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    More green spaces in urban areas, says new national initiative

    Lisa Rapley

    A new national initiative, which aims to increase green spaces in our cities by 20% by 2020, launched last week with an event at The Goods Line in Sydney near the Powerhouse Museum.

    The 202020 Vision is a unique collaboration between government, academic and private sectors, aiming to increase urban green spaces, thus improving our environment, productivity and societal benefits.

    A recent survey showed over 93% of professionals from related industries said the continual decrease in urban green space is of concern for all Australians, but particularly for those working in government, construction and development, horticulture and related academic sectors.

    Nursery and Garden Industry Australian (NGIA) CEO and 202020 Vision partner Robert Prince says, “We know our cities need more green spaces, as they’re good for our health, productivity, keeping cities cool and reducing pollution.

    “Urban heat islands, poor air quality, lack of enjoyable urban community areas are all poor outcomes when green spaces aren’t incorporated into new developments and large scale building projects.”

    Currently the 202020 Vision is a growing collaboration of more than 20 advocates who are leaders in their fields, 50 partner organisations committed to the vision and nearly 40 listed projects throughout Australia which exemplify the aspirations and goals of the initiative.

    Some of the partners already include AECOM, Brookfield Multiplex, CBRE, City of Melbourne, Green Building Council Australia, McGregor Coxall, NSW Office of Environment & Heritage, Pidcock Architecture, ASPECT Studios and The Royal Botanic Gardens.

    Already part of the 202020 Vision is The Goods Line project, which will see the disused rail line rejuvenated to become a pedestrian access from Broadway to Darling Harbour along a promenade of new urban spaces, restaurants and cafes.

    ASPECT Studios have designed the new green space in collaboration with Choi Ropiha Fighera for the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority.

    Director of ASPECT, Sacha Coles, attended the event saying, “There is huge pressure being applied to our existing urban green space due to increase density and the demands of a growing population.

    “We need to act now to increase opportunities for urban nature to thrive and improve our liveability, health and wellbeing.”

    The Goods Line will be a 500m long 4m elevated public space, touted as similar to the High Line in New York.

    Speaking at the event, Coles said the project will have outdoor study nooks for students with wifi and power point access, LED lighting for safety and an imitation rail line.

    It is expected to be completed by August 2014.

    For more information on the 202020 Vision, its collaborators and the projects already registered, visit the organisation’s website here.

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