Do you dig it? Draft Urban Greening Strategy (DUGS) approved

06/10/2022 3:12pm
Concept image from Te Ara ō Whakatū - the Nelson City Spatial Plan showing the Bridge Street linear park.
Concept image from Te Ara ō Whakatū - the Nelson City Spatial Plan showing the Bridge Street linear park.

The Draft Urban Greening Strategy sets out a vision to make Nelson a greener, healthier, and more resilient city using the concept of Urban Greening.

Urban Greening is the practice of increasing plant life in urban environments for their environmental, economic, and social benefits. 

Environment and Climate Committee Chair Kate Fulton says the adoption of the strategy at a full Nelson City Council meeting on Thursday 29 September was an exciting moment for the city. 

“Urban Greening is a holistic, solution-focussed approach to addressing complex issues like emissions reduction, food resiliency, intensification and the impacts of climate change. 

“It’s also a way of thinking that will create a flourishing and healthy green city in the process, one that better connects us with te taiao/the natural environment and with each other, enhancing our own wellbeing.”

Urban Greening is widely recognised as playing a critical role in increasing the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities living in cities and towns. 

Urban Greening practices like living walls and roofs (where plants grow directly on the structure), accessible community gardens, and expanded urban tree canopies have been shown to improve air and water quality, absorb carbon emissions, reduce the impact of climatic change, enhance biodiversity, and support economic development.

“It will be up to the next Council to decide how to implement this strategy, but there are many things we as a community can do today to begin achieving the vision it lays out,” says Councillor Fulton.

“Whether that be a community planting project, restoring a degraded environment, planting bee-friendly plants and bringing the wild back into our city, increasing invasive weed management, or becoming more conscious about what we plant in our gardens or roadside berms. Every bit helps and will continue moving us closer to making the vision laid out in this strategy a reality.”

An Urban Greening Strategy will also tie in with and help inform other Council strategies and priorities, like Te Ara ō Whakatū - the Nelson City Spatial Plan, ensuring our city is resilient against the effects of climate change, and efforts to increase housing availability and intensification in the city centre. 

“If we want to encourage people to live in our city centre, and the benefits that brings by reducing our reliance on vehicles, we need to provide residents with inviting green spaces to spend time in.

“The city and its surroundings effectively become a city centre resident’s front and back yard.”

Council will seek public feedback on the DUGS in the new triennium, which will inform the final version.