Smart Cities Guru founder Anil Ahuja has compiled a list of the top U.S. cities — from Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles — that have found a way to combine technology and nature. "The challenge is to raise the bar for designing net zero living while enjoying and protecting the natural world. Water, Energy, Health, Equity and Beauty can all be protected and integrated through constructive implementation of technology," wrote Anil Ahuja.
In his article, Brian Strahan poses these questions: "What has a crystalline, winding, stream, got to do, with gaining clarity of mind? And what have the sawtooth edges, and linear veins on the leaves of an Alder tree, got to do got to do with someone’s capacity to adhere to societal norms and mores? How much vision is there on the long-term effects of living with more concrete and less space? We need to invest more in urban nature. It will improve mental health."
Stephens Forbes is positive about the availability of great design practices in South Australia. “There are some great landscape architectural practices and garden designers in Adelaide and accordingly some great projects but I’m not seeing this translate into substantial change. Investment in a few major iconic greenspace projects would help build leadership and capacity and prepare Adelaide for the future.”
"The Sydney Green Grid underscores the value of green and open space as pivotal to the choices we make when promoting economic growth, health and well-being." wrote Daniel Bennett. "As a network, it will provide links and connections between places, encourage walking and cycling, highlight landscape and heritage, and support local economies. Future investment in parks and recreation will play a vital role in Sydney’s ability to attract business and create jobs."
Urban climate researcher Professor Nigel Tapper, from Monash University, said there was strong evidence that a green, leafy park, tree-lined street or urban waterway could drop the local temperatures by several degrees. Just as households and industries, the vegetation in our cities depends on water, he said.
“An urban forest strategy needs to protect what we’ve got and match up the locations of greatest need, or urban hot spots, and development activity with benefits, costs and risks,” said Lyndal Plant. “The strategy also needs to address the challenges of diminishing space on private land in our growing city and do more to integrate trees into the design and renewal of sites, streets, infrastructure projects, centres and suburbs."
As the world's population grows and as our planet increasingly urbanizes, we need to redefine the relationship between cities and nature. It is no longer enough for us to 'protect the last great places,' as we used to say," wrote Mark Tercek. "Nature can help cities solve some major environmental, social and financial challenges. We don't just need to preserve nature -- we need to create more of it, particularly in cities, so people can benefit from its healing powers."
The government would work directly with cities throughout 2016 and 2017 to set decade-by-decade goals for the creation of “urban canopies”, announced Greg Hunt. The creation of tree cover, he stated, would reduce heat within city environments and improve health outcomes. “Our task is to establish those goals and increase them progressively over each of the decades."
“Our analysis confirmed that people do report their health to be better in areas with more green land cover. Importantly, however, we find that across urban, suburban and rural areas, we can better explain differences in how healthy people report themselves to be if we also consider how scenic the area they live in is," stated Dr Suzy Moat.
"We shouldn’t lose sight of less-expensive and longer-lasting solutions to many of our infrastructure needs, like planting trees in urban areas for stormwater management and other services," wrote David Suzuki. "Adding 10 trees to a block can produce health benefits equivalent to a $10,000 salary raise or being seven years younger. Despite their enormous value to society, urban forest canopies are stressed and in decline in many parts of the country."
A scenario comparison tool to assess green infrastructure effectiveness, achieve a lighter 'water footprint' and protect stream health. Learn More
The Water Conservation Calculator illustrates how specific water conservation measures can yield both fiscal and physical water savings for communities. Learn More
This Landscape Irrigation Scheduling Calculator uses real-time daily evapotranspiration (ET) rates determined from climate stations located within British Columbia. Learn More
This Agricultural Irrigation Scheduling Calculator uses real-time daily evapotranspiration (ET) rates determined from climate stations located within British Columbia. Learn More
The BC Agriculture Water Calculator enables water licensing for all irrigation purposes, whether agricultural or landscape. All non-domestic users of groundwater in BC are required to obtain a licence. Learn More