Stephanie Clark, Citizen Science Officer
The ‘Wild Wild Inner West’ project launched with a pub talk event run as part of the Sydney Science Festival in August. The pub talk had ecologists and biologists from the University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales discuss urban ecology and urban nature in the City of Sydney and Inner West Council Local Government Areas.
Across the world, urbanisation is increasing rapidly, as more than half of the world’s population currently lives in urban areas. This number is predicted to increase to 66% by 2050 (UN, 2014). Cities are often located in areas of high biodiversity; however urban development puts increasing pressure on biodiversity and is a major driver of environmental change (State of the Environment, 2016).
The urban environment is thought of as a barren landscape devoid of action. However, the ‘Wild Wild Inner West Pub Talk’ uncovered that this is not always the case. Cities can provide attractive habitat for a range of native species due to abundant food and shelter, planting selection of natives, and by supplemental watering (State of the Environment, 2016). Some urban habitats that we think of as degraded and decrepit, such as railway lines and abandoned industrial lands, can in fact be rich in native species (State of the Environment, 2016).
The Wild Wild Inner West project aims to promote environmental stewardship by engaging millennials (18-35 year olds), as the newest generation of environmental decision makers. Activities in the project aim to rethink the potential and value of urban areas, and improve the urban environment around them. Programming for the project includes workshops for renters in how to make their backyards and balcony’s into habitat stepping stones, urban nature photography workshops, and nature walks and talks (and canoes!).
To find out more head to our website wildwildinnerwest.org.au