“Pop-up parks” in the city benefit wildlife and people


A “pop-up park” in the heart of Melbourne more than doubled the number of beneficial insects in an urban green space according to a Melbourne researcher.

Dr Luis Mata and colleagues from RMIT University presented their discoveries on “pop-up parks”, temporary green spaces in the city, at the Ecological Society of Australia conference this week.       

"We found that native insect species increased by over 180 percent over six weeks," said Dr Mata.

The researchers studied the insects on the ‘Grasslands’ installation, a pop-up park that transformed the forecourt steps of the State Library into a native grassland last year.


Image: Pop-up grassland by Matthew Stanton


‘Grasslands’ was the brainchild of artist Linda Tegg, who conceived it during her 2012 Georges Mora Foundation Fellowship at the State Library of Victoria.

Ms Tegg said, “Grasslands was a site-responsive installation at the State Library of Victoria that aspired to recreate the pre-settlement grassland that once stretched across Melbourne, using the information and networks within the library itself.”

The ecological benefits of pop-up parks have rarely been studied before said Dr Mata: “While we know that a strong body of evidence is mounting for the social and ecological co-benefits of permanent urban green spaces, no studies have investigated pop-up parks before.”

The State Library study was part of a broader project exploring the ecological and social co-benefits of pop-up parks.

"In an increasingly urbanising world, small, short-lived public green spaces such as pop-up parks may be counted among the few options that human city-dwellers in dense urban areas will have to engage with nature," said Dr Mata.

Dr Mata was recently appointed a Research Fellow of the National Environmental Science Programme’s Clean Air and Urban Landscapes Hub at RMIT University. 


Dr Luis Mata

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