Breaking the grass ceiling in planning policy

An artist impression of a rooftop terrace at the One Foyle apartment development in Bayswater.
An artist impression of a rooftop terrace at the One Foyle apartment development in Bayswater.

TWO university experts have backed the City of Bayswater’s bid to have more green walls and roofs included in private developments.

The City is developing a green walls and roofs position and action statement and a local planning policy to encourage biophilic urban design on private properties.

Biophilic urban design aims to bring nature into urban areas through green corridors, green spaces and green building elements such as green walls and roofs.

Councillors will consider the policy next year.

Bayswater town centre. Picture: Kristie Lim

If the policy is adopted, the City will be the first WA local government to have such a policy and follow in the footsteps of the City of Sydney.

According to a City officer’s report, the benefits of green walls and roofs include improving air quality, reducing urban heat island effect, create biodiversity, have storm water management and increase amenity.

The University of Western Australia environmental engineering professor Anas Ghadouani said Bayswater was one of the champion cities in being sustainable.

“The City of Bayswater have started doing some really amazing work, especially with converting drainage systems into environmental waterways,” he said.

“Now, the next step, is to look at including green infrastructure in all possible developments.”

Prof Ghadouani said Australia was far behind in having green infrastructure but people were beginning to consider sustainable development goals.

“We will have to rely on green infrastructure to actually protect us from urban heat which is a killer,” he said.

“It kills lots of people in Australia and around the world and we really have to equip ourselves and we really have to equip our cities with green infrastructure.

“Green infrastructure is really critical for today and into the future.”

Curtin University sustainability professor Peter Newman.

Curtin University sustainability professor Peter Newman, who published a paper called Biophilic Urbanism: A review and case study on Singapore, said it was about time local governments took on such policies that Singapore had.

“(Biophilic urban design) is a major requirement as we get hotter and need to cool the city as well as the aesthetic advantages,” he said.

Prof Newman said while there had been more green walls and roofs surfacing in Perth, the city was still behind “global best practice”.