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Green walls resource aims to bridge gap between cities and nature

Green walls resource aims to bridge gap between cities and nature
March 16, 2020

A new online resource designed to help urban dwellers construct and manage green walls is now available.

Developed by researchers at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) as a Hort Frontiers Green Cities funded project, the free online resource ‘It’s Time to Grow Up’, provides backing for what is a simple and easy way to remove pollution from the air, promote biodiversity and naturally control temperature.

Designed to help urban dwellers go green, the greening tool simplifies vertical greening (or green walls) with an aim to encourage the community to help bridge the gap between fragmented urban habitats and nature.

Green walls refer to walls with plants growing either directly onto a wall or on supporting structures, such as frames, that adjoin a wall. Green structures have gained popularity as a means of mitigating a range of environmental impacts associated with urbanization.

Hort Innovation Head of Research and Development, Byron De Kock, said the aim of the project was to simplify vertical greening at a community level and provide the knowledge and resources needed to assist in the planning, designing and management of green walls within urban spaces.

De Kock stated “green walls allow plants to be grown in dense urban areas where spatial constraints may limit the presence of traditional urban forestry, such as parks and street trees.

“Green walls provide a modern approach to urban greening that works to effectively increase biodiversity in urban areas, especially if plants native to the region are used. Additionally, green walls not only enable the presence of nature, but also allow people to connect with nature as they build, plant and maintain these living systems.”

Lead researcher from UTS, Dr Peter Irga, said plant-based systems such as green walls helped to mitigate poor urban air quality, provided acoustic insulation and helped with thermal regulation.

Dr Irga added “thermal regulation is one of the most researched benefits of green walls. This means green walls can reduce high temperatures within buildings by intercepting solar radiation and through evaporative cooling. Additionally, green walls have been shown to have beneficial insulating effects in cold climates.

“These mechanisms enable less reliance upon heaters and air conditioners for temperature maintenance and allow reductions in energy consumption associated with temperature maintenance.

“Most exciting though is that Green Walls are able to remove air pollution from the air. The plants within green walls can capture airborne particles from the air on their foliage, while the biological components of green walls, including the plants and associated microbial community, are able to degrade a range of gaseous pollutants, such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The natural air cleaning ability of this biological system leads to improved air quality in the home and in urban settings.”

For more information on the Green Wall resources go to www.itstimetogrowup.com.au

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29th January 2020 - Shepparton residents urged to help trees during warmer weather

3rd November 2019 - Armidale residents donate water to save trees in drought affected park

24th October 2019 - City of Melbourne to progressively replace popular Plane Trees

13th October 2019 - Darwin set to plant 4000 trees to create green liveable spaces

9th October 2019 - Queensland’s largest green wall unveiled at Breakfast Creek Lifestyle Precinct

14th July 2019 - Cairns Regional Council initiative sees planting of 20,000 trees

26th June 2019 - South Australian Government commits $13.3 million for open space projects

12th May 2019 - Woodford Festival site benefits from planting of 100,000 trees

27th April 2019 - Sydney’s Bayside Council to plant 800 trees

9th November 2018 - Parks Victoria announces $1.2 million infrastructure facelift for popular open spaces

31st May 2018 - Brisbane City Council plants 2.5 million trees since 2007

8th May 2017 - Sydney’s The Calyx to host Australia’s largest indoor ‘green wall’

17th July 2016 - $10 million initiative to change the greening of public spaces


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