Green, D, 2015 –– Activating the Truganina Swamp – A case study integrating social and environmental outcomes
My project was interested in the value of urban ecosystems, particularly as a consequence of rapid population increase and densification in cities across the world. I looked at the Truganina Swamp in western Melbourne, which acts as a flood retarding basin and important refuge for plants and animals. Urbanisation threatens the ecology of the swamp; consequently social health is at risk from a decline in available open space and ecosystem services. My project assessed the existing governance characteristics and developed a framework to utilise the community in the management of the swamp.
The findings from my project indicated that there is significant fragmentation between and within institutions which are responsible for the management of water assets with ecological and social values. Community groups play a major role in the conservation and advocacy of urban ecosystems. Planning and policies are required that equally incorporate environmental, economic and social objectives, which are as effective as allocating financial and capital resources.
Hopefully, my research can influence water and urban planners when considering how water infrastructure benefits urban ecosystems and society, while also enabling community groups to be better supported in conducting environmental management of these ecosystems.
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