A new guide has been released to help people building new homes or extensions to increase greenery and improve the liveability of Adelaide’s neighbourhoods. Here's what it covers and why it's important.

Photo: Brad Griffin Photography

The newly launched Adelaide Garden Guide for New Homes provides small garden designs and planting ideas to help make it easy to implement the Planning and Design Code’s mandatory minimum standard of one tree and small green spaces for metropolitan Adelaide’s new homes and renovations.

Green Adelaide Board Presiding Member Professor Chris Daniels said an increase in the subdivision of blocks has created many pockets of infill homes, with this type of development now making up about 40% of new housing in metropolitan Adelaide.

“This has contributed to an environmental challenge of not enough greenery and mature trees around our city and suburbs,” Professor Daniels said.

“We all need to do more to create a cooler, greener Adelaide, and one of the ways to achieve this is through making the conscious effort to build-in greenery when we build new homes as well as look after existing mature trees.

“Trees, shrubs and other greenery are so important to everyone’s wellbeing, as well as to local wildlife, reducing heat during Adelaide’s hot summers, increasing property values and creating great places to live.

“The new guide launched by Green Adelaide and the State Planning Commission aims to inspire more people building new homes and extensions to build-in greenery.”

The State Planning Commission introduced the one tree and small green space mandatory requirements for new home builds in the Planning and Design Code in March 2021.

The code supports the 30-Year Plan for Greater Adelaide’s target to increase urban green cover by 20% by 2045 for council areas with less than 30% tree canopy, and no net loss of trees for councils with more than 30% tree canopy cover.

It’s the first time in SA’s planning history that there is now a mandatory requirement to plant trees and add greenery to your yard if you are building a new house or building an extension.

“Two years ago, you could build a new house in some areas and have no trees or landscaping whatsoever,” Professor Daniels said.

“Now you are required to plant trees, landscape the block, install rainwater tanks and use permeable surfaces that allow the rain to seep into the ground,” Professor Daniels said.

“The new infill garden guide will help new homeowners design gardens, choose the right trees and plants to help improve green cover in our city and assist with increasing the greening of our neighbourhoods for everyone’s wellbeing.”

The Adelaide Garden Guide for New Homes was developed in partnership between Green Adelaide, State Planning Commission with expertise from Clover Green Space. It is now available to download at the Plan SA website.

Main image: Acre Studio - Johnathan VDK

Like what you’ve read? Browse our other nature stories, subscribe to our monthly newsletter below and/or follow us on Facebook and Instagram.