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Ongoing project

Developing guidelines for urban greening and liveable communities (GC22011)

Key research provider: University of Melbourne

What is it all about?

This program is investigating how streets can be adapted to improve resilience to heatwaves, drought and flooding, while improving their safety, liveability and sociability.


‘Public space’, is typically imagined to be squares and parks, but most of the public space in cities is actually in streets – often constituting 80-90 per cent of all public-owned land in a city. As a result, huge areas of public land in suburbs are sparsely vegetated and covered in impermeable asphalt, exacerbating urban risks of extreme heat and flooding. Rethinking streets as green infrastructure is a considerable opportunity to rebalance these areas, improving urban resilience to heat and flooding and delivering co-benefits such as improved health and liveability.


The program’s aim is to show how retrofits can deliver close to 80 per cent mature canopy cover and permeability in residential streets, through extensive redesign. The project will engage residents and stakeholders in co-designing radically greened streetscapes, to ensure that streets as green infrastructure deliver multiple co-benefits and address significant concerns and potential objections.


The research will deliver robust evidence to inform policy change in urban greening, and solutions to address key barriers to implementation. A paradigm shift to understand streets as green infrastructure could generate considerable demand for horticultural products and expertise, expanding consumers and markets for the industry.