AUS Urban Rewilding

Posted on Tue, 2021-04-06 21:03 by matt

Our cities in Australia are teeming with leftover spaces, from railway cuttings to car parks and abandoned industrial sites. All too often our busiest roads are hostile environments with little to no nature and our cities rooftops and plazas are hard surfaces that contribute to increased heat and polluted water runoff. The nature that we add does not just need to be trees, projects like Sydney’s Camperdown Commons, Perth City Farm or Melbourne’s SkyFarm demonstrate the opportunity to grow food in our cities while simultaneously growing community interaction and engagement.

The Highline in New York

There are many ambitions within our cities to create blue/green grids and several plans, frameworks and guidelines that outline the opportunities and benefits. The City of Melbourne’s Green Our City strategic action plan outlines how green walls and roofs can play a part in bringing nature into the city, for example. What we are lacking is the wide-spread integration of these frameworks into the actual designing and engineering of our cities as well as the economic will to hand over some space to nature.


The bones are there for the rewilding of our cities to become a reality. Government frameworks, commitments and priorities acknowledge the benefits, we have built examples that can act as catalyst projects for others, and time is becoming critical both in regard to climate change and biodiversity loss, issues that polls consistently show are of high importance to Australians. Let’s hope that more species becoming extinctdevastating bushfires, catastrophic floods and chaotic demonstrations of changing weather patterns do not need to happen for us to take action.

A decade ago the UN convention set targets for biodiversity – alarmingly, none of them have been achieved. In the next decade, we must embrace our responsibility to support nature to thrive, the survival of all other species on which we depend, lies in our hands. Over the last 200 years, Australia has lost 75% of its rainforests and has the world’s worst record of mammal extinctions. While we continue to see nature as something that we can take and destroy and as something that it is separate to us, it is unlikely that anything will change. Here in Australia, even the threat of koala extinction after last year’s bushfires has not resulted in sufficient action.

Fundamentally our relationship to nature is key to this change, we need to embrace nature in our everyday lives and act with the knowledge that whatever we do to nature, we do to ourselves.

Source: The Guardian