban spaces greener and we are doing that through a range of unique projects that explore which native plants can withstand the effects of climate change, by researching and understanding the data around climate change, and by working with key stakeholders such as the building industry to design and construct green cities that are well integrated with the natural environment and surrounding infrastructure,” Samantha said.

To read more about you can support biodiversity in the built environment, read and share our guide delivered jointly with 202020 Vision, What’s the story? A developers guide to getting a green development approved and if you are in Sydney or Melbourne, don’t miss our half-day Biodiversity Spotlight Seminar next month.