“The Death of the Backyard – An Issue for Stormwater” by Professor Tony Hall.
Tony will be present for approximately 45 minutes, with approximately 15 minutes for discussion/ questions. Finger food and drinks will be provided beforehand.
About the subject:
A substantial backyard has long been considered an iconic feature of Australian suburbs. From the air, they appear dominated by tree cover. Nevertheless, since the late 1990s, almost all new houses throughout the country have had minimal planted space around them. From above, they seem to be almost roof-to-roof. Taken together with the adjacent wide roads and concrete driveways, this clearly has severe adverse implications for stormwater run-off.
The issue is larger houses rather than higher densities. It appears driven by the trend towards greater debt, longer working hours and an indoor, air-conditioned, car-based lifestyle. Planning codes, while not actually encouraging the trend, do nothing to prevent it. It has serious ecological implications for the community as a whole, including a significant reduction not only in sustainable drainage but also in biodiversity and a beneficent microclimate.
About the author:
Tony Hall has been an Adjunct Professor within the Urban Research Program at Griffith University since 2004. He was previously Professor of Town Planning at Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford, UK. Rather unusually, he also served as a local councillor and led Chelmsford’s planning policy for seven years, obtaining a government award for quality of the built environment in 2003.
Tony’s book, The Life and Death of the Australian Backyard, was published by CSIRO Publishing in 2010 and won the 2012 Planning Institute of Australia National Award for Excellence in Cutting Edge Research.
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