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Rooftop Gardens and Greenspace Changes

Green Space Changes

Brisbane City Council have proposed changes to the City plan in regard to landscape and greenspace on podium. ‘On podium’ or ‘on structure’ landscapes include landscapes in planter boxes, green walls, trellises or landscape that is not growing in ‘deep soil’ earth.

There has been a huge amount of interest in this area in an attempt to reduce the heat island effect. The urban heat island effect is where city temperatures are rising due to the amount of hard surfaces and reflective finishes – i.e. to put it simply to much concrete and glass.

The changes are do to with rooftop gardens and on structure landscapes. You can view the proposed changes here or click the image below to open the BCC website.

Source: https://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/planning-and-building/planning-guidelines-and-tools/brisbane-city-plan-2014/amendments-to-city-plan-2014/city-plan-amendments-in-progress/proposed-citywide-amendment-major-amendment-package-g
Downloaded 24th December 2020

Increase the quality of green space to multi-storey buildings

The proposed amendments include a range of initiatives to increase the quality of green space to multi-storey buildings.

The changes include:

  • changes to zones where rooftop gardens are being supported.
  • additional rooftop garden standards and provisions.
  • required standards for a rooftop garden to not be considered a storey.
  • and proposed changes to the Landscape work code and supporting planning scheme policies.

This is a great idea and will certainly make a difference to the quality of development in the Brisbane area. Due to these changes we should see more and more high density developments in Brisbane become more like the type of development commonly experienced in Singapore.

If you have been to Singapore, they certainly have a large range of quality developments that include large components of green walls and on podium landscaped spaces.


Further Changes Needed

In addition to the above, it would also be great to see Brisbane City Council also make further changes including:

  • refine the design, construction and certification of these types of on podium landscapes.
  • Include all zones within the changes from educational facilities through to multi-level carparks
  • Focus more on the amenity and reduction of the heat island effect
  • define specifications for construct-ability and soil within these structures
  • Requirements for experts to provide advice on these types of landscapes including but not limited to horticulturalists, arborists, waterproofing specialists, soil scientists, and landscape construction and maintenance contractors.

Following on from the BCC New World City Design Guide – Buildings that Breathe, we believe there is good reason to further develop an industry wide Brisbane City on-structure landscape code.

However the changes are certainly a great start and we encourage Brisbane City Council to continue down this path to improve the outcomes within the city.