Four grassroots projects set to keep Canberra’s suburbs cool through summer

Australian Greens

The ACT Government has today announced four recipients of the Nature in the City: Cooling Your Suburb grants, each receiving a share of $150,000 for projects that protect against climate change.

Minister for the Environment, Parks and Land Management, Rebecca Vassarotti, said the four projects will demonstrate how living infrastructure can improve Canberra’s resilience to the heat impacts of climate change.

“Our planet is becoming hotter and drier. Climate change is taking a heavy toll, bringing unpredictable weather, severe droughts, and more intense heatwaves,” said Minister Vassarotti.

“Healthy living infrastructure, like trees, plants, soils, and water systems, are essential to our city’s success in adapting to the risks of a changing climate.

“The projects that we have funded today will tackle the ‘heat island effect’ caused by too much concrete and not enough plant life, bushland, and tree canopy coverage.

“Whether it’s a tree, planter box, green wall, or garden bed, collectively these simple projects can cool the local climate and make the most of rainwater, also reducing the risk of flooding.

“We know that Canberrans are drawn to vibrant spots that boast amazing green living infrastructure and plant life. Just think about your favourite café or local shop- and I’m willing to bet that the lush plant life plays a big reason as to why it’s a fan favourite for locals.

“The benefits of these kinds of projects are far ranging, from being great for the natural environment to be being a fantastic way to reinvigorate public spaces.

“The projects funded through this latest round will demonstrate the benefits of healthy and resilient living infrastructure and the different ways urban cooling can be achieved in the ACT.

“The grant recipients have all engaged with the local community and stakeholders to inform their projects, a fantastic example of how the community can work together to tackle the climate crisis.

“I would like to congratulate all the recipients of this year’s funding. I look forward to seeing the finished projects, and I hope that Canberrans will be inspired to consider changes to their own homes and gardens that will make Canberra a cooler and more liveable city.”

This year’s successful recipients are:

  • Three Mills Bakery – Will transform an urban heat island in Woden from an expanse of concrete into an urban oasis in the vicinity of their new café.
  • The Climate Factory – Will grow a native micro-forest in an urban heat island in Dunlop using the Miyawaki method of dense planting to ensure rapid growth.
  • The Woodlands and Wetlands Trust – Will install native species trellis walls, a rainwater irrigation system for an existing green wall, and permeable paving to increase water retention on site.
  • Café Stepping Stone, Dickson – Will conduct a feasibility study to gather valuable insights and data to inform the long-term sustainability and maintenance of a green wall and assess how well such a project might mitigate urban heat.

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