Biophilic Cities Welcomes fremantle as Partner City
The Biophilic Cities Network is pleased to welcome the City of Fremantle as its first Australian partner city. Fremantle recognizes the importance of nature in urban environments and pledges to continue to protect its urban biodiversity and foster opportunities for residents to develop a deeper connection with their environment.
Fremantle is located in Western Australia at the mouth of the Swan River. The combination of its thriving economy, port history, and natural environment makes it one of Australia’s iconic urban centers. Although heavily urbanized, Fremantle encompasses many biophilic qualities. Its diverse flora and fauna, waterfront location, and outdoor culture provide many opportunities for people to enjoy nature.
Many of Fremantle’s existing planning strategies commit to preserving and enhancing greenspaces, biodiversity, and connections people have with nature. The Fremantle 2029 Community Visioning process, co-created with over 1,000 people through five public workshops, found that the citizens’ vision is for “a City that values its environment and heritage and the protection and enhancing of the natural environment, greenspace and heritage features.” This vision has influenced many planning strategies including the Greening Fremantle: Strategy 2020, which seeks to “increase the distribution of green areas in the City, while improving the linkages, vegetation and the quantity of flora and fauna.” Goals of the strategy include increasing tree cover to achieve at least 20%, improving access to greenspaces, and protecting biodiversity. Through these efforts, Fremantle was officially recognized as a leader in sustainability when it achieved international One Planet certification.
Fremantle continues to enhance nature within the city through its Verge Garden Policy and Street and Reserve Tree Policy. These policies encourage residents to develop native verge gardens by providing free mulch and subsidized native plants. Additionally, an Annual Street Tree Planting Program has a goal of planting a minimum of 1000 new trees per year.
Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt expresses his excitement in joining the network, saying,
“We’re honored at being part of the International Biophilic Cities Network. The City of Fremantle are strong believers that the natural and urban environments are not exclusive to each other and successful cities can blend both environments harmoniously as one. By integrating nature back into our cities and our architecture, we can make cities both livable and more sustainable. Our belief guides our Greening Fremantle: Strategy 2020 which includes a principle objective of increasing the quality and distribution of green areas in the city, while improving the linkages, vegetation and the quantity of flora and fauna. Being part of the International Biophilic Cities Network is another step we’ve taken towards making sure we leave a working, beautiful and sustainable city for our children and our children’s children.”