‘A Jungle of Rooftop Greenery’: Council Makes Green Roof Push


Developers will be encouraged to include rooftop gardens and communal space on new apartment projects under proposed changes to Brisbane’s City Plan.

Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk announced the amendments to the city plan on Tuesday which will allow developers to incorporate a rooftop communal area without listing it as an additional storey.

The proposed changes to the Brisbane City Plan will formalise council support for rooftop gardens and green spaces in new residential developments.

“These changes will allow new developments to include a rooftop communal area, without listing it as an additional storey,” Quirk said.  

“Council will also have the ability to ask developers to incorporate and maintain green spaces on the rooftops and walls of new apartment buildings, to support our vision of a clean, green and sustainable city. ”

Aria Property Group design manager Simon White said the developer is supportive of the policy change.

“Today's move by council will make it easier for developers to deliver higher quality and more comfortable and useable spaces.

“We think the roofscape of high density buildings is a huge opportunity to deliver world-class amenity for residents.”

Related: Aria Proposes Dual-Tower Residential Project

Pictured: Brisbane rooftop development including Aria’s Melbourne residences and the Emporium hotel Southbank.
Pictured: Brisbane rooftop development including Aria’s Melbourne residences and the Emporium hotel Southbank.

Under the current rules, any roofed structure on an apartment building rooftop is defined as a “storey”, explains Mia Hickey, principal at planning consultancy Hickey Oatley.

“This means that a 10-storey apartment building with a fixed shade structure over a BBQ area or pool has been defined as 11-storeys under the City Plan.

“If the acceptance outcome for the site’s building height is 10 storeys, this has meant that the proposal is non-compliant,” Hickey said.

“To avoid this, developers have had to provide rooftops without appropriate shading to protect its residents and visitors from Brisbane’s hot climate.”

Quirk said that creating greenspace was one of the key messages of council's ratepayer-funded "Plan Your Brisbane" campaign.

“Brisbane is Australia’s most biodiverse capital city, with more species of native plants and wildlife than any other in Australia and new developments that incorporate greenery contribute to our vision of creating a city of urban gardens.”

The proposed changes to the Brisbane City Plan will follow a series of recent amendments including increased heritage protections for pre-1911 houses and restrictions on building townhouses and apartments in areas for single homes.

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