Linking people, perspectives and knowledge
to enable nature-sensitive urban design in Perth
What is NatureLink Perth?
NatureLinkPerth is an initiative to create a network of people, to sustain our world-class biodiversity, wetlands and bushlands and engage nature sensitive urban design across Perth to the benefit of people, the environment and the economy.
Why do we need NatureLink Perth?
There is currently no holistic strategy or plan informed by ecological understanding to conserve our natural estate or integrate nature into our city. Currently our world class biodiversity is being lost through individual planning decisions -“death by a thousand cuts”. This is not sustainable and will result in our remaining bushland and wetlands becoming less viable and threatened species becoming extinct.
Contact with nature has been scientifically proven to improve people’s physical and mental health –we need to find a way to sustain nature in our city for the benefit of people, the environment and the economy.
A New Approach
Our city is arranged as discrete blocks of land, largely considered independent of one another. Ecosystems are not independent but an interaction of components (air, land, water, plants, animals). Both the components and their links are equally important. Ecosystems (wetlands, bushland etc) also need to be linked in this way. If you take out one component or one link the whole gets weaker, the more you take the less resilient the ecosystems become until they collapse.
photo © Simon Cherriman
Currently our natural assets are scattered in disconnected parts across Perth. As ecosystems work through linkages, we need to be thinking of interconnectedness and the how the whole of the natural estate can be sustained.
Similarly, while there are many people in Perth with knowledge, ideas and projects about how nature can be integrated into the city we are all working in isolation, in silos. NatureLink Perth seeks to bring all stakeholders together – to hear and understand different perspectives and find a common ground – working together to create an agreed way forward on how to engage nature sensitive urban design in Perth.
What is ‘Nature Sensitive Urban Design’?
Nature sensitive urban design respects and integrates the way ecosystems function into urban planning and development. Natural ecosystems require linkages. Nature sensitive urban design has wildlife or ecological corridors in developed areas, linking and sustaining high value conservation areas. These corridors can be natural areas or nature sensitive urban greenspace – parks, road verges, streams and drains, or even your own back yard. If you create a habitat garden these can provide invaluable stepping stones – the links across the city that nature needs. These green linkages provide an invaluable place for people too – close proximity and contact with nature improve our wellbeing – just think of walking under a tree shaded path.
Another example of nature sensitive urban design would be where development is occurring adjacent to natural areas. Nature sensitive urban design would ensure the hydrology of the natural area is not affected. Many of our bushlands and wetlands are groundwater dependent ecosystems –even slight changes in their water regime can destroy their ecological balance.
How are we going to do this?
NatureLink Perth will be reaching out to all stakeholders over the next few months to engage them in finding out “What needs to be done to get a sustainable network of natural assets across Perth?”
Everyone: scientists, managers, government, indigenous people, policy and planning, developers, industry, NRM and “Friends of’ groups, community, and many more.
Our team will integrate knowledge and perspectives from all stakeholders over the next few months. This data will be collated and synthesised into an accessible form, provided to you on this website. The website will continue to build over the next few months until a Symposium and Workshop on the 4-5th July 2019, when participants will review the state of our understanding and prioritise actions to enable successful integration of wetland and bushland ecosystems and biodiversity into our city.
What do we need to know?
We are collecting five layers of information
Where are our natural assets in Perth? What do we know about them and what do they need to be sustained? How can we use our urban linkages (roads, drains, gardens) to improve our natural estate and create ecological corridors?
How can we better integrate nature into past, current and future development? What is needed to engage nature sensitive urban design? How does nature benefit the economy e.g. tourism?
How do people interact with nature through recreation, education etc? What are their values? How can we benefit people through contact and experience with nature
Integrating nature into the city requires careful management. What do we need to know to ensure the safety and wellbeing of people and nature.
Policy and Planning
What is the legislative and planning systems in place at federal, state and local government and what needs to be done to enable nature sensitveurban design?
What can you do?
NatureLinkPerth will be reaching out to all stakeholders over the next few months to engage them in finding out “What needs to be done to get a sustainable network of natural assets across Perth?”
If you or your organisation have information, reports, knowledge, or activities you would like to share, if you’d want to be involved in NatureLinkPerth or have question email NatureLinkPerth@murdoch.edu.au
Or to become an NatureLink Perth member and receive our weekly updates and resources, enter your email address into the green “sign up” box below.
Our team will integrate knowledge and perspectives from all stakeholders to enable successful integration of wetland and bushland ecosystems and biodiversity into our city but we can’t do it without your input
Join us now and enable nature sensitive urban design in Perth.
NatureLinkPerth was launched on 1st February 2019.
Over the next months our team will engage with stakeholders and exchange, collate and synthesisethe information provided.
This information to be presented at a Symposiumby experts in each area on 4th July 2019.
Followed by a Workshop to create an agreed, coordinated approach to integrate nature into our city on 5th July 2019