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Green city plan to speed carbon-neutrality

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Adelaide has taken another step towards becoming the world’s first carbon neutral city with the initiation of its Green City Plan.

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The plan is being developed by the Adelaide City Council and includes two main targets to increase the city’s greenery by adding another 1000 trees and 100,000 metres squared of green area around the CBD by 2020.

Adelaide City Council Sustainability Advisor Paul Smith said the Green City Plan was not only an environmentally necessary initiative, but it was also essential to increasing the liveability of the city.

“The Green City plan is more about adapting to the impacts of climate change in the city, rather than reducing emissions,” he said.

“We are already seeing climate impacts such as increases in average temperature and extreme heat.

“If we want to attract more people to live and work here, then we need to have a climate resilient city.”

Council has already established a Green City Grant program, which includes cash incentives of up to $10,000 for businesses and private homeowners to implement greening initiatives.

This could include living walls, green facades as well as vertical and verge gardens surrounding their properties.

Up to half the cost of each project can be covered by the program, with a total of $200,000 available.

Grants for residents start at $500, while those for business and property owners begin at $1000.

Each project needs to be visible from a street or public place and must help enhance the aesthetics of the surrounding area.

A first round of applications was accepted at the end of last year, which saw a total of 17 greening proposals submitted for grant funding. The second round of funding will open next month.

One of the successful first round applicants was Jack Greens on James Place.

Jack Greens, a healthy fast food restaurant, became known for its green decoration at its Waymouth location and co-founder Wade Galea said he wanted to carry that same atmosphere over to the new James Place store.

Galea said the grant program would help them build a green wall outside the new store to liven up the street.

“Our brand is very much about doing good things for our local communities and keeping things green – all our packaging is biodegradable and we source all our produce from local suppliers,” he said.

“James Place is very much concrete jungle and we wanted to increase the look of the place with custom designed plants and a pillar outside.

“The wall would have been too expensive for us by ourselves and we probably wouldn’t have been able to do this if the council wasn’t involved.”

A key focus of the Green City Plan is the expansion of green infrastructure in public areas to contribute to the overall greening targets.

The Council has identified areas of the CBD, such as the West and North East, with low levels vegetation and street trees to assist in prioritising future greening.

Council has also partnered with Flinders University to highlight urban hot spots that will benefit from greater levels of urban greening.

Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources Chief Executive Sandy Pitcher said the Green City Plan would help to counteract the effects of climate change by creating a cooler environment and offsetting emissions.

“Growing the urban forest will attract more residents and tourists to our beautiful city, add value to properties, improve energy costs by naturally cooling the city and potentially reduce health and infrastructure costs,” she said.

“As Adelaide grows, largely through filling in, rather than growing out – growing the urban forest will be essential to maintaining amenity and community wellbeing, and Adelaide’s status as one of the world’s most liveable cities.”

Solstice Media has partnered with the South Australian Government to provide information about the transition to a low-carbon economy.

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