'Growing Up' – a blueprint to a greenroof Melbourne ...
Written by: Scott Hartley of Committee for Melbourne
The new, aptly named, 'Growing Up' project is helping to enable a group of young Melbournians tackle climate change, from above – or below – depending on which floor you sit on in your office building.
Initiated by the Committee for Melbourne's Future Focus Group – a business leadership program aiming to develop young business leaders and provide opportunities for the creation of projects to benefit Melbourne – the 'Growing Up' project will help address climate change by promoting greenroofing, leveraged through a design competition, in Melbourne.
As you look out onto a vista of concrete topped roofs of buildings, this group of young business people want you to imagine a sea of green, with every available roof space covered in plants. This is a vision shared by many building owners, tenants, government departments and educational institutions. It is, however, a vision best achieved through a consolidated approach to greenroof promotion and industry development.
So why did the group choose to tackle a largely unfamiliar climate change solution project?
According to Laura Cain, Project Officer in the Industry and Trade Policy branch of the Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development and a member of Growing Up, greenroofs, in combination with other measures, can make a real difference to minimising the effects of climate change.
"Greenroofs, a sustainable measure in the fight against climate change, have a long and proven history in Europe, Northern America and parts of Asia. Yet it is only recently that Australia has considered the numerous benefits of greenroofs in its response to climate change" said Ms Cain.
"This is a real opportunity for government, big business, building owners and universities to work together to trial and adopt greenroof applications for the benefit of the whole community. The effects of climate change are becoming more evident everyday and we want to raise awareness of how greenroofs can play a part – they may not be as glamorous as other measures, but they are an easy and sustainable means to help combat climate change."
To accelerate the greenroof industry in Melbourne, Growing Up is leveraging the Committee for Melbourne's network to ensure awareness of the project. Already, Melbourne Water, Sustainability Victoria, the City of Melbourne and Australia Post have come on board as key partners.
Growing Up is not just about promoting greenroofs. With a plan to have a greenroof installed on an inner-city building by November next year, this group is working hard to make their vision a reality. To do so, they are calling on building owners, architects and students to get involved.
The competition will allow the successful architect or designer to watch their design come to life as it is installed on a building rooftop in the Melbourne CBD. With the competition getting support from the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) and the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA), the design standard will be extremely high and the winning bid expected to become the benchmark for environmental and aesthetic greenroof design.
"As the density of city dwellers increases, people don't have to forsake their Australian dream of a back yard, they can find it through a rooftop garden. It snatches back a little of the green space that has been lost through urban development", Ms Cain said.
With Growing Up looking to green a roof near you sometime soon, now is the time to check out the latest news and the details of the competition by visiting: www.growingup.org.au
For information on other Committee for Melbourne's Future Focus Group Projects, visit: www.melbourne.org.au