National Green Infrastructure Strategy would benefit cities

The Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) has called on the Federal Government to lead the development of a National Green Infrastructure Strategy (NGIS).

AILA coordinated industry and government representatives through the Living Cities Alliance, through which more than 30 organisations have supported the development of a strategy.

The proposed NGIS acknowledges that nature itself operates as an enabler of more effective systems, providing important ecosystem benefits to cities, regional and rural communities.

Shaun Walsh, AILA President, said, “A national green infrastructure strategy will assist decision-makers at all levels of government and in the private sector to leverage the benefits of incorporating biological greening strategies into the design, construction and management of major infrastructure assets.

“The Strategy will recognise the economic and social value of protecting and enhancing high-value urban landscapes for water management, fresh food production, biodiversity conservation and healthy active living.”

Deploying an NGIS will also combat the impact of heatwaves across cities through urban cooling policies, while well-designed and accessible urban open spaces will reduce the incidence of peak load demand, and further contribute to reducing health risks for vulnerable members of the community, such as those with chronic physical and mental illness.

AILA has commenced developing a Green Infrastructure Position Statement, which will be released in the first quarter of 2019, to assist informing a national approach.

AILA said the government could provide leadership through the department of infrastructure to bring together key stakeholders, state and local governments, industry bodies and community representatives to develop a national green infrastructure strategy to secure the future of Australia’s towns and cities.

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