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Council offers cash incentive to green up Adelaide

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Adelaide City residents and property owners are being offered grants of up to $10,000 to create pockets of urban greenery such as living walls, vertical and verge gardens, and vine-covered verandahs.

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The money is available through the City Council’s new Green City Grant Program, launched this week, with a total of $100,000 available

“We’re very interested in receiving joint proposals from applicants who’ve decided to work together on a single, possibly larger-scale greening project,” Lord Mayor Martin Haese said today.

“We’re also looking forward to applications for smaller but equally significant greening ideas that collectively will help increase the amount of green space across the city and make Adelaide even more liveable.”

The projects must be visible from the street, with preference being given to those in locations that currently have little or no greenery.

Grants for residents will start at $500, while those for business and property owners begin at $1000, and applications must be made before October 14.

The green wall on the Adelaide City Council's Pirie Street building.

The green wall on the Adelaide City Council’s Pirie Street building.

Property Council of SA executive director Daniel Gannon welcomed the incentive, saying it showed how property owners could contribute to sustainability.

“The built environment makes up 23 per cent of emissions across Australia,” he said. “While this sector is a big part of the problem, we must also be a big part of the solution.”

Gannon told InDaily such projects could help make buildings in the city more attractive to tenants at a time when overall CBD commercial vacancy rates were at 15.8 per cent (compared with the national average of 11 per cent), with the rate of vacancy in C and D-grade buildings at 16.8 per cent and 20 per cent respectively.

Recent market research showed the commercial city vacancy rates were at their highest level in almost 20 years.

“We would see greening initiatives like this complementing other state-wide initiatives, including building upgrade finance,” Gannon said.

“At the moment, the C and D-grade office building stock has high levels of vacancy and it’s our belief that initiatives like this can contribute to building upgrades that would then act as an incentive [for tenants] to choose that building stock over others.

“It’s a green light for building owners and tenants in what is a reasonably competitive market in terms of high vacancy rates and low demand.”

The Adelaide City Council has a goal of increasing the amount of green space and greenery in the city’s built-up areas to 100,000sqm over the next four years, and also wants to see Adelaide become one of the three most liveable cities in the world by 2020.

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