Enhancing biodiversity in cities through design

This article is republished from Cities People Love under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article. An interview with Professor Sarah Bekessy Sarah Bekessy is a sustainability and urban planning academic at RMIT University in Melbourne and a leading voice in Biodiversity Sensitive Urban Design (BSUD).  We interviewed Sarah to understand more about the […]

We don’t need to import rare parrots – there are so many better ways to get close to nature

This is a Scarlet Macaw – one of the many magnificent species of parrot endemic to south and central America. An Australian Government study is considering whether it is appropriate to allow imports of these birds, following pressure from the local pet trade.   Importing parrots from overseas has been banned since 1995. This is because importing birds, even when they’re spectacular, is a spectacularly terrible idea. I spoke to the ecologists in our group […]

Invertebrate use of rooftops in Melbourne

Green roofs are a peculiar kind of designed habitat. In already highly urbanised areas, where there is large pressure on efficient land use, green roof retrofits are a key strategy to bring back nature without losing building capital. While green roofs are known to have many economic and social benefits, such as stormwater retention and […]

Haptic pathways: co-designing inclusive, civil and sensorial moments in the city

by Freya Thomas A few members of ICON Science recently collaborated with Dr Zoe Myers from the Australian Urban Design Research Centre in the School of Design at the University of Western Australia by entering a design challenge set by The City of Melbourne. Our design was titled: Haptic pathways: co-designing inclusive, civil and sensorial […]

Where the wild things are: how nature might respond as coronavirus keeps humans indoors

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article. Intriguing things sometimes happen in places deserted by people. Plants creep back, animals return and, slowly, birdsong fills the air. The coronavirus pandemic means public spaces the world over have been temporarily abandoned. Major roads are all but empty […]

Nurturing Nature, designing a home with biodiversity in mind: Sanctuary Magazine

Here at ICON Science we are passionate about conservation of biodiversity, both outside of cities and within. Georgia Garrard et al (2018) published their thoughtful paper Biodiversity Sensitive Urban Design which aims to question how we plan, design and build cities so that they make a positive, on-site contribution to biodiversity and encourage everyday access […]

Help save wildlife in your own backyards

‘Eco-anxiety’ is a term that describes the sense of despair for the state of the planet that has settled on many of us since the Australian summer of bushfires. Aside from broader concerns about climate change, many of us have a feeling of helplessness knowing that over 1 billion animals perished in the fires and […]

Trees are hot news this year

First it was the hopeful-but-questionable ‘One Trillion Trees’ initiative, announced at the World Economic Forum in Davos, with supporters as diverse as Jane Goodall and Donald Trump. At the same time, large areas of Australia were on fire – in total, estimates are that we lost 20% of our forest cover in the climate-change-driven ‘Black […]

Biodiversity Research and Monitoring Forum in The City of Melbourne

Members of the ICS research group recently attended The Biodiversity Research and Monitoring Forum held by The City of Melbourne – a day of discussions about biodiversity research in the urban area of Melbourne. It was a fantastic day to meet practitioners, decision makers and researchers working in Melbourne. Three members of ICS spoke about […]