The ReciproCity: nature-driven urbanism in Western Sydney

Rob Roggema, Nico Tillie, Greg Keeffe

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Nature-based solutions are seen as an important response to future challenges regarding climate change, biodiversity and health. The core problem to achieve the positive working of NBS in urban development is the current urban development practice itself. Often conservative, and dominated by landownership, economic short-term gain and perceived, often misinterpreted, consumer demands stand in the way of using NBS to their full capacity. The research conducted for Western Sydney Parklands shows an alternative to this practice by taking nature itself, the landscape, as the point of departure for regional urban planning. By combining resilience for climate impacts, growing forests and a regional-local food-system the well-being of both human and ecological systems is improved. The research shows that the unruly practice is difficult to change and that principles of landscape urbanism could guide a way out of the impasse, but a creative and visionary approach is still needed. Nature-based solutions can guide the design of the city and offer long-term advantages through the systemic change it enables. Moreover, the strategy to use forestry for multiple objectives as an integrated spatial strategy to base urban development on is ill-researched and by means of this article placed high on the planning agenda. The approach described could inform many other urban design and development projects around the world as the principles presented are universally applicable. The methodology is suitable to guide spatial challenges at every spatial scale, however the best results can be achieved when applied as early as possible in the process.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUrban and regional agriculture: building resilient food systems
EditorsPeter Droege
ISBN (Print)9780128202869
Publication statusPublished - 03 Dec 2022


  • Forestry
  • Landscape first
  • Landscape Urbanism
  • nature-based solutions
  • Western Sydney
  • Urban agriculture


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