Home World The new tool helps plan sustainable urban landscaping projects

The new tool helps plan sustainable urban landscaping projects


Researchers from Macquarie University and Western Sydney have developed a new tool to help local authorities figure out which plants will survive and thrive in different locations over the next 50 years.

Gwilim Griffiths

Program Manager Gwilim Griffiths, a former manager of the Urban Forests and Ecology Council of the Interior West, says What a plant where the tool is a key resource for promising urban landscaping projects.

The website, funded by the nonprofit research and development corporation Hort Innovation and launched last week, is considered the first of its kind in Australia.

It was developed during a five-year research project that included gathering a database of more than 2,600 plant species, as well as simulating greenhouse testing and 12 “living labs” across Australia.

“The database is really complete, you can search for height, tolerances, whether it fits like a street tree or a park tree. Combining all this information with climate data makes it a really powerful tool, ”Mr Griffiths said. Government News.

Ensuring the resilience of landscapes

Mr Griffith says the tool could be used by foresters and urban forestry teams to determine which of their existing inventory is likely to be good in the future, and to bring future plantings into line with the changing environment.

Meanwhile, landscape architects and capital project teams can use this tool to test the planting palette and make sure the plants they choose will be sustainable.

“A lot of people rely on past experience – you create a palette of plants that you keep in your back pocket because you know they’re good and fun to use the plant,” says Mr. Griffiths.

“But it can be a dangerous approach. What worked in the past may not work in the future because we will see changes in plants that have survived, and the tool is already demonstrating this.

“The biggest mistake people make when planning greenery is that they don’t choose a tree that will achieve maximum performance in a particular place, and the tool will help.”

The tool will be a valuable resource when choosing sustainable urban landscaping, developers say.

Climate change scenarios

What a plant where also provides best practice guides on topics including plant selection, procurement and management of urban trees, as well as maps highlighting climate change suitability for plants under projected climate change scenarios in 2030, 2050 and 2070.

Subscribers will also be able to create plant palettes, access information such as carbon values ​​and shades, and download a spreadsheet to send to the nursery to check availability.

Access to the tool here .

To order a demonstration of how to use What Plant Where, please contact whichplantwhere@mq.edu.au

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