Nature strips are very common in Melbourne. These nature strips are a symbol of space, health and environment in the city. The nature strip origins goes back to the 19th century as a way to trap dust coming up from the unpaved roads, but today their role is solely visual. In most cases we're talking about patches of green grass along wide streets, dotted with old trees that provide shade for pedestrians and reduce the urban heat island affect.
If the strips are well designed they can catch storm water and make a safe buffer between the pedestrians and traffic. We think they can do more!!
If you're familiar with Urban Reforestation long enough, you probably know our standpoint about lawns. You also probably know that as Australia is getting drier and hotter due to climate change, there's a big question mark around the future of these strips.
Several councils around Melbourne have given the opportunity for residents to cultivate these strips in front of their property, with different restrictions. Others just maintain the existing patches of grass leaving no option for the landowners to use it in a different way. (See Michael Van Leeuwen comment from our first blog and read about his attempt with the city of Port Philip…)
Your nature strip can be a green canvas for your ideas. It can be something you do for yourself or for your community. You can operate it alone or cooperate with your neighbours. More ideas you come up with will support others ideas and lead to change in policies and the way our community uses the public space.
Have you seen a funky design for a nature strip in your suburb or somewhere else? Share with us on Urban Reforestation and we'll share it with the rest of the world.
Remember, your house, your street and your city can be so much more! Write YOUR ideas down in the comments section and we'll make it happen!
Need some more inspiration? Check out Sydney's Verge Gardens project!