In order to facilitate the greening of urban spaces, a five-year research program known as Which Plant Where? will attempt to create an interactive database for specifiers and suppliers to determine which plant goes best within any given environment.
Which Plant Where? is an initiative that aims to bring our urban centres to life with the long-term, viable greenery and ensure that our built landscapes are climate-resilient and able to withstand future challenges.
Developed by 202020 Vision as part of the 2015 Growing the Seeds tour, the initiative has drawn on the knowledge of a diverse group of stakeholders including nursery and turf growers, practitioners, developers, landscape planners and designers, as well as state and local government representatives, in order to understand the challenges that specifiers and growers face when building our urban centres.
By involving and drawing upon the support of these key stakeholders, Which Plant Where? aims to incorporate several tools and research findings in order to deliver an interactive database, called the Plant Features Tool, that supports end users in their project designs.
Several research and development workshops have already taken place, and Which Plant Where? has many more planned over the next few years in order to identify the key elements of plant and tree varieties, which environments and uses they are suited for, and to iron out any challenges that may arise.
In 2021, the interactive Plant Features tool will be able to comb through a comprehensive database of plantlife that can be narrowed down via a range of project and environment specific filters to suggest and confirm suitable varieties and their viability in a given project.
Current tools allow for the consideration of purpose, colour, flowering, height or availability, but none of these tools available has been backed by extensive research, nor do these tools consider future climate scenarios, safety, location or amenity value.
Major planned features of the tool will include filters that reflect:
- Common urban planting needs, such as rooftops, verges, water-sensitive design, parks or urban forests.
- Value-added characteristics such as heat mitigation, wildlife and biodiversity benefits, pollinator-friendliness or tolerance to urban constraints such as footpath
The Which Plant Where? initiative and tool will have a range of applications and relate to a range of industries in different ways. For the Landscape, Nursery and Turf industries it is hoped that the interactive tool will:
- Provide guidelines to councils, planners, residents, landscapers and horticulturalists about what to plant
- Support local councils’ climate adaptation programs
- Mitigate risks associated with poor plant selection
- Inform better local labelling of plants at a consumer level
- Help inform crucial production and supply targets for specific varieties
The Which Plant Where?, When and Why Database for Growing Urban Greenspace (GC15002) has been funded by Hort Innovation with co-investment from Macquarie University, Western Sydney University and the New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage.
For more information, visit the website HERE or download the Which Plant Where? brochure HERE