IT will be easier to for local governments to understand the economic value of urban greening following the launch last week of Australia's first Economic Framework for Green Infrastructure.
The economic framework provides a method to help local governments in Australia understand and develop the business case for urban greening in order to help them make better investment decisions for the future.
The framework has been developed by City of Melbourne, City of Banyule, City of Kingston, City of Moonee Valley and Victoria University in partnership with the Victorian State Government.
"This framework will support better decision making and smarter investment for local government. We know that green is fundamentally good for our cities, but we have to make the business case stack up," said Chair of the City of Melbourne's Environment Portfolio, Arron Wood.
The Framework identifies the key steps needed to value green infrastructure, outlines a full life cycle management process to assist day-to-day decision making, and provides an explanation of the economic methods and approaches to assist practitioners in the area of valuing green infrastructure.
The Victorian State Government provided $250,000 for the development of the economic framework.
"Climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing our state - and it requires action from all levels of government," said Environment and Climate Change Minister, Lisa Neville.
"The Victorian Government is committed to working alongside local councils to drive action at a community level, and I commend this project for its innovated and coordinated approach." Chancellor of Victoria University, George Pappas, said green infrastructure can help to preserve and enhance Melbourne's liveability.
"Melbourne keeps winning awards for being the world's most liveable city, and why? Our green infrastructure plays a big part. We have well established ways of putting together business cases for roads and drains, but not for green infrastructure such as urban forests and water recycling," Mr Pappas said.
"If we want to improve our liveability in a hotter, more changeable climate, we need to invest in green infrastructure projects, both big and small. The framework will help councils build better business cases for doing so."
More information is available from the City of Melbourne's Sustainability website at <http://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/Sustainability> or Victoria University's Victoria Institute of Strategic Economic Studies website at <http://www.vises.org.au/projects/sustainable.htm>.