The Adelaide event was held at 28 Leigh Street and was attended by 80 urban greening experts.

It was the second event in the national tour and was held in partnership with the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Board, the Clean Air and Urban Landscapes (CAUL) Hub and with the support of Water Sensitive SA, SA Water, TREENET, Seed Consulting Services and AILA SA.

Speakers at the event included representatives from the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure, Water Sensitive SA, Resilient East, Seed Consulting Services, the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities, the Co-Design Studio and the City of Burnside.

The Key topics covered on the day were: the use of heat mapping to inform green infrastructure investment; best practice for translating the cooling benefits of trees into tools; the necessity of better community engagement to work together on greening efforts; and utilising innovation to communicate the broad value of trees in creating more liveable neighbourhoods.

A major highlight from the day was the launch of the Urban Forest Interactive website by Ben Seamark from the City of Burnside. The tool is an innovative way of interacting with trees in a council area and has been inspired by similar projects developed in New York and Melbourne.

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: Discussing best practice for translating the cooling benefits of trees into tools with Dr Kerry Nice from the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities

Key Takeaways:

  • There is lots of data and knowledge being shared but it needs pilot projects and champions to move it forward
  • Raw data is something that can inform policy but to get broader buy in there needs to be a larger narrative
  • Siloed departments with different ways of communicating makes sharing difficult

Suggested next steps:

  • A coordinated State or Federal assessment of all the health and economic benefits that urban greening provides
  • Development of pilot projects using the existing data to exemplify best practice for others to scale and replicate

Table 2: Discussing the Urban Forest Interactive dashboard with Ben Seamark from the City of Burnside

Key Takeaways:

  • It is vital that we continue to build community connection and engagement with trees
  • Mapping projects allow you to share new tree planting and succession planning details with the community in a valuable way
  • Trying to achieve something innovative within your organisation will require you to stick to your vision and to keep going even when it gets tough

Suggested next steps:

  • Potentially developing the platform into an app, this has the capacity to increase use by residents when they are wanting to log information on trees
  • Explore the opportunity to share the tool with other local councils
  • Continue to develop greater community ownership with initiatives, this could include an ‘Adopt-a-tree’ program

Table 3: Discussing how-to genuinely engage your community with Helen Rowe from The Co-Design Studio 

Key Takeaways:

  • There is a breakdown in trust with communities as many projects promise greenery in the rendered sales images but it rarely eventuates
  • For success, go to where there is synergy with the community and work from a shared goal
  • City of Adelaide’s greening grants were a highlight project for the state

Suggested next steps:

  • Develop a prototype and test it, only then is a decision able to be made on if it is the right methodology
  • Provide excuses for members within your community to get together and share ideas with each other

Table 4: Discussing the use of heat mapping to inform green infrastructure investment with Mark Siebentritt from Seed Consulting Services

Key Takeaways:

  • We need to better incorporate water into our landscapes
  • Getting involved in planning earlier is vital to make sure provision is made for green infrastructure
  • Artificial lawn and rubber used in soft fall areas are concerning from both a toxicity and an urban heat context

Suggested next steps:

  • Better understand how to incorporate the knowledge on the heat impacts of different materials in infrastructure so that it can be incorporated into new design guidelines
  • Produce a single combined heat map for the state that is easy to read and navigate
  • Research and share what incremental benefits are provided by adding additional water to green space

Thank you to the presenters on the day for sharing such engaging content and for facilitating great discussion!

If you have any feedback or questions about the day, please get in touch with our team at



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