Blue-green infrastructure key to building resilient cities

A future where nature is valued, just as roads and highways are, holds the key to more resilient cities, sustainable development, and improved liveability.

Far from invisible is the blue-green infrastructure so inherent with our natural surroundings. This nature-based infrastructure has, in the past, been side-lined in favour of built form superimposing over our landscapes. 

Now, blue and green – as a class of infrastructure that includes the wetlands, waterways, green roofs and rain gardens, nature corridors of a verdant landscape – is becoming more valued as integral to the urban balance sheet. 

Highlighting the need to re-balance our cities, the Australian Government has recently proposed ‘Nature Positive Plan: better for the environment, better for business’, a major reform plan that can stress the value of blue-green infrastructure in city planning.  

For government, managing this transition is a formidable task as it requires a transformative change to how cities are planned, funded, designed and built.

The importance of a resilient and healthy environment

We have reached a time in society that it’s not a nice-to-have ambition, but a necessary strategy to preserve the planet for future generations. Augmenting ageing infrastructure with nature-based solutions also helps improve cost-effectiveness while providing cleaner natural cities.

Global economy flux, natural disasters and climate change are placing downward pressure on natural ecosystems.

Blue-green infrastructure makes cities nature positive by repairing natural ecosystems. For example, wetlands, healthy catchments and permeable pavements help mitigate the impacts of flooding and stormwater runoff. Trees and green spaces reduce urban heat island effect, and green corridors provide habitat for wildlife, and stormwater for reuse.

A rebalancing approach will value blue-green infrastructure as part of projects that not only achieves biodiversity enhancements, but also extends to economic, social, and Indigenous heritage.

Investing in blue-green infrastructure can lead to job creation, increased property values and improved public health, promote social cohesion and encourage community engagement by providing spaces for residents to gather, play, and connect with nature.

Actions in motion

The proposed nature repair market proposed by the federal government – along with existing offsets conservation payments – seeks to create new ways to invest in the …


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