Urban Wild Advocacy Group (UWAG)

Cities are increasingly being recognised as evolutionary hotspots for fauna – birds, non-human animals and insects. The millennial drought brought mass migration into Melbourne for example, from the Red Centre numbering amongst which are the Corellas . The latter demonstrates the interconnectivity between the other Australia and those patches we have intensely settled.

UWAG would through its Nature stewardship aim to represent the interests of (give voice to) non-human animals/birds/insects that call the city home, in planning processes – processes that are bound to affect not only their survival but have a capacity to enhance the quality of their existences.(that’s also a two way street as doing this also has wellbeing dividends - benefits to our psyche of exposure to the natural world ) As they lose habitat to reclamation of farm and bushland for urban development special provision needs to be made to preserve habitats within the boundaries of large cities but also extend those habitats as exampled by the following RBGS project to more fully understand the challenges facing white cockatoos .

The project aims to circumvent these environmental costs by asking members of the public to report hollows in their local area, and the species of wildlife breeding and sheltering in the hollows. People can report tree hollows, nest boxes and wildlife through the website www.hollowsashomes.com . With this information John hopes to create a map that will inform local governments and land care groups of key areas for conservation.

Reconnecting kids and others requires rejigging our perspective, as well as starting to look out for vestiges of wildlife that has wsought refuge in our cities

UWAG membership would comprise (university based) researchers, bodies like Bird Life Australia, the zoo and museum and community based organisations like Protectors of Public Lands, CERES, etc. Meetings would be held quarterly and on as required basis in the interim. UWAG would collate research and act as a clearinghouse on a wide range of relevant issues such as rewilding, biophillic cities, etc.

Connection to Nature

To claim this Innovation Challenge your project must incorporate connections from your built environment project to the natural environment. These connections can include internal or external views to nature, water or landscaping, green walls, atriums, indoor plants and water features, roof gardens and other natural features (including e-media such as images of wildlife and landscapes). These connections provide an opportunity for projects to further their environmental credentials via elements of the natural world, potentially making their occupants more aware of life forms other than their own, their dependency on them for free ecological services, and their place in the richness of our own lives and that of the planet. There is significant evidence that exposure to elements of Nature is therapeutic1.

The project team is required to provide ongoing feedback to research led by Dr. Peter Fisher at RMIT. Dr. Fisher can be contacted on +61 3 9925 9927 / 0418 500 396 or p.fisher@deakin.edu.au.

This feedback may include reporting of measurable improvements in building occupant productivity and ‘wellness’ such as: less absenteeism, increased staff retention and decreased need for retraining, improved patient recovery or student achievements and more. Various categories of spaces are acceptable ranging from conventional offices to other places of congregation such as commercial and public venues.

The aim of the research is to establish a connection to nature tool to inform future design and occupant health. The tool will aim to incentivise the incorporation of features emulative of nature to produce improved health and wellbeing outcomes for building occupants. It is anticipated that the research will provide a more exacting valuation of benefits.

CtN rating tool for buildings

Are Green Building Rating Tools Failing Nature?