08 Sep Greening Cities Conference, Sydney 2011
Graham Cleary was amongst the distinguished line up of leading international & national authorities who presented their recent work and vision for a greener urban future at this year’s conference. He reports on the event
I was again impressed by the extent of local government initiatives in Australia. City of Sydney now has‘Sydney 2030’ vision in place that actively promotes green walls and roofs as a key part of the response to climate change.
Indeed climate change is driving a lot of the green roof developments. Australia is looking at some dramatic changes; especially hot days, where days over 40°C in Adelaide and Perth look set to triple. These events kill people and cost the cities millions of dollars in health response.
Companies like ‘Fifth Creek Studios’ in Adelaide have responded with detailed research on how to use green walls and green roofs to counter such events. Their studio now has a large green wall system for very tall buildings (up to 23 stories). They have recently undertaken a feasibility study and are in the process of building and trialing walls.
The conference also featured Dr Patrick Blanc, the inventor of the modern vertical garden, who is designing and building projects across the world.
Dusty Gedge was also of note. He presented on the history of green roof development in London, where council policy now mandates green roofs. Interestingly, this was initially driven by the humble bird that required ‘brownsites’ for breeding. Dusty speaks here in Auckland on 23 November.
The major lessons I brought home are:
We (Natural Habitats) need to help the NZ Green Building Council to promote green roofs. The technology is proven, climate change predictions are saying we can expect greater extremes. Basic green technology, even simply increasing, cities tree canopies, and installing greenroofs will help to mitigate these, protect our environment and make our cities more liveable.
By Graham Cleary