THE people of Canberra love our trees and when one is threatened unnecessarily, people do whatever they can to save it. Here’s a tale about a significant tree, the ACT’s chief planner, the developer and – the tree’s future. Here’s my piece in City News on this.
The ACT Government has a bad reputation in its dealings with residents and their concerns for the future of Canberra.
I have written about this topic in City News – here’s my piece – click here.
Things some people should not say
It came as a shock to hear a community leader class a community site as a wasteland.
Continue reading Dickson Parkland retagged a wasteland
Smart city planning can preserve old trees and the wildlife that needs them
Mature trees have horizontal branches that are attractive to wildlife and birds.from shutterstock.com
Philip Gibbons, Australian National University
Continue reading Trees and smart planning
Often when posting on planning and development in Canberra, someone will comment that things were so much better when the Commonwealth, through the National Capital Development Commission (NCDC) ran the joint.
Continue reading NCDC in context
a note to the ACT Chief Minister
About the architecture along Northbourne Avenue
Continue reading Architecture
There’s a call by the ACT Government for residents to go online and to offer thoughts on the future of Haig Park.
Continue reading Haig Park masterplan
I believe in good government. I believe that many of our public sector employees do a great job. Occasionally, I even witness a politician who has values and fights for them (rarely).
Continue reading A tree lands in the appeals tribunal
Comment and Link to UK article on Urban Trees
I have the benefit of living in a suburb with plenty of tree cover. In fact the view outside onto the streets is almost as if the street is a parkland. The concept that any suburb should have an abundance of trees and shrubs and associated bio-diversity is simply so logical that one wonders why would anyone think otherwise.
Continue reading Urban Trees
and yes, we should be looking after them.
During times of heat, drought, and extreme temperatures, it really demonstrates how the planning of Canberra, ‘the garden city’, was based on serious misunderstandings.
click on any photograph to enlarge it
Continue reading neglected trees
Big old trees grow faster, making them vital carbon absorber
from the Conversation ( where would we be without The Conversation?)
The linked article has ramifications for the current forest management methods and choices about what to log or not. The piece also reminds us all of the importance of all trees, not only for shade and green infrastructure benefits, but also as carbon sinks.
While becoming carbon neutral must be the top priority, it remains that trees are part of the adaptation processes of dealing with some of the carbon in our atmosphere. This points to the need to increase our urban forests and to ensure that new developments include more than adequate trees to deal with heat island effects, to provide for increase health and wellbeing and to be part of city-wide urban carbon sinks.
Continue reading Trees and Carbon
Review: A Memorial Arboretum
Lindsay Prior Arboretum, Canberra
If you have not already read it elsewhere on this blog, I love trees. Our home is now immersed in shrubbery. Ever morning we awake to sounds of all the bird life that enjoy our the biodiversity in the garden in our street. The front has been planted and designed in such a way that when we sit on the front verandah and look in a northerly direction, all we see are trees and shrubs. There homes and cars in that direction, but they a blocked out so that it looks as though we look out on a private parkland. But despite our private parkland and that a wetland is five minutes away, we do venture out occasionally to see what others are doing with trees. Occasionally!
Continue reading Tale of two Arboretums, Lindsay Prior
Review: Australian National Botanic Gardens
On the western edge of Canberra’s CBD, next to the Australian National University, on the side of Black Mountain, sits one of the National Capital’s often overlooked treasures, the Australian National Botanic Gardens. Although it figures in tourist brochures, I am not aware of large numbers of visitors. I am also not convinced that local Canberrans visit this site very often or that they think to take their visitors there.
Continue reading Botanic Gardens
Opinion: A Community Engagement Case Study
The community engagement on proposals to shift the Kings Highway Trees near Braidwood NSW
A Case Study where full Community Engagement was required but not employed.
The following opinion piece discusses an overlooked opportunity for real Community Engagement in dealing with the issues around the memorial avenue of trees leading into Braidwood on the Kings Highway from both sides of the township.
with photographs by Gael Newton
Continue reading Community Engagement
The New Northbourne Avenue
There has been a bit of noise of late around the proposals that the ACT Government is to introduce a light rail system into Canberra. In the first instance the rail will connect the inner north and the newer northern suburbs through to Civic, the main CBD area.
The light rail should have been there at least 20 years ago. It will be an interesting problem to make it viable now. Some form of transit system is required but so much of the infrastructure around it will need to be also altered. The city was built for cars. Many issues to be worked through. For instance ….
Continue reading Canberra Urbanity
Need to rake those damn leaves!
Casual roaming of the neighbourhood can reveal some of the oddities of local urbanity.
First a background story. Going back several decades, there used to be tradition in Canberra that each winter the residents would rake their leaves in the street gutter and then set fire to them. The neighbourhoods were full of smoke from these frequent local burnings. Eventually the local government put a stop to this local tradition.
Continue reading those damn leaves!
Review: Visual Arts
City of Trees, National Library of Australia, Canberra, 5 July – 7 October 2013
This review originally published August 2013
One lazy Saturday afternoon I took myself over to the National Library of Australia. I had read all the advertising and was very much looking forward to an exhibition on the trees of Canberra.
Any exhibition that focused on the trees of Canberra has to be something to see, something to talk about, and something that would be most embraced.
the entrance with two light boxes
In short, this one did none of those things for this reviewer. This exhibition in this prestigious national library exhibition space just left me wondering just what happened. Did the exhibition curators sign up a feel good Centenary Exhibition about one of the core features of the national capital; its fabulous trees. And then the pieces arrived and there was nothing to do but to make a good show of it. In this case it has been well laid out with all the usual fine aesthetics of good curatorship. But the content is just not there.
Continue reading CITY of Trees
originally published May 2013
If you had not heard, Canberra is celebrating 100 years. Right now the city is in the advance stages of winter, with all signs being that it will arrive seriously on our leafy door steps this time next week.
This is one of the pleasures of being up here on this hinterland and in the middle of the countryside where someone about 100 years ago thought it wise the plonk the national capital. Because of the location, we get to experience the full gamut of the changing seasons. And right now it is getting cold. Continue reading The Art of Trees