New push for more urban green space

Robert Prince, CEO Nursery & Garden Industry Australia

Robert Prince, CEO Nursery & Garden Industry Australia

A new national initiative, which aims to increase urban green space by 20% by 2020, launched on the same day as a newly released report showing concerns that our urban green spaces are under threat.

The 202020 Vision – a unique collaboration between government, academic and private-sectors – held an official launch of the initiative in a future urban green space, The Goods Line, in Sydney.

The Goods Line, a Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority project to rejuvenate the disused rail line, will provide pedestrian access from Broadway to Darling Harbour along a promenade of new urban spaces, restaurants and cafes.

202020 Vision aims to increase urban green space, and therefore improve our environment, productivity and societal benefits, which could not be more timely; over 93% of professionals from related industries said that the continued decrease in urban green space is of concern for all Australians, but particularly for those working in government, construction and development, horticulture and related academic sectors.

The study – the first of a series into industry attitudes towards urban green space – also found that an overwhelming majority (96%) agreed that Australia needs inter-industry collaboration to encourage an increase in green space if we are to avoid the continued negative impacts from green space decline.

These include a range of negative environmental, societal and community outcomes such as an increase in pollution, poor air quality, increased utility costs, inefficient water management, decreased commercial productivity and a lack of cohesive community spaces.

Robert Prince, chief executive officer of the Nursery and Garden Industry Australia (NGIA) and partner in the 202020 Vision said, “We know our cities need more green spaces, as they’re good for our health, productivity, keeping cities cool and reducing pollution.

“Urban heat islands, poor air quality, lack of enjoyable urban community areas are all poor outcomes when green spaces aren’t incorporated into new developments and large scale building projects.”

The 202020 Vision is a growing collaboration of over 20 advocates who are leaders within their fields, 50 partner organisations committed to the vision and at this stage has listed nearly 40 projects throughout Australia that exemplify the aspirations and goals of the initiative.

“There is huge pressure being applied to our existing urban green space due to increased density and the demands of a growing population,” said Sacha Coles, director, ASPECT Studios and advocate for the 202020 Vision.

“We need to act now to increase opportunities for urban nature to thrive and improve our liveability, health and wellbeing.”


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