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Green Cities – The Key Component of the COVID-19 Recovery?

June 24th, 2020

Green infrastructure technologies have environmental, economic and social benefits including adapting cities to climate change, bringing nature back to cities, creating engaging and restorative places for workers and residents and, importantly, creating jobs. Unfortunately, Australian cities are lagging behind many of their international counterparts in the implementation of these green infrastructure technologies.

A collaboration of industry, government and university experts have released the Roadmap, which provides six action-based strategies to grow more plants on, and on top of, building roofs, walls and facades.

Roadmap co-author and Senior Deputy Dean of UNSW Business School, Professor Leisa Sargent, says looking toward our recovery after the coronavirus pandemic provides an opportunity to change the way we think about our living and working spaces by combining green infrastructure with grey infrastructure.

“Retrofits of this type could receive a business tax incentive to stimulate the construction industry as they create workplaces that improve employee productivity and wellbeing,” says Professor Sargent.

“Green roofs, walls and facades require a diverse mix of professions and trades to build them and many jobs will be created as the sector grows. In Toronto, a 2009 bylaw that made green roofs mandatory on large new buildings is estimated to have created 1600-plus jobs in their construction and 25 jobs annually to maintain them.”

A Roadmap for green roofs, walls and facades in Australia’s urban landscapes 2020-2030 was compiled by UNSW Sydney and University of Melbourne researchers with funding from HORT Innovation and draws on the collective knowledge of over 60 experts in the building and horticultural industries, government agencies and universities.

Sourced from University of New South Wales Newsroom