Can Christchurch plant its way out of climate change? (Christchurch Conversations: Towards 2030)


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Plants are vital for life on Earth. In a warming world, they provide shade, reduce erosion, slow flooding, store carbon, and more. Put simply, they are good for people and the planet. The effective use of this green infrastructure could be important in cities as the challenges of climate change intensify.

How can we best use plants in our cities to ameliorate the effects of the rapidly-changing climate? When is it appropriate to offset emissions by planting trees? Are trees our best urban climate technology?

From street trees and rain gardens to carbon accounting, this event was an exploration of the opportunities and limitations of using plants in response to climate change.

00:00 Mihi whakatau: Craig Pauling, Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Mutunga
03:47 Craig Pauling, Te Ara Kakāriki Greenway Canterbury Trust, Te Kākāhu Kahukura, Te Mana Tamatea Rāpaki 1A2B Trust – Reforestation and carbon credits
15:16 Introduction: Dr Jessica Halliday, Te Pūtahi Director

18:53 Danny Rood, Technical Advisor – Emissions Reduction & Neutrality, Toitū – Trees and the carbon balance
26:17 Pre-recorded video presentation: Dr David Hall, Senior Lecturer in Social Sciences & Public Policy, AUT – Can any city plant its way out of climate change?
38:38 Justin Morgenroth, Associate Professor, School of Forestry, UC – Urban forests: critical in a changing climate

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46:51 Panel discussion chaired by Michele Hollis, Te Pūtahi Climate Change Lead, with:
Justin Morgenroth, Associate Professor, School of Forestry, UC
Meg Back, Landscape Architect, WSP
Danny Rood, Technical Advisor – Emissions Reduction & Neutrality, Toitū
Larry Burrows, Forest Ecologist, Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research
1:06:05 Alternative incentives for developers to keep trees? Worcester Street heritage-protected oak example
1:09:43 Questions for the panel from in-house and online audience

1:14:46 Local stories
1:15:14 Dr Kerry Mulligan, Ōtākaro Orchard Green Roof

1:19:36 Erik Kennedy, co-editor of “No Other Place to Stand” – climate change poetry anthology, introduces our poet for the evening
1:21:00 James Norcliffe, poet, presents various poetical works, including from his upcoming collection “Letter to Oumuamua”

1:27:17 Closing remarks plus thanks to presenters, supporters and sponsors – Dr Jessica Halliday
1:29:47 Next event information

This event is part of ten Christchurch Conversations held in 2021 & 2022 exploring how the city can achieve its climate goals. Subscribe to hear more about this “Towards 2030” series.

The series is made possible by the support and enthusiasm of its family of sponsors and supporters: Christchurch Conversations Partner Christchurch City Council and Series Research Partner Building Better Homes Towns and Cities: National Science Challenge.


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