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National push for more urban green space starts in Sydney

28 November, 2013

New projects at UTS and in the Ultimo precinct are showcased among some of Australia's most inspiring examples of future green space by a new national initiative launched in Sydney.

The 202020 Vision, which aims to increase urban green space 20 percent by 2020, is being supported by studies into the measurable impact of infrastructure such as green roofs and urban parks by researchers at UTS and the Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF).

Green spaces are well known to improve health, raise productivity and reduce pollution, Dr Sara Wilkinson from the Faculty of Design Architecture and Building said.

"Multifunction spaces like the green rooftop on the new Thomas St Building and the re-designed Alumni Green, which form part of UTS's City Campus Master Plan, will demonstrate the many benefits of incorporating more plants and trees back into our, often grey, urban spaces", Dr Wilkinson said.

"I'm particularly interested in examining how rooftop gardens can support a more social university community, as well as provide additional productive space for teaching and research."

Dr Wilkinson was joined by Dr Samantha Sharpe from ISF and leaders in government, commercial development and landscape architecture to launch 202020 Vision at the site of The Goods Line.

The current development of The Goods Line and UTS's City Campus Master Plan, which has sustainable principles at its heart, will see an increase in Sydney's urban green infrastructure network, Dr Sharpe said.

"As Sydney has grown the loss of green spaces has contributed to environmental problems such poor air, more pollution and damaging stormwater runoff."

The Goods Line, a project by the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority to rejuvenate a disused rail line into a highly activated 500m elevated public space, will connect Broadway to Darling Harbour via the new Frank Gehry-designed building for the UTS Business School.

"We know that well-designed green public spaces support a higher quality of life in the city, improve worker productivity, offer cohesive community spaces and provide therapeutic effects by bringing people close to nature," Dr Sharpe said.

"We're excited about the potential of the Goods Line, which is highly anticipated by the UTS community and the public alike. We'll be measuring its impact through various social, environmental and economic indicators to learn exactly how it is contributing to a better quality of city living."

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