Greening our city

Increasing the number and cover of plants within urban environments.

It has been shown that greener spaces deliver benefits to the economy, character and biodiversity of the local area, as well as improving the health, wellbeing, safety and social aspects of people in the area. This makes the city a more enjoyable place to be and to live. Importantly, greening is one of the most important ways for cities to adapt to our changing climate.

This is why the City of Adelaide aims to increase green space across the city. Our 2020–2024 Strategic Plan envisions a greener Adelaide, and the Adelaide Design Manual outlines how we will implement greening as a key strategy.

How do we green the city?

Greening the city is not as simple as putting a few plants into the ground.

Tree strata cells, rain gardens and permeable pavements all require careful planning to ensure that any complex underground services, such as electricity, water or sewerage are not affected, while plants have space for their roots to grow.

Consequently, greening can take many forms, requires a thorough understanding of the cityscape and clever design.

Stylised graphic showing different forms of greening.

Stylised graphics showing different forms of greening, including living architecture (green roofs, roof terraces, green walls & facades, organised community gardens and city farms), tree planting (in the city streets, parks and private properties), green streets (pedestrian friendly, strong presence of trees and low plantings, activate commercial and retail spaces), urban food (growing food in public or communal spaces with edible plants and water sensitive urban design (rain gardens, permeable pavements, constructed wetlands, water reuse, managing urban water cycle).

Examples of greening in Adelaide

Sir Donald Bradman Drive

West entry statement Greening 4 test web photos

Sir Donald Bradman Drive after greening works have been completed, with gum trees and many small shrubs planted in the median strip.

Between April and July 2018 approximately 110 native evergreen gumtrees and extensive understorey vegetation were planted in the median strip along Sir Donald Bradman Drive.

Fortunately, as there were no underground services in the area, this project did not require extensive landscaping, but it did require the removal of standing trees that were declining in health.

This is a significant project that will provide necessary shade and cooling in the area as the vegetation matures.

Colonel Light Centre 25 Pirie St Green Wall

Image of the Colonel Light Centre green wall, showing pillars covered with lush vegetation and bicycles in the foreground.

Leading by example, the City of Adelaide has constructed its own ‘green wall’ on the façade of one of our office buildings.

The green wall contains 2304 plants over 43 square metres, using a total of just over 200L of water per week. Excess water not taken up by the plants is collected and diverted via underground pipes to water the trees in the plaza. The green space cools the courtyard and creates an inviting atmosphere for employees and visitors to arrive, meet and take their lunch breaks.

This is a simple but effective demonstration of integrating Greening and Water Sensitive Urban Design, and their effect on liveability in the city.