press / 7 Apr 2015

$1m plan by Adelaide City Council to encourage more tree planting, green walls and rooftop gardens in the CBD


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A $1 MILLION program to encourage more tree planting, green walls and rooftop gardens in the CBD is being considered by Adelaide City Council.

The Greener Streets program would have to be approved in the upcoming council budget - but staff have recommended its consideration and the project could begin next financial year.

The funding would be used to build more green spaces in the city during maintenance and upgrade works, such as planting new trees or installing planter boxes during a road development.

It could also be used to install hanging or rooftop gardens on council-owned buildings such as Topham Mall and the Pirie St UParks, the Colonel Light Centre, a building on the Ergo apartment site and the James Place toilets.

Councillor Robert Simms, a former adviser to the Greens, said encouraging more tree planting and city gardens should be considered part of the council's core business.

“One of our core responsibilities is looking at how we can improve the street scape and provide a more attracting city,” he said. “It's pretty fundamental to the city.” Deputy Lord Mayor Houssam Abiad supported having more green spaces in the city but $1 million in funding was too generous. “There are definitely a number of benefits to residents and businesses in the city from having more green spaces, but I don't think spending $1 million on it is appropriate,” he said. ”There are a number of other priorities we will have to consider in the budget.”

The council owes $69.5 million in loans and staff entitlements, such as superannuation payments, according to its 2014-15 budget papers.

Councillor David Slama said encouraging more green spaces should be done through planning rules and regulations instead of using $1 million in ratepayer' funds.

But Mr Simms said there could be financial opportunities for city businesses if the Greener Streets program was approved and Adelaide could become “a leader in this space”.

The council's Infrastructure and Public Space Committee yesterday approved investigating an incentive scheme for building owners in the West End to start greening projects, with the potential for it to be extended across the city.

Full article here.