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The Green Light Tour - Queensland Event

The South-East Queensland event was held at the Griffith University Eco Centre on June 28 and was attended by over 75 people, including local government representatives, private consultants, academics and state government representatives.

The day began with a presentation from Queensland Government Architect, Malcolm Middleton OAM LFRAIA who presented on how to set a vision for trees in the urban design context. Malcolm also shared information on the Office of the Government Architects’ work to develop a green grid policy.

Key topics presented on the day included: good urban design principals; the SEQ Regional Plan 2017 update; keeping Brisbane clean, green and sustainable; applying the economics of urban trees; the importance of Queensland creating water sensitive cities; accurate data, timing and mapping; and getting trees into streets. The day also included two interstate presenters who shared case studies on how they have overcome shared barriers to urban greening and progressed policy.

The key themes from the day were:

  • The opportunity for increasing cross-sector collaboration, especially with organisations such as Queensland Health and the Department of Transport and Main Roads
  • Sharing and collating existing data as well as pooling resources for future data gathering
  • The economic argument for increasing urban greening 

An interactive workshop was held in the afternoon and provided attendees with the opportunity to deep dive with the experts, who each facilitated a discussion table. 

The outcomes from these table discussions are outlined below: 

Table 1: Accurate data, timing and mapping with Vicki Grieshaber from Brisbane City Council

Key takeaways:

  • Data is being collected in a variety of places, but is not necessarily being activated or maintained
  • There are differing analysis programs between departments leading to breakdown in data sharing
  • There’s an opportunity to better integrate crime/health data to inform urban greening

Suggested next steps:

  • Setting up a SEQ network of urban greening professionals with a space to share data and discuss analysis (Please email hello@202020vision.com.au if you would like to be involved)
  • 202020 Vision to share further information on mapping innovation and case studies of best practice

Table 2: Increasing sector collaboration with Ben de Klepper from Greening the West

Key takeaways:

  • Create small projects that attract attention/media to gain support for more cross-sector collaboration efforts
  • Look outside of your sector to find like-minded people with shared goals
  • Plant seeds within state government to gain advocates and supporters of your collaborative approach

Table 3: Getting trees into streets with Dr Lyndal Plant from Lyndal Plant Urban Forester and Chris Tanner from the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities

Key takeaways:

  • A reduction in the use of cars/increased use of public transport would provide surplus space that could be converted to green space
  • Increased use of porous paving will increase tree health and could be laid around trees rather than needing a straight footpath of asphalt/concrete
  • Visualisation is vital for communities to understand what type of streetscape they want and could be better utilised in planting programs 

Table 4: Creating a shared vision in council with Mark Carlon from Sutherland Shire

Key takeaways:

  • Make do with what you have and start your project, then you can leverage off the press that you receive to continue your program (work with groups such as schools/local sports clubs with a shared vision)
  • Educate internal staff, share your vision and the benefits of collaborating (before the need for resources to be contributed)
  • Share failures and learnings but don’t dwell on them

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