Sustainability potential of suburban gardens: review and new directions

Taylor & Francis
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australasian Journal of Environmental Management, 2010, 17 (3), pp. 165 - 175
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Gardens, as important elements of Australian suburban residential environments, could have significant sustainability potential similar to that of dwellings. Research to identify the cumulative (social, cultural, environmental and ecological) sustainability values of suburban domestic gardens has been very limited. Australian suburbs are likely to retain their typical characteristics for a considerable period of time as their rapid intensification is not likely. Therefore, it is immensely important to understand the role and performance of the suburban garden in this discourse. This article reviews the sustainability potential of domestic gardens and their links to suburban forms, sustainable design, social processes, and environmental and ecological functions. It explores whether gardens could be re-imagined as energy and water sources rather than sinks. This research presents a holistic conceptual sustainability model for gardens and establishes that suburban gardens can provide multiple sustainability benefits.
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