Having grown up in the leafy and spacious upper north shore before moving into the inner city, I discovered very quickly how much I missed the lush green gardens that surrounded every house on my street, the welcome note of a fragrant bloom in spring and the ability to pick fresh herbs each afternoon to cook dinner with.
Time and time again I look out of our living room onto our concrete balcony complete with tiny herb garden and wish we had more than just a few small (and not too healthy looking) chilli plants to tend to and spend time amongst on the weekends.
Luckily, I am clearly not the only one that feels this way as more and more Sydney-siders slowly start to encourage community gardens.
Much of this is thanks to the City of Sydney’s community gardens program the Smart Green Apartments launched in 2011 and aims to understand the environmental footprint of a selection of apartment buildings, create a more sustainable apartment building sector and supporting owners’ corporations, building managers and strata managers to create cost-effective and efficient buildings, minimising environmental impacts and improving liveability in strata communities.”
One of the five apartment buildings in the Smart Green Apartments program is The Signature Gardens in Redfern. Not only have they created a rooftop garden with enough produce to feed the whole apartment block, they have implemented communal composting and a book shelf.
The aim for the future is to expand the program to up to 30 buildings after which case studies will be shared with up to 700 apartment buildings across City of Sydney.
Together with some of our executive committees we have implemented some fantastic green initiatives that have not only saved them money through reduced energy bills but greatly improved the carbon footprint and aesthetics of their properties.
Working together we are confident that we can continue to assist each small community to improve in this really important area. One day I’d love to see more than just tiny chilli plants growing on balconies of units all over Sydney!
If a creating a more sustainable community is of interest please feel free to contact us or leave a message on the post. For further information, the City of Sydney’s website www.greenvillages.com.au has a host of great ideas that encourage a more sustainable way of life such as How To install a Green Roof and 11 Steps to Grow Citrus on your balcony.