World first: Brisbane addresses climate change with urban agriculture and green roofs

May 1, 2007 at 10:52 pm 1 comment

Brisbane (Queensland, Australia) is the first city in the world to include both urban agriculture and green roofs in an action plan to meet predicted global climate change challenges.

This is expected to develop the City of Brisbane as a centre of excellence in both technologies.

The Brisbane City Council (BCC) this week adopted, unanimously, an action plan based on commissioned reports and its own sustainability studies over the last two years.

Major parts of the action plan are aimed at reducing Brisbane’s use of energy derived from fossil fuels and encouragement of more efficient use of water.  But sensible, practical ways to mesh these aims with creating a new style of built-environment attracted enthusiastic votes for:

•    Urban agriculture for greater food security and reduced cost of living.
•    Green roofs that provide a built-environment attuned to climate change responses.

Both urban agriculture and green roof developments in their widest context were foreseen by BCC councillors as important for improving both living conditions for people during climate change, and to maintain and develop businesses and employment.

Brisbane City Council comprises 25 councillors led by Lord Mayor, Cr Campbell Newman.  It is the largest municipal government in Australia.  As such it provides considerable leadership to all municipal government in Australia.

BCC’s adoption of urban agriculture and green roof technologies in its climate change action plan is expected to trigger similar interest around Australia.

In August 2006 Brisbane City Council appointed a Climate Change and Energy Taskforce to ensure that Brisbane is adequately prepared to respond to and address the challenges of climate change, increasing energy consumption, rising petrol prices and peak oil.

On 12 March 2007, its Climate Change and Energy Taskforce, led by Professor Ian Lowe,  presented its independent report titled ‘A Call For Action’ to Council. The Taskforce considered comments from an earlier discussion forum last December. Councilors were well- backgrounded on urban agriculture and green roofs (BCC councilors and staff were a major part of the Green Roofs for Australia conference on February 22 and 23, 2007).
A debate on Monday, 30 April, has produced an action plan the BCC will take to its ratepayers for one month of comment before adoption in its final form, probably by June 30, 2007.

Further information: Geoff Wilson, President, Green Roofs for Healthy  Australian Cities, and President, Urban Agriculture Network Australia.  Phone: +61 7 3411 4524 or +61 (0)412 622 779. Email: Geoff @nettworx.info.  Address: 32 David Rd. Holland Park, Queensland 4121, Australia

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Entry filed under: climate change, green roofs, Queensland, urban ag economy, urban policy.

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