Once a marginal practice, installing native plants on residential street verges is becoming increasingly common – and a number of Perth local governments (as well as state government entities) are actively promoting and incentivising the practice. However, little information is available on the benefits and challenges of transforming the street verge to a native garden, from either the residents’ point of view, nor from key stakeholders with an interest in streetscape management.

This talk will showcase the results of social-ecological research on suburban street verges in Perth, set within current trends in Perth’s urban forest. Natasha will discuss the social benefits and challenges for verge gardeners drawing on interviews with residents, as well as the potential habitat values, based on plant and insect surveys. Western Australia is leading the way in adopting verge gardens, which has likely been facilitated by a complex network of interactions and information sharing across networks including community leaders, industry, local and state government.

Natasha Pauli

Natasha is a Senior Lecturer in Geography at the University of Western Australia, in the School of Agriculture and Environment and School of Social Sciences. Natasha’s research focusses on human-environment interactions. With a broad range of experiences across the biological and social sciences, she is passionate about finding opportunities for conserving and increasing biodiversity in urban, agricultural and natural settings. Prior to becoming an academic, Natasha has also worked in environmental consulting, state government, and the NGO sector.