Time and again, news stories and documentaries record people and organisations using the ‘wasted space’ of rooftops to grow plants. Mostly the stories I hear are associated with edible plants, designed to feed those in the building.
Recently, ABC news reported an installation in Burnie on the north west coast of Tasmania, on the top of a new University of Tasmania building. You can read the story here. I set out to discover which plants, how many and in which company each plant might live. Unfortunately, the University website does not give the details I was looking for.
I grew up in Burnie. The site, on which the University is building the new campus, was once the location for the Burnie High School where my mother attended. After those old red brick buildings were repurposed as Parklands High School, I attended my first year of high school on the site. Located next to Bass Strait, beside the arc of yellow sanded Burnie beach, adjacent to West Park oval – the ground for football, athletics, bike racing and much more, and smitten by westerly winds, this site can be a cold and unpleasant place, or when the sun is out on a calm day, a welcoming place. How will the weather and climate affect the exposed plants? That Burnie was innovative in terms of the pulp and paper industry early last century was, I suspect, part of the University’s inspiration to try new ways of building.
I will be interested to visit when I am next in Burnie, particularly because I will be fascinated to learn which plants they have chosen, and how successful their growth is.
If I have any readers in the region, and you know more about this project, then I encourage you to make comments against this blog post so we can all learn more.