It’s 2030, imagine if…

What started with a workshop on habitat creation across one Goldfields neighbourhood has led to the establishment of over 60 biolinks and refugia through residential zones across the nation. The regenerative workshops formed strong social connections around and with place. Their successful replication was due to their accessibility, helping neighbourhood groups easily co-design habitat and identify ‘First Best Moves’ on how to regenerate their immediate landscapes in the face of a climate-challenged future. In 2027, Wilderhoods started working with greenfield developers to offer their workshop series to off-the-plan homeowners, forging communities before they’d been physically built and shining a light on the fragile habitats affected by construction. This contributed to the emerging consideration of local residents ( human, animal and plant) as principal stakeholders in Local Planning and Development policy.

Summary of solution

Through a regenerative design process, Wilderhoods supports residents to work together to rewild their neighbourhoods. This leads to improved health and wellbeing of the community, as well as improved ecological function of the urban landscape. Wilderhoods supports the creation of urban environments that support local fauna and flora, stem biodiversity loss and ecosystem decline. Wilderhoods also works to improve community cohesion and mental health through fostering collaboration for habitat creation, providing rewarding relationships with nature through wildlife gardening as well as building community resilience through social networks and co-design. If done correctly, habitat creation can also reduce human exposure to climate risks (e.g. heat waves, flooding) through provision of shade, storm-water retention and pollination services for food production. All of these improve health outcomes and reduce the cost of living. The project enables the development of networks for knowledge sharing and collaboration, and demonstrates how partnership efforts to build biodiversity in the built environment can work.

Why is this solution innovative

The creation of spatially significant habitat requires communities to be brought together and collaborate at scale. The tools, processes and partnerships required to enable collective action at this scale are lacking; as is the understanding around the often complex trade-offs and co-benefits associated with different types of action. Using a regenerative co-design approach combined with place-sourced interactive decision tools, Wilderhoods seeks to build capability within communities around eco-literacy, systems awareness and partnership development to contribute to the long-term viability of habitat creation for climate resilience. This project strategically brings together spatial awareness, community organising, ecological expertise and a sophisticated understanding of risks, such as fire to support connected community nature strips, local waterways, bushland and parks.

It encourages the creation of habitat within gardens that will facilitate a suite of endemic species back into and through the urban environment. Excellent incorporation of citizen science and local community engagement to drive eco-literacy and mobilise community groups.