Sydney and Melbourne are to ramp up efforts to “greenify” their cityscapes with rooftop gardens and green walls, suggesting this could be an area of opportunity for start-ups.
It’s been revealed the cities of Sydney and Melbourne are issuing new development policies and guidelines aimed at encouraging the conversion of rooftops and the integration of green walls.
A green wall, which can be freestanding or part of a building, is partially or completely covered with vegetation and, in some cases, soil or an inorganic growing medium.
A green roof refers to the roof of a building that is partially or completely covered with vegetation and a growing medium, planted over a waterproofing membrane.
According to an article in The Sydney Morning Herald, there are 49 approved green roofs in the City of Sydney, including a roof garden spanning 2,600 square metres.
There is also an extensive roof garden at 242 Little Collins Street in Melbourne.
Meanwhile, green walls are located at 14 sites across Sydney, including at 1 Bligh Street, which has a green wall measuring nine metres in height and 40 metres in length.
Under a new plan proposed by the City of Sydney, investing in property development that reduces the city’s impact on the environment would become more attractive.
Property owners and developers who invest in Sustainable Sydney 2030 initiatives would be able to apply for exemptions from the development contribution levy.
Developers could apply for partial exemptions and waivers of the 1% development contribution levy if their project includes:
- Affordable housing, boarding houses or not-for-profit development.
- The installation of green energy facilities, such as solar panels.
- Showers and bicycle lockup facilities for bike riders.
- Tanks and greywater treatment for the re-use of water in gardens and cooling towers.
- Refitting of buildings to provide small fine-grain spaces for new shops.
According to Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore, the plan would encourage developers to play a more positive role in supporting their community through green initiatives.
“Sydney needs more buildings like the award-winning 1 Bligh Street,” she said in a statement.
“Developers need to be innovative when designing for the future, and it’s essential for them to consider sustainable initiatives such as green energy, water harvesting and active transport.”
The City of Sydney is also planning to undertake a number of studies on green roofs and walls in Sydney to assess public attitudes, costs and benefits, and source potential new locations as part of establishing a formal policy.
It will also set up a strategic advisory panel to help develop the policy.