Friday, July 8, 2022

Hobart City talks urban climate change

Creating a cooler and more liveable urban environment in the face of climate change will be the focus of discussion at an online public forum being hosted by City of Hobart Council this week.

The first CityTalks forum for 2022 will explore the theme Future Hobart: Cool, connected and climate ready?

During the hour-long discussion, expert panellists will explore opportunities to introduce green infrastructure, the role of urban tree canopies in creating cooler cities, and what can be learned from the experiences of other cities.

Guest speaker will be Hobart permaculture identity and regular Gardening Australia guest presenter, Hannah Moloney (pictured). A landscape designer, permaculture educator and best-selling author, Ms Moloney has two decades of hands-on experience in designing, building, managing and doing projects around urban agriculture, small-scale farming, permaculture and community development – all towards building climate resilience.

She will be joined by panellists Alaric Hellawell, Practice Principal at REALMstudios, and the Council Program Leader, Arboriculture and Nursery, Ruby Wilson.

“As the climate warms, and cities become increasingly hotter, the shade and cooling effects provided by trees will be increasingly important,” Ms Wilson said.

“The latest IPCC report notes that planting trees in cities can support climate change adaptation by reducing the heat of the area and can promote a wide range of social benefits through providing shade and benefiting outdoor recreation.

“Urban trees can also lower energy costs by reducing demand for conventional sources of cooling like air-conditioning, especially during peak-demand periods.”

Hobart Lord Mayor Anna Reynolds, who will present the opening remarks at the online forum, said recent severe weather events on the mainland highlighted the need for a discussion around climate resilience.

“This conversation is particularly relevant as we witness the tragic impact of climate change on cities across Australia,” Lord Mayor Reynolds said.

“There is an urgency to prepare our cities for the threats associated with climate change. 

“I’m looking forward to hearing from our expert panel as they explore what actions we can take, collectively and individually, to create a more resilient city that connects to nature, and experiences the economic and health benefits of doing so.”

The one-hour CityTalks forum will be held on Wednesday 16 March at 5pm. Interested members of the public are invited to register to attend the interactive online forum via Zoom. Registered attendees have the opportunity to submit questions to the speakers and participate in live polls.

CityTalks is a partnership between the City of Hobart and the University of Tasmania and focus on topics relevant to Hobart and feature community leaders, national and international keynote speakers. Visit hobartcity.com.au/citytalks for details of the forum and to register.

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