Program to encourage greater greening of buildings in Melbourne launched

FOUR inner city councils and the University of Melbourne this month launched a program that has the potential to transform Melbourne's roofs, walls and facades into vegetated, leafy habitats.

The Growing Green Guide for Melbourne will be produced by the Inner Melbourne Action Plan councils (Cities of Melbourne, Yarra, Stonnington and Port Phillip) and the University of Melbourne and aims to be an industry 'how to guide' to encourage greater greening of buildings in Melbourne.

The project is funded through the Victorian Government's Sustainability Fund under the Victorian Local Sustainability Accord.

City of Melbourne Eco City Councillor Cathy Oke said green roofs, walls and facades are an increasingly common sight on buildings in major cities around the world, adding that they are now considered an essential part of urban design to provide more vegetation and green spaces in dense urban environments.

"People have been telling us that there isn't enough information on how to create them in Melbourne, so this project is designed to fill that information gap," Cr Oke said.

According to the City of Melbourne, the Growing Green Guide for Melbourne project will create a guide for the construction of green roofs and walls. It will also develop recommendations for how to integrate rooftop and vertical greening into regulatory schemes, and identify prime sites for future development of green roofs, walls and facades in inner Melbourne.

John Rayner from the University of Melbourne said green roofs and walls provide significant environmental and amenity benefits to cities, such as reducing urban heat loadings and stormwater run-off, increasing the energy efficiency and liveability of buildings and the provision of a range of habitat outcomes.

"This project is a fine example of the collaboration and regional approach supported by the Accord. It will also be available to all councils," said Councillor Janet Bolitho, City of Port Phillip, and chair of the Accord Committee.

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