‘More Urban Green……Less Sealed Surfaces’ is a 12- page brochure created to educate and share knowledge about Urban Green, with the goal of tackling the dual crises of climate change and biodiversity loss.
What is ‘Urban Green? If you ask the brochure’s author, Walter Breustedt, you will need to sit down as his passion for the topic, and his knowledge and enthusiasm are note-worthy. In short, however, it is about making urban spaces green.
Mr Breustedt said that we feel the impact of climate change in the cities, particularly in summer when temperatures at daytime reach above 30°c and do not cool down at night because the heat is retained in concrete and asphalt.
“Plants are natural air conditioners, they provide shade, in the right locations they can reduce the cooling load of buildings and plants evaporate moisture which has an additional cooling effect. Urban Green is also absorbing CO2, the contribution in our fight against global warming is not huge, but shouldn’t be neglected”
“We also shouldn’t forget that green absorbs noise, can filter dust, and makes our cities beautiful, says Mr Breustedt.
The most common examples of Urban Greening are planting trees, using grass and ground covers in place of or in conjunction with sealed surfaces, and more recently in New Zealand, the installation of living walls.
As one of the successful recipients of last year’s Biodiversity Hawke’s Bay Grant, Mr Breustedt received financial and administrative support to write, collate and print this resource.
The brochure is designed to assist everyone from homeowners to local authorities and is available as a printed document or online via the Biodiversity Hawke’s Bay website.
Biodiversity Hawke’s Bay general manager, Debbie Monahan, says that as human populations become increasingly concentrated in towns and cities, it is more important than ever to green up our urban areas. This will help to create “green corridors” whereby birds, insects and animals can move, helping to ensure the future of these ecosystems and fight against biodiversity loss.
Local to Mr Breustedt and Biodiversity Hawke’s Bay, Hastings is a case study when looking at CBD temperatures and suggested mitigation measures.
Hastings District Council support Mr Breustedt and say the Urban Green concept fits within the Long-Term Plan for the council.
Ann Redstone, Heretaunga Ward Councillor says she has met with Walter on several occasions in her capacity as Chair of Hastings District Council’s Eco District Committee, to talk about his concerns around too many sealed surfaces and the negative environmental impacts causing higher temperatures and pressures on the stormwater infrastructure.
“I am very pleased to support his new publication ‘More Urban Green - Less Sealed Surfaces.’ I think it is a very good educational tool which could assist in initiating positive changes across the building sector,” says Councillor Redstone.
The Biodiversity Hawke’s Bay Grant is open for applications until 30 April. Further details are on the Biodiversity Hawke’s Bay home page and the “More Urban Green…. Less Sealed Surfaces” brochure can be found on the Resources page. www.biodiversityhb.org
27 April 2022
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