Green Adelaide will deliver practical outcomes across seven key priorities:
South Australia’s coastline includes beaches, dune systems, tidal waters, wetlands and cliffs, and supports many species unique to southern Australia. The coastal environment contributes significantly to our economy. It delivers social, cultural and health benefits and features vital habitats for our flora and fauna, while also protecting development and housing from flooding and erosion.
But it is also affected by land-based activity that leads to nutrients and sediments from stormwater, wastewater and industrial discharges damaging marine habitats like reefs and seagrass.
Green Adelaide will focus on coastal access, restoration of biodiversity, management of significant coastal sites, management of seagrass habitat and reef restoration. It will oversee a coordinated approach to managing the metropolitan coastline through partnerships with local government and non-government organisations, as well as Traditional Owners and key bodies like the Coast Protection Board.
This includes restoration and conservation of coastal biodiversity and significant coastal sites and beach replenishment activities. Dedicated resources and effort will also be directed towards protecting our coastline against sea level rise and climate change.
Water resources and wetlands
Water resources — including rivers, lakes, groundwater, stormwater and wetlands — sustain our way of life and our economic vitality.
South Australia is already seen as an international leader in urban water management, but there is scope for improvement, particularly in managing urban rivers and wetlands with a united approach.
The responsibility for managing Adelaide’s water resources and wetlands is shared by multiple entities, including local councils and private landholders with a watercourse located on their property. This creates complex arrangements.
Green Adelaide will drive an integrated ‘hills to sea’ approach to urban water management that considers water sensitive urban design, re-use of water, public amenity, flood management and the quality of water entering the gulf. It will also take a leadership role in reviewing existing complex management arrangements, such as for the River Torrens.
Green streets and flourishing parklands
Green streets and parklands provide much more than a pleasant environment to live in. By cooling urban areas they contribute to the economy, improve biodiversity and promote the health and wellbeing of the community.
Green Adelaide’s goal is to increase tree canopy cover and generate the green spaces our communities and wildlife need.
With an increasing number of people living in apartments or houses with small or no back yards, green streets and healthy parklands will become more important in reducing urban heat build-up, providing an essential wildlife habitat and offering places for recreation.
Urban heat mapping has identified hot spots or “heat islands” in the metropolitan area. These areas generally have fewer green spaces, trees, shrubs and grass and can be up to 3-4°C hotter on sunny days. An increase in roofs, roads and other impermeable surfaces in residential developments puts neighbourhoods at greater risk of flooding as rain and stormwater are less easily absorbed.
It is vital that Green Adelaide’s the water sensitive urban design and the green streets and flourishing parklands key priorities are strongly linked and, in partnership with local government, embedded into planning and development at every scale. Green Adelaide will work to influence new building designs to support an urban landscape with tree canopy cover and biodiversity habitat.
It will partner with local government to build on existing urban heat island mapping and produce a map of Adelaide that identifies priority areas for greening, green infrastructure and water sensitive urban design action. It will also fund and provide grants to local government to deliver greening outcomes in public spaces, including through the Greener Neighbourhoods grant program.
Biodiversity sensitive and water sensitive urban design
Urban design that considers biodiversity and the water cycle can deliver greener, more liveable communities. This means thoughtful, ecologically sustainable development that focuses on the management of urban water resources and environmental protection in residential, commercial and industrial developments.
Biodiversity sensitive and water sensitive urban design are integral to creating attractive and sustainable urban living conditions and creating crucial habitat for wildlife.
Biodiversity sensitive urban design seeks to address the negative impacts of urban development on biodiversity and to create onsite habitat, promote ecological processes and encourage positive human interactions with nature. Reducing our footprint will allow for more vegetated space that will provide habitat and lessen barriers to movement for animals. Examples could include green roofs and habitat walls that create habitat for native birds and insects.
Water sensitive urban design brings together the management of water from all sources – stormwater, wastewater, rainwater and groundwater - to achieve secure and sustainable water supplies for our urban communities and economy.
Green Adelaide will partner with state and local government, the planning system and Water Sensitive SA to encourage policies that embed greening, biodiversity sensitive and water sensitive urban design into private and public planning and development at every scale.
It will also provide grants to local government and other third parties to deliver more water sensitive urban design action across the region to support greening, cooling and climate resilient outcomes.
Controlling pest plants and animals
Adelaide is rich with wildlife, but the pest species introduced over time pose a threat to their survival. Human activity has also led to the extinction of many plants and animals, so managing the impact of pest species is critical to the ongoing protection of vulnerable and endangered native species and restoring biodiversity.
The responsibility for managing pests is shared between landholders, government, commercial enterprises and the broader community. Green Adelaide will consider how management actions, educational programs and collaborative partnerships can best address the management of invasive species.
It will oversee a pest animal and species strategy and provide grants to third parties to deliver on-ground outcomes.It will also undertake compliance-related activities in partnership with the Department for Environment and Water and the neighbouring landscape boards, the Department of Primary Industries and Regions and local government
Inspiring a love of nature is fundamental to it being valued by the community and preserved for generations to come.
Connecting with the natural world, particularly from a young age, brings developmental, health and emotional benefits. It can also nurture future advocacy and an active desire to do more to protect the natural environment and native species.
Hands-on experiences discovering the outdoors and nature, together with a great school education, will create our environmental stewards of the future.
Green Adelaide will build on the work already happening in schools and urban communities, thanks to the success of programs like NRM Education and Nature Play. Sustainability programs for adults and families will help connect people to nature.
Green Adelaide will partner with the community, businesses and government to deliver a nature education strategy that builds on existing activities and programs, such as nature education, volunteer support, community-run natural resource centres and urban sustainability and coastal ambassador programs.
Fauna, flora and ecosystem health in the urban environment
Ensuring that all South Australians are connected to nature is at the heart of Green Adelaide’s vision. To do this it needs to help maintain and enhance Adelaide’s unique and biologically diverse natural environment.
A strong focus on greening the city, improved coordination across the private and public sectors and an integrated urban water system provide us with the opportunity to grow and create more habitats for native birds and animals across the urban area.
Green Adelaide will create green corridors to link the Mount Lofty Ranges from the city to the ocean. It is vital that spaces supporting habitat are connected across neighbourhoods and landscapes. As well as creating new open spaces, we need to maximise the ones we already have, such as rooftops and the spaces between and around buildings. Then we need to connect them to create wildlife passages throughout the city.
This will allow more than 1000 different plant species, as well as 300 bird, 60 fish, 40 mammal and 45 reptile species in the Green Adelaide region to continue to flourish.
Green Adelaide will fund local government and provide grants to third parties to deliver practical projects that support and create more habitat for birds and animals across the urban area. It will support community activities, which could include more bee hotels, lizard lounges and butterfly gardens.
It will oversee the management of abundant species in the urban environment and continue the development of strategies to reduce the problematic interactions between fauna and urban communities.
Green Adelaide is also leading work towards Adelaide’s certification as a National Park City through protection and creation of habitat to promote urban ecology and biodiversity.