Shelley is a Director of Urbaqua, a not-for-profit environmental organisation that works to support and deliver water and environmentally sensitive outcomes in Western Australia. She is also the Program Manager of New WAter Ways Inc which is Western Australia’s capacity building association for water sensitive urban design. She is a strong advocate for the ability of the land use planning system to deliver innovative development outcomes and liveable communities which respond to environmental and climatic conditions.
TREENET Symposium Speaker: Shelley Shepherd
Green infrastructure is a fundamental element of a water sensitive city
The south west of Western Australia has experienced the impacts of climate change and reduced rainfall more than most places on Earth. Our average rainfall has fallen by about 100mm in the last 30 years while the average temperature during summer has increased, with a record-breaking 6 days over 40 degrees in a row earlier this year. The ability to cool our cities and provide access to nature for the community has never been more critical to our mental and physical well being.
The Vision and Transition Strategy for a Water Sensitive Greater Perth supports the implementation of water sensitive urban design to facilitate better places for our community that are resilient, adaptive, productive and sustainable. The integration of green infrastructure into our urban spaces and public realm is a key strategy to support urban cooling and the creation of natural landscapes. While there are many, measured benefits from greening our streets and buildings, there are still a number of implementation issues that need to be overcome so that the practice is mainstreamed. This presentation will outline some of the documented benefits from integrating green infrastructure into our urban areas and share insights into addressing barriers within a Western Australian context.