Benefits of Urban Green Space in the Australian Context

Urban green space is all the vegetated areas that occur in cities. Green spaces can be found on public land (eg.parks, and on private land (e.g.residential gardens). Urban green spaces are commonly categorised by land use, which distinguishes areas used for public recreation, biodiversity conservation, residential dwellings, commercia !or industrial activities and transport corridors. These spaces can also be categorised by land cover, such as planted trees, shrubs or lawn, or native vegetation. Urban green spaces can cover a large proportion of Australian cities. For example, 41% of houses in Australian capital cities have a street tree, while 77% have a tree in their garden (Kirkpatrick et al.,2011). A study of Ballarat, Victoria found that 13% of the city was zoned as recreational or conservation parks, and a total of 28% of the city was covered in trees with a further 24% covered in lawn (Kendal!et!al.,!2012). Urban green spaces are widely understood as ‘improving’ cities by increasing amenity and providing places for both passive and active! recreation. Since the 1970s, areas of green space in cities have also been set aside for conservation purposes e.g. to protect rare and threatened plants, animals and ecosystems. More recently, there has been extensive research into a wide range of effects that urban greens spaces have on urban environments, and the people, plants and animals that live in them.



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Additional authors:!Kate Lee ,Cristina Ramalho ,Kathryn Bowen and !Judy Bush


School of Ecosystems and Forest !Sciences, The University !of !Melbourne: 2016