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Mid-Afternoon Masterclass: Growing an urban woody meadow

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Cities around the world are investing hundreds of millions of dollars in urban green spaces. Urban greening has wide-ranging benefits for human health and well-being, local and regional biodiversity, pollution mitigation, and local urban microclimate. However, maintaining vegetation in urban environments is expensive, which leads to simple plantings with limited visual appeal and resilience to the challenging growing conditions in cities.

We have recently developed a new approach to urban greening using Australian shrublands as a template. These woody meadows are low-cost and resilient naturalistic plantings of Australian shrubs to improve the appearance and function of low maintenance landscapes. In this presentation, Claire will discuss how plant response to fire in natural ecosystems has inspired woody meadows and how they are now transforming streetscapes, railway sidings and parks around Australia.

More information on the woody meadow project is available online.

Dr Claire Farrell

Dr Claire Farrell is a Senior Lecturer in Green Infrastructure. Her main research interest involves using plants to make cities more liveable through urban greening.

As a plant scientist, her focus is on plant selection for survival and high performance landscapes. Claire has a PhD in plant ecology and for the last nine years much of her research has focused on developing green roofs for Australian conditions.