2 The Urban Taskforce recently organised an Industry Breakfast on the topic of URBAN GREENING. The forum was sponsored by Frasers Property and Sekisui House who are the developers of the international award winning Central Park development on Broadway in Sydney. The project has won ‘Best Tall Building in the World from the Council for Tall Buildings and World Urban Habitat (CTBUH) partly for its integration of green landscape into the built form of its two major residential towers. Speaking at the forum was Sydney Landscape Architect, Mike Horne of Turf Design, who has recently won an international award for his landscape project at Sydney Park. Also speaking at the forum was Jock Gammon of Junglefy who are working with the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) on research into the way landscape can clean the air and reduce Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Their research at UTS is world leading with results published in academic journals internationally. Also speaking at the forum was Barbara Schaffer, Principal Landscape Architect in the office of the Government Architects NSW, who has developed ‘The Sydney Green Grid’ and a design led green infrastructure policy for NSW titled GREENER PLACES. This work from within government is world leading in the way it sets a frame work for Sydney as a city that combines the built and the natural environments. The NSW Government has added energy to the Greening Sydney program by allocating $290 million to green initiatives that include parks and up to 5 million new trees to lift the cities tree canopy from its current 16% up to 40%. So at many levels Sydney as a city can lead the world as a Green City. And the development industry understands the need for a balance between buildings and nature. Many new masterplanned communities include the title “park”. We have Central Park, Harold Park and Oran Park as the names of new communities recently developed. THE DEVELOPMENT INDUSTRY CAN LEAD WITH GREEN INITIATIVES While planners in government and councils will set the agendas for where open space and landscape should be located on a city wide scale the SYDNEY CAN LEAD THE WORLD AS A GREEN CITY development industry has often driven initiatives at a project and precinct level. Clearly in lower rise greenfield developments like Oran Park by Greenfields Development Company & Landcom, the greenery will be in parks and street trees. With electricity wires undergrounded in developments like this there is a greater opportunity to grow mature street trees that will shade hot bitumen roads thus reducing the “Heat Island Effect”. In more urban locations like Glebe, Mirvac’s Harold Park development has also incorporated parks and street trees. In even higher density areas like the Central Park site next to Central Station the initiative has been in incorporating greenery as part of the building’s facade with a carefully managed maintenance regime to ensure the plants are well looked after. Jock Gammon from Junglefy is in charge of the maintenance of this project and will explain this in our publication. GREENING SYDNEY - Publication 2003 There is a rich history of examples of moves to green cities and much of this was covered in a book I published as NSW Government Architect in 2003 titled GREENING SYDNEY. This publication went back to the “Hanging Gardens of Babylon” of 600 BC where early writings referred to plants on upper levels with hanging gardens and streams of water keeping the whole area moist. The Garden City movement in England began with an 1898 book by Ebenezer Howard titled “Tomorrow: A Peaceful Path to Real Reform” which included the famous diagram of the plan of a city that combined the best elements of nature with the best elements of urbanity. Australia’s first garden suburb was Daceyville in Sydney which opened in 1912. The 1919 plans for Castlecrag by Walter Burley Griffin continued the integration of buildings with nature theme of the garden city movement. Greening Sydney then looked at projects by Malaysian architect Ken Yeang- the wrapped landscape around buildings, Emilio Ambasz’s Japanese and Italian buildings that incorporated extensive landscape on buildings and Austrian artist Hundertwasser’s even more dramatic use of trees on buildings. The publication also looked at world trends on green roofs and green walls referring particularly to Singapore research. It is good to see the evolution of greening urban form ideas has now reached a significant point in Sydney Urban Taskforce is keen to have responses to the proposals illustrated in this issue of URBAN IDEAS and we welcome comments to: admin@urbantaskforce.com.au Chris Johnson AM Chief Executive Officer Urban Taskforce Australia Front cover – One Sydney Park by HPG Back cover – Central Park by Frasers Property & Sekisui House