RENATURING CITIES: “The public realm must increasingly be where we get the benefits of nature. This has historically been a ‘blind spot’ for city planners, urban designers and engineers,” stated Thami Croeser, spatial analyst at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, and part of an international project team advising the European Union on planning for urban greening

Note to Reader:

Nature has historically been a ‘blind spot’ for urban planners. In the article below, extracted from RENATURING CITIES: GOOD FOR HEALTH AND THE ECONOMY, Australian researcher Thami Croeser reveals how many cities are bringing it back into their spaces, with innovative nature-based solutions to tackle the effects of climate change and air pollution.

Thami Croeser is an urban planner and spatial analyst working with the ICON Science Program with a specialist interest in urban greening, with a history of delivering greening projects and policy in Melbourne’s most urbanised spaces. He is based at RMIT (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology)

He currently is part of an international project team advising the European Union on planning for urban greening; over the next three years Thami will facilitate the development of greening plans for eight cities around the world.

Renaturing Cities: Good for Health and the Economy

Would you enjoy a city full of parks, where streets were tree-lined, where cycling and walking were pleasant, a city with grass-insulated roofs on houses and public buildings to keep you warm in winter? According to a Eurobarometer study, there is an 84 per cent chance that your answer is yes.

Urban planner Thami Croeser is studying what researchers call ‘nature-based solutions’ (NBS), which means bringing nature back to the city to make the built environment a healthier and a better place to live.

“The big challenge is in getting institutions ready to deliver NBS at scale, this is a new task for most cities,” states Thami Croeser. “This means that local governments seldom have the processes, design standards or laws to support NBS delivery. Internal departments might disagree on whether they are a good idea, and many NBS require the cooperation of other government departments.

“It can be hard work getting all the processes lined up, getting staff with the right skills, and building support across the organisation and with other institutions – but with these resolved, things can work a lot more smoothly.”

To Learn More:

To read the complete article as published by the European Union in its CORDIS publication, download Renaturing cities: good for health and the economy.

Then watch this YouTube video of a presentation by Thami Croeser.