The Toowoomba region is a rich tapestry of natural assets spreading from the Great Dividing Range into the Darling Downs. Across these diverse landscapes, green infrastructure underpins the local identity.
In collaboration with our local communities, Council has prepared a Green Infrastructure Strategy (Green.IS) to plan and manage our natural and living assets throughout the Region, just as we would other infrastructure such as roads, bridges and utilities.
This strategy sets out a new approach that recognises the value of nature in shaping who we are and how infrastructure is planned and delivered to respond to this.
Toowoomba’s Green.IS demonstrates a best-practice approach to improving and maintaining our green infrastructure.
Council's Planning and Development Committee endorsed the Green.IS and its guiding principles on Tuesday 8 October, with the final strategy being endorsed at Council's Ordinary Meeting on 22 October 2019. A copy of the strategy (PDF 20.6MB) can be found in the Documents Library on this page or by clicking on this link: Green.IS final strategy.
Sowing seeds for better landscapes
We live in a diverse region – from famous gardens in the city and iconic trees that line suburban streets to fertile agricultural plains and bushland parks - green infrastructure is already threaded and embedded throughout our region and local identity.
Our vision for the region is for a ‘rich tapestry of green and healthy landscapes that support thriving communities and a vibrant economy, where nature is valued, embedded and enriched at every opportunity.’
To deliver this, the key objectives of the strategy are to:
- Enrich natural systems: Protect and improve biodiversity, provide habitat and enhance natural processes
- Enhance local identity and character: Promote landscapes that underpin or stimulate tourism, job creation and local economic activity
- Support healthy communities: Enhance and link landscapes to increase health and well-being
- Increase collaboration and co-design: Support local communities and practitioners in actively delivering green infrastructure.
To achieve these objectives, we aren’t starting from scratch, but there is much more potential to unlock. Previous consultation has identified that our communities already recognise value in our region’s green infrastructure.
A key focus of the strategy is to continue to improve and become a leader in green infrastructure. We’ve identified some ‘quick wins’ which can be delivered now and how we can plan for the future.
Where to from here?
Green.IS sets the direction and early initiatives required to embed the protection and delivery of green infrastructure projects across Council’s day-to-day processes.
Some background and previous community consultation activities
The project has been undertaken in three phases from January 2017 to mid-2019. The first two phases have been completed and the third, this current and final phase, is in review by Council following consultation which closed on 31 May 2019. Thank you to everyone who shared ideas and feedback on the draft Green.IS.
During April and May 2017 (phase one) we went out to the community to find out what living assets are valued and why they are important to our region.
Through this process we established that some of the most valued green infrastructure was the Region’s urban forests, natural areas, public parks, ecology corridors and urban greenways.
To find out more about phase one consultation outcomes, please click here.
During the second phase (April to May 2018), we invited the community and other stakeholders to identify issues and opportunities for green infrastructure across the diverse landscapes of our region by attending workshops and completing surveys.
Feedback has highlighted a broad range of issues and opportunities across eight key themes:
- policy, programs and incentives
- trees and vegetation
- collaboration and promotion
- identity and character
- waterways and water quality
- management and maintenance
- general matters, e.g. climate change and car parking.
For more information about phase two consultation outcomes, please click on the infographic below.
The community engagement aimed to get your views on the Draft Green.IS and gather feedback to help us implement this exciting new strategy. The engagement ran from 23 April to 31 May 2019, utilising the following methods:
- Computer (TRC Your say)
- Social media
- Customer Service Centre
For more information about phase three consultation outcomes, please click on the infographic below.
To find out more about the Toowoomba Green.IS project, please call Council on 4688 6768 or email email@example.com.