Urban forests: Melbourne’s plan to green the city

Australia’s second largest city has unveiled a $19.1 million plan to unleash a sea of green across the city by boosting urban forests and decorating buildings with ‘vertical greening.’ 

Government News has also learned City of Melbourne Council will next week reveal details of a ‘demonstration green roof’ as part of its 2019-20 budget.

The news comes just days after council approved plans to build a living ‘skyfarm’ in the city.

The centrepiece of the Green Our City Strategic Action Plan is a $4.2 million commitment to plant at least 3,400 trees in the next year and to help council care for more than 80,000 trees.

The plans will also see council increase the quality of green roofs and vertical greening across the municipality, where there are already 40 green roofs, according to council.

Budget documents describe plans to “progress a planning scheme amendment to improve sustainability performance and deliver green infrastructure on buildings.”

Parks and gardens across the city will get a makeover under the budget pledge, with council making a $19.1 million investment in projects to make the city more sustainable, including $7.1 million in upgrades across 480 hectares of parks and gardens.

Melbourne’s budget includes a $28.7m investment in public open space.

The plans will see council spend $1.9 million to implement the first year the strategic plan.

Water management overhaul

A radical overhaul of council’s water management also features in the budget, with the city set to roll out a $4.2 million plan to collect and reuse rainwater in a bid to protect their iconic gardens from drought.

Acting Lord Mayor Arron Wood said the investment would help the city conserve water as temperatures continue to rise.

“This summer was Melbourne’s hottest on record so it’s important we conserve our water. That’s why we’re investing $4.2 million in our strategy to collect and re-use rainwater across the city. Our projects to renew drains and harvest stormwater will protect our iconic gardens from drought and extreme weather conditions.”

The budget pledge also includes sweeping measures to convert the city’s facilities to entirely renewable energy under the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project. 

The energy, which will come from a 80MW windfarm near Ararat, will power councils street lights, recreation centres, libraries and Town Halls.

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12 thoughts on “Urban forests: Melbourne’s plan to green the city

  1. Great to see this proactive plan. One for the essentisl steps we must do to limit climate change. Roof top gardens producing food for the cities coffees also reduces our carbon footprint and traffic congestion from delivery vehicles.

  2. This is a great example of how we can continue to progress collaboratively ensuring a healthy economy and healthy environment. Well done Melbourne, I hope this will encourages all states and councils to follow the example.

  3. This makes me reconsider handing back my Australian passport after this botched “climate election” outcome. Wonderful news!

  4. What an amazing concept. Leading from the front, utilising what already exists and future proofing Melbourne as a global leader, not only in the climate shift (that at the national level is denied), but also preparing for the growing population (being able to feed our own / breath fresher air) as well as fuel the new economy.

  5. Fantastic ideas and Melbourne could be a world leader in green cities and it would also be good for tourism. Develop the Botanical Gardens too. Look at Gardens by the Bay in Singapore… huge success.

  6. Leading the way ! Let’s hope that the rest of the country follow the example that Victoria is showing?

  7. Fantastic concept and leading the way in thinking outside the square. No fake grass please and how about a central city park eg Elizabeth Street Regards

  8. Sounds great. What if the councils provided compost facilities allowing household food waste to go into green garden waste bin? Nillumbik are doing it and selling the compost back to the community. Preventing food scraps from needlessly entering landfill.

  9. If you are so concerned, why not break up the cities and spread the people around the country. A concentration of people will create more pollution and a larger carbon footprint.

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