City skylines increasingly feature roofs and walls that are covered in foliage to trap stormwater and moderate internal climates. This approach to greening is now creeping below the waterline as ecologists and designers come together to co-create living seawalls.
I was making a left turn onto Lygon Street, towards East Brunswick, when my passenger, one of three founders of our Stockholm-based architecture practice, began to gesticulate wildly at a row of silver, waveshaped fins attached to the facade of a five-storey apartment building, exclaiming in surprise, “What is that?!” Our office does a lot of housing research, which often requires constructing big data sets and large archives of architectural drawings in order to analyse trends.
In 2016, the Victorian government implemented the Better Apartment Design Standards (BADS) into the Victoria Planning Provisions (VPP) and all its planning schemes.
As an urban ecologist, I specialise in the science and practice of nature conservation in cities. This strikes most people as unusual. Surely, nature conservation happens out in nature, not among the pigeons and bin chickens? But cities support a surprising diversity of native plants and animals – if you’re paying attention.