Thriving Urban Green Spaces
More greenery in our towns and cities is imperative for healthy minds, healthy bodies and a healthy environment.
A key challenge for greening Australia’s urban environments is to ensure that future plantings are made with trees, shrubs and turf that can tolerate the climate conditions that will occur in the near future.
The Which Plant Where program is a five-year research program that will investigate how well current landscaping species will cope under the more extreme climates that Australia’s cities will face and investigate opportunities for new species and varieties for the urban context.
The idea of the Which Plant Where project was developed through the 202020Vision national Growing the Seeds tour in 2015. It is being funded via the Hort Frontiers Green Cities Fund, a strategic partnership initiative developed by Hort Innovation that addresses the biggest challenges facing the future of Australian horticulture. Having the confidence that tomorrow’s urban plants will survive and thrive in a changing world is crucial for the long-term viability of our industries and for creating a climate-resilient urban landscape.
To ensure that our research and tools are relevant to end-users, the WPW project held five interactive workshops across Australia, bringing together a diverse group of stakeholders including nursery and turf growers, practitioners, developers, landscape planners and designers, as well as state and local government representatives. These workshops attracted over 110 people from 86 organisations. The project will continue to work with all stakeholders over the life of the project.
We are finding new opportunities for urban greening based on testing major plant species for their ability to cope with coming climatic conditions. This means that we can be confident that the plants being selected today will cope with the increased temperatures that our towns and cities face in coming decades.
Cooling Our Cities
Plants can provide shade and evaporative cooling that has been shown to lower temperatures, power bills and rates of heat stress. In this project we will determine how much benefit particular species offer in terms of cooling so that you can make decisions on planting with cooling in mind.
Adapting To Climate Change
Climate change is here already and combined with urban heat island effects, is making our cities uncomfortable places to live. We can mitigate the effects of climate change with careful plant selection and management so that our homes can receive sunlight in winter and shade in summer.