Building urban resilience with nature-based solutions

Cities face increasing environmental, social and economic challenges that together threaten the resilience of urban areas. These challenges include chronic stresses and acute shocks, amplified by climate change impacts.

Nature-based solutions have emerged as a concept for integrating ecosystem-based approaches to address a range of societal challenges. Nature-based solutions include the green and blue spaces of cities, such as parks, street trees, water-sensitive urban design, and coastal structures such as mangroves and dunes.

Implementing urban nature-based solutions is inherently complex, given the range of ecosystem services, their multi-functionality and trade-offs between functions, and across time and spatial scales. Urban planning can support the implementation of nature-based solutions, by managing trade-offs and conflicts, as well as addressing social equity dimensions.

In a new CAUL Hub paper, researchers present a framework to guide the application of urban planning to nature-based solutions’ implementation to support urban resilience.

Photo by Rafał Rudol on Unsplash


Springtime pollinator observatories

CAUL Hub researcher Dr Luis Mata will be facilitating a number of pollinator observatories and related workshops in the greater Melbourne area.

Pollinators are essential for the reproduction of many plants, and pollinator observatories provide reliable opportunities to observe and research pollinator species and their interactions with plants. In addition, these events are opportunities for citizen scientists to get involved in learning more about this aspect of biodiversity.

Pollinator observatory events will be held on Sunday 27 October at Westgate Park and on Sunday 10 November at Blackburn Lake Sanctuary. In addition, the Royal Botanical Gardens Victoria will be hosting an Insectopia workshop on Sunday 3 November. Please book directly through the links provided.

Featured image credit: Native bee on native paper daisy by Luis Mata


Track Australia’s possums and gliders with the Urban Wildlife App

In collaboration with our colleagues in the NESP Threatened Species Recovery Hub, we are now calling on citizen scientists to help us learn more about Australia’s possums and gliders by tracking sightings in the Urban Wildlife App.

Australia has 27 species of possums and glider, with almost a quarter listed as threatened. Urban habitats are vitally important for many threatened species, including the critically endangered western ringtail possum located in Perth and south-west Western Australia. Possums and people can also be in conflict in urban areas, so understanding how possums and gliders are using urban environments is a key step in managing conservation of these species.

In addition to possums and gliders, the Urban Wildlife App can be used to track sightings of frogs, flying foxes, and beneficial insects. The app is available for free from Google Play and the App Store.

Featured image credit: Adam Foster, via Flickr. 


NAIDOC 2019 Urban Beat

To celebrate NAIDOC Week (7-14 July), CAUL Hub worked together with guest editor Timmah Ball to produce a special NAIDOC edition of our Hub newsletter Urban Beat.

Timmah Ball is a writer, urban planner and occasional artist. She combines these skills to discuss important issues facing cities and how we can learn from First Nations’ cultural perspectives to create resilient futures. In 2017 she performed Last stone Left as part of Yirramboi Festival with dancer and choreographer Raina Peterson. It was performed in front of one of the last remaining precolonial rock faces in Melbourne’s CBD in Sargood Lane. You can read more about this unique aspect of Melbourne and other important stories in the Urban Beat.

In this edition, Timmah reflects on the hidden cultural and environmental layers of cities beneath the built environment and talks to artists, researchers and architects to learn how leading Aboriginal creatives from across the country are creating change and sharing truths in exciting projects. Through interviews, poetry and articles, contributors discuss issues of Sovereignty and steps we will need to take as Treaty discussions begin. Engage with Josh Muir’s self portraits and Jeanine Leane’s poetry, hear from architect Kevin O’Brien and co-chair of CAUL Hub’s Indigenous Advisory Group Maddison Miller, and enjoy interviews with researcher Zena Cumpston, artistic director Eva Grace Mullaley and writer/radio presenter Angelina Hurley.

The Urban Beat also provides an update on two major CAUL Hub outputs which are creating pathways for change: The Living Pavilion and 3 Category Workbook. These projects demonstrate both the importance and strength of collaborative research and Indigenous knowledge systems. Download the 2019 NAIDOC Urban Beat here.

The edition becomes a vital companion to this years National NAIDOC themes – Voice, Treaty, Truth. 

Download the newsletter here.

Featured image: A section of Josh Muir’s banner artwork, featured in the 2019 NAIDOC Urban Beat. 


New report: local actions to conserve urban biodiversity

A new CAUL Hub report shows how Australian cities are implementing novel solutions to conserve urban biodiversity – from reusing hollow trees that would otherwise be lost, to creating local flora and fauna field guides for residents.

This national inventory of local actions is the first of its kind in Australia. The two-part report summarises common barriers and enablers of urban biodiversity conservation, outlines opportunities and challenges for undertaking future action, documents the extent to which Indigenous perspectives are currently considered in urban biodiversity conservation and provides recommendations for future Indigenous engagement.

Check out a summary here or download Part I and Part II (written by Indigilab) of the full report.

Featured image: A fairy tern with chick. Credit: Claire Greenwell