Melbourne’s west can be as little as one third that of the city's average
Tree canopy coverage in Melbourne’s west can be as little as one third that of the city's average.

The Foreground Five: October’s most-read stories

We look back at Foreground’s most popular stories from October.

1. Landscape designer Edna Walling’s living legacy

Edna Walling

Potato Throw references Edna Walling’s haphazard method of spreading seeds from a bucket and the regular journeys she made between Melbourne and Adelaide, where she often stopped overnight to pitch a swag in nearby bushland.”

Briony Dowes takes a peek at an exhibition in Melbourne’s east presenting the work of artists and landscape architects whose creative practice draws on the life and work of renowned Australian landscape designer, Edna Walling.

2. Garden Cities no more: Australia’s leafy urban centres are under pressure


“I don’t think people necessarily need the backyard, but we do need enough open space.”

Australia likes to tout the ‘liveability’ of its capital cities. Yet a recent report has found the country is broadly failing to live up to its much-celebrated reputation for healthy urban living. We take a look at new research from RMIT that takes a finer look at how we quantify ‘liveability’.

3. Global problems, local actions: The 2017 Australian Landscape Architecture Awards  Wootten Road

“We wanted to award projects that went beyond ‘best practice’. Often ones that do this have plenty of ‘bells and whistles’ – but to be honest, sometimes a project might have too many bells and whistles.”

The 2017 Australian Institute of Landscape Architects’ (AILA) National President, Linda Corkery on this year’s recipients of the 2017 National Landscape Awards.

4. The limits of the plan: Pierre Bélanger

Pierre Bolanger

“There was a tremendous opportunity to put land and territory on the map – to potentially engage in a de-colonial discourse, in a European setting, on the one issue that architects persistently overlook, depoliticise and completely marginalise.”

Harvard University’s associate professor of landscape architecture Pierre Bélanger reflects on his curatorial effort for Canada at the 2016 Venice Biennale of Architecture. Charting Canadian wealth through the extractive economy, Bélanger told his country’s story through a hole – one which, the Biennale’s Creative Director Alejandro Aravena curiously overlooked (by literally walking over Canada’s entry).

5. How Melbourne’s west went wild for green

Melbourne's West

“Planted trees have made a clear difference to Melbourne’s west, where many of the trees can be seen from roads, train lines and houses. This visible difference, and its associated benefits, will become more apparent as trees grow to maturity.”

A recent urban greening initiative in Melbourne’s west – engaging all three levels of government – has seen urban amenity championed in an area that has traditionally witnessed neglect. We take a look at what worked, and what didn’t.