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The University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia is partnering with Randwick City and Waverley Councils to create SkyPark garden at its Kensington campus.

SkyParks is a ‘Greening our City’ initiative funded by the NSW Government.

The initiative supports the local councils across Sydney to create gardens in under-utilised urban spaces for researching the greening benefits that include energy savings, cooling benefits and improved quality of air and water.

The new SkyPark is expected to transform the UNSW’s SquareHouse balcony space into an inviting and adaptable space that can be utilised for learning.

It will help advance the research to help develop low-cost methods for greening and cooling the under-utilised urban spaces while increasing green and well-ventilated spaces.

Equipment will also be installed for monitoring the weather and the environmental conditions to gain a better understanding of the benefits and requirements for greening.

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UNSW researcher Alexander Georgouras said: “SkyParks is a pilot project aimed at greening our existing rooftop and balcony spaces. Through a series of pilot sites, we hope to identify the barriers, benefits and ultimately best practice solutions to adapting our existing buildings.

“Although many of these forgotten spaces are currently under-utilised, they have the ability to create a more climate-resilient and socially equitable city.

“Having already completed three pilot sites, we are looking forward to transferring the knowledge and filling in any gaps, with the inclusion of a UNSW site.”

According to the International Energy Agency, the buildings and construction industry accounted for about 40% of carbon emissions across the world in 2019.