New plan for Adelaide rooftops to go bush

Thursday, 19 June 2003

Rooftops in Adelaide's CBD may go bush if a new concept developed by the Centre for Urban Habitats and the University of Adelaide wins support from the Adelaide City Council.

Under the plan, the CBD may be greened by ecological habitat planting on building rooftops. Buildings which could benefit from such greening - known as a "bushtop" - include carparks, apartment buildings and office blocks.

As part of their assessment, students from the University's School of Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Urban Design have already drawn up plans for a possible bushtop on the Grenfell Street Carpark (next to Harris Scarfe).

Landscape Architecture lecturer Mr Graeme Hopkins says the project is still in its initial stages, but has enormous potential.

"It's important to realise that even though University of Adelaide students have drawn up plans to refurbish the rooftop of a CBD carpark, we're still only in the concept stage and we're quite some way from getting the green light for any actual construction," he says. "However, the concept is very exciting, and the potential is there for this to become a very important part of keeping the city green in the future.

"The idea behind the bushtops is that they will be small ecosystems of the Adelaide Plains - that is, the ecosystem the CBD has replaced. We want them to be as realistic as possible, with the plants, animals and landforms that were originally here."

One of the driving forces behind the project is the newly formed Centre for Urban Habitats, which is headed by the University of Adelaide's Associate Professor Christopher Daniels. Besides the University, other partners in the centre include the Adelaide City Council, Royal Adelaide Zoo, Botanic Gardens and the South Australian Museum.

Dr Daniels says the bushtop project would be a vital research and education tool for the University of Adelaide and wider community.

"It could give us the chance to display endangered and locally extinct plants, animals, insects and birds to the parklands," he says. "Everyone knows that the Adelaide CBD is surrounded entirely by parkland but this project would take that even further by integrating the parklands into the CBD."


Contact Details

Mr Graeme Hopkins
Business: +61 8 8313 5694

Dr Chris Daniels
Associate Professor
School of Earth & Environmental Sciences
The University of Adelaide
Business: + 61 8 8313 6129
Mobile: 0410 422 759

Media Team
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 0814

Mr David Ellis
Deputy Director, Media and Corporate Relations
External Relations
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 (0)421 612 762