Bringing nature back to cities: Streetscape Biodiversity Case Study

The City of Melbourne has released a comprehensive case study of their biodiversity streetscape research project. The project has illustrated how diversifying streetscape plants can have measurable biodiversity benefits by providing resources such as habitat, food and nesting materials. Researchers Nick Williams, Caragh Threllfall, John Rayner and Jess Bauman have been working with City of Melbourne to design experiments and monitor research plots across four City of Melbourne sites. The Streetscape Biodiversity Case Study details the design approach, budgets, plant species, and the steps and timelines involved. It will be of interest and inspiration to those wishing to undertake a similar evidence-based, collaborative project or anyone wishing to enhance urban biodiversity.

The case study complements the Urban Nature Planting Guide, an online resource for selecting plant species of different forms and drought tolerances that can provide habitat and food for a suite of animals including birds, frogs and butterflies.

Read the Streetscape Biodiversity Case Study

Find out more about this research project here or contact

Image: Lee Harrison, City of Melbourne

Roadmap for Greener Cities

Nicholas Williams, Kate Lee and John Rayner have been working with our industry, government and research partners on the Roadmap for Green Roofs, Walls and Facades in Australia’s Urban Landscapes 2020-2030. The roadmap sets out the actions for achieving a flourishing green infrastructure industry and more liveable future green cities, and has been produced as part of a Hort Innovation Green Cities project looking at accelerating green roofs in Australian cities.

See the roadmap below and find out more about our collaborative research for growing greener cities

Putting Melbourne’s Green Plans into Practice

Dr Claire Farrell took part in a lively panel discussion on urban greening as part of an MPavilion event “Living Melbourne: A Practitioner’s Toolkit to Improve Urban Biodiversity” (Feb 2020). Claire’s co-presenters were Dr Nick Somes (Ecodynamics) and Emma Pryse (Greening the Pipeline). Claire spoke about how the Woody Meadow project could improve urban greening in low maintenance landscapes, especially along roadsides and railway sidings.

Living Melbourne: our metropolitan urban forest is a plan developed by Resilient Melbourne in partnership with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and endorsed by 41 Victorian organisations representing local government, Victorian government, water authorities, statutory agencies and industry. The strategy details actions for a greener, more liveable Melbourne and presents a transformative approach to respond to urban challenges with nature.

The work of Claire and colleagues in the Green Infrastructure Research Group forms part of the evidence base that will help inform the effective implementation of this important strategy.
Claire is working with a number of local governments on the Woody Meadow project with support from the Australian Research Council. Find out more about the Woody Meadow project here or contact


Global Exchanges – Sweden and China

Amy Hahs joins the China-Australia Young Scientist Exchange Program

Dr Amy Hahs recently visited China as one of 16 Australian Scientists selected to participate in the 2019 Australia-China Young Scientist Exchange Program (YSEP). The Program is funded by the Australian Department of Industry, Innovation, and Science and the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology.

The trip included a 10-day individual study tour hosted by Prof. Weiqi Zhou at the State Key Laboratory for Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Centre for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences; and Prof. Jun Yang, Professor of Ecology at the Department of Earth System Science, Tsinghua University. During this time, Amy discussed current research projects and identified areas for future collaborations, with a plan to build towards joint grant opportunities and student exchanges. Amy met up with the other YSEP participants for a closing event in Chengdu and had the opportunity to connect with the Australian Consul-General in Chengdu and the Victorian Government’s local Trade and Investment Office.

Green Infrastructure in Scandinavia

Assoc. Prof. John Rayner has just returned from a five-month sabbatical in Sweden, at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) in Alnarp, near Malmö. John was based in the Department of Landscape Architecture, Planning and Management (LAPF) where we worked with a small team of research and teaching academics in the Urban Vegetation Group. Continue reading “Global Exchanges – Sweden and China”

Scoping current challenges and best-practice examples of cities’ biodiversity strategies

Dr Amy Hahs is collaborating on a new project to scope current challenges and best-practice examples related to the effective delivery of biodiverse and multi-functional green spaces in cities. Amy will investigate and develop actions toward redressing the unequal distribution of urban green spaces in some of Australia’s most populous cities, and how this may be resulting in lower-income communities having less access to the ecosystem and health benefits. Continue reading “Scoping current challenges and best-practice examples of cities’ biodiversity strategies”

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