Greening city centre enhances experience for community

With four distinct seasons and an abundance of street trees, parks and private gardens, it is not difficult to see why Orange is renowned for its beautiful green spaces.

In fact, when Orange’s main streets were laid out in 1846 more than 14 per cent of the ‘square mile’ was devoted to parks and public open space, a unique landscape that has been part of our city’s identity since the very beginning.

The Future City project wants to harness these qualities and enhance them wherever possible in the central business district with projects to green the city centre.

A BETTER WAY: Urban designers SJB encourage increased plantings in all public spaces, streets, lanes, car parks and squares.

eIn the Future City Planning and Design Framework, urban design firm SJB encouraged a stronger botanic and garden theme in all public spaces, streets, lanes, car parks and squares.

“Increased levels of planting, greenery and plant variety will increase biodiversity and visual amenity, creating a renewed sense of delight and wonder,” the SJB report said.

“Plants can help address the impacts of climate change by reducing urban heat effects and create a more pleasant environment for the whole community to enjoy.”

FUTURE CITY: Plants can help address the impacts of climate change by reducing urban heat effects and create a more pleasant environment for the whole community to enjoy.

While greening the city centre would require increased maintenance, this would be outweighed by its economic benefits as people enjoyed spending more time in the CBD, as well as boosting community wellness and happiness.

Suggested projects and installations could be:

  • Improved nature strips
  • Gardens
  • Arbours
  • Trellis and lightweight structures
  • Vines and climbers on balconies, verandas, fences and walls
  • Floral displays in both temporary and portable planter boxes

Potential locations being investigated for vertical gardens include the Woolworths Supermarket wall facing Anson Street, the Ex-Services Club car park, the NAB western wall and the southern wall of Flight Centre near the Woolworths car park entrance.

The SJB report also suggested the veranda and awning network in Orange should be supplemented with trellises, arbours and other special structures that enhance the botanic values of the city.

“Orange has a strong tradition of trellises and vertical planting in Cook Park. These elements could be repeated and reinterpreted within the city centre,” the designers said.

“Vines should be encouraged to grow over existing verandas where possible, establishing a green network of streets and public places.”

Wider median strips in Lords Place and Byng Street, featuring shady trees and climate-appropriate plantings, would further green the streets and soften the landscape.

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