Australia is a highly urbanized nation and the success of our cities will depend on how we adapt and design our urban regions to deal with population growth and future environmental change.
Green infrastructure is an asset that is integral to the way our cities function, providing ecosystem services to their inhabitants through local climate regulation, pollutant reduction, storm water management, thermal comfort, improved human health and wellbeing, as well as aesthetic and biodiversity benefits (Tzoulas et al. 2007a, Taylor & Hochuli 2015, Davies & Corkery et el., 2017).
While green infrastructure can contribute to the liveability of a city through its economic, social and environmental benefits, the success of an urban green space is not always realised. Incorrect species selection can result in considerable cost to public and private realms, especially if there are low survival rates or perceived co-benefits are not integrated into the design (Staas et al. 2017).
There is no one tool that planners, practitioners and specifiers can use to support plant selection in urban regions across Australia...- Professor Michelle Leishman
Further, time pressures and low budgets often lead to inclusion of poor quality plant stock based on availability rather than suitability for the site.
Notably, the tools and resources for plant selection vary from state to state and are generally used for specific purposes based on the organisation.
There is no one tool that planners, practitioners and specifiers can use to support plant selection in urban regions across Australia.
The Which Plant Where project will develop a database to allow decision makers to use location-specific factors for optimal plant selection.
The online tool will be underpinned by rigorous research and industry knowledge, with the aim of expanding the diversity of plants to create living cities.
This article was originally published on the Treenet Conference website.