The Challenges we are addressing are:
1. How do we unlock underutilised government owned land and property to create new, high quality public spaces?
- What makes a public space vibrant, walkable, and encourages people to dwell longer at different times of the day or night, and throughout the year?
The government of NSW and the local Councils have climate change and greening programs which calls for increasing tree canopy cover.
• Some government-owned land are under-utilised
• Not everyone in NSW is within a 10 minute walking distance from a quality public space.
Unlocking under-utilised government land
The State government and the Local Councils already have experts and access to relevant data and are in a better position to identify which under-utilised government land should be converted to public spaces. They are also in a better position to design these public spaces including their infrastructure, varieties of trees/shrubs to plant and how to integrate these into their Smart City strategies. The State government have their programs to utilise the Parks and government owned land. The local Councils have their Parks and green spaces strategies. They also have their respective Urban Forest Strategies.
Making these spaces more vibrant
From our own experience we know many families do not use the open spaces in their neighbourhoods as much as they should be and as much as government want them to. As a result, most people are not meeting as many neighbours as they should be and not fully connected to their local communities.
Activated Urban Forests
We are recommending the establishment of Urban Forests in these public spaces where there will be a higher density of trees and shrubs. This will support the government programs to address climate change and green their public spaces and attract more residents to use these spaces.
Our solution calls for designing the Urban Forests with focus on accessibility, water management, variety of native trees and shrubs and use of Smart City technology.
Mapping Existing and Planned Trees
Our solution calls for mapping existing trees using Open tree data sets of the local Council and the State government using their GPS co-ordinates of all trees and significant shrubs.
Engaging with the community
We will developing a laptop and mobile app to enable residents to
- adopt a tree
- name a tree
- gift a tree
The residents will be able to connect to the trees and to the Park, Urban Forest and green spaces. The more connected they are, the more they use these spaces, the more vibrant these spaces will become.
The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment of NSW has a program to activate Regional Parks and local Councils have their respective Parks development programs. Most of them also have their own Urban Forest Strategies.
• identify potential sites of Urban Forests
• develop the Urban Forest Design including the integration of Smart City Technologies, accessibility issues and type of trees and shrubs to be planted
To achieve our objectives we will use available such as found in Greater Sydney Region Urban Vegetation Cover to Modified Mesh Block 2016