Over 330 delegates attended the recent TREENET 23rd National Street Tree Symposium, held in Adelaide in September, making it the most successful ever!
The Environment Institute’s Professor Robert Hill delivered the Bob Such Keynote Address at the Symposium. Professor Hill is an expert on how Australian flora has changed in response to the changing climate over geological time. In his presentation he explains how human-induced climate change continues to gain considerable publicity as our politicians, in general, follow, rather than lead, public opinion. Recent extreme flood and fire events have demonstrated what the future might look like and while we can be certain of nothing in the future, it would be irresponsible not to plan for continuing weather extremes. While summer floods on the east coast have been the latest large-scale catastrophe originating from extreme weather events, across most of Australia planning for urban areas must focus on what we should do to prepare for extreme drought and/or extreme heat in our cities and towns. Urban vegetation has the capacity to play an important role in making our towns and cities more liveable and in providing some precious time for us to develop longer-term and more permanent solutions to climate change.
Professor Hill summarises that, while we have reached a point where we will require massive technological solutions to retain anything like our current life-styles, it is critical that we future-proof our cities as well as we possibly can. He highlights how extreme weather events are looming as the major issue impacting on the success of plants in urban areas. He stresses how we must gain a deeper knowledge of the physiological response of key native tree species to be able to properly plan for the best tree species selection for future urban plantings
The 7 minute video below is a summary of Professor Hill’s presentation and his paper and full presentation are also available on the TREENET website.