This revegetation proposal will help Apollo Bay to adapt to extreme heatwaves and more wildfires due to climate change impacts. Streets will be revegetated with trees and fire-resisting ground coverings. To stop bushfires from entering the area, a belt of fire-resisting plants will be established along the edge of Apollo Bay. Plants on the belt can withstand burning, and behind the belt of vegetation is a control line with no vegetation that creates a barrier and stops fire from advancing. Two emergency access lines provide a last resort for residents to escape.

Revegetation - A heat & fire resilient Apollo Bay -

Vegetated Streetscape is designed for streets with a certain distance from Bushfire Prone Area and with higher traffic. Pascoe Street is used as an example - this street will now be part of the realigned Great Ocean Road. Currently, the street does not provide sufficient sunshade to pedestrians. On-street parking lots occupy more than half of the road area. Some walkways are disjoined. Under the streetscape mode, there will be a significant increase in street trees, which provide sufficient natural sunshades. Parking spaces along the street will be removed for the second lane of each direction as well as new vegetation. New pedestrian paths will be built to complete its active transport network.

Vegetated Streetscape II - McLennan Street - Site plan

Streets that are close to the Bushfire Prone Area will be revegetated in a slightly different way. To ensure the safety of residents during a fire, new street trees will maintain a minimum distance from dwellings. Meanwhile, those streets within a low-density residential area are unlikely to be affected by the new Great Ocean Road. Therefore, on-street parking spaces will be retained for the convenience of locals. New walking paths will be built to improve the network coverage of active transport in Apollo Bay.

Vegetated Streetscape I - Pascoe Street - top view

The drawing offers extra details for Vegetated Streetscape I. After the conversion, roads will offer 2 lanes for each direction. The existing driveways to private premises will be retained. Next to the road is the new vegetation on both sides. The area is primarily covered by fire-retardant Kidney-weed or Ivy-leaf violet. Along its edges to the road is a layer of the fire-resisting low shrub. Seaberry Saltbush is the recommended species. On the other side is a row of Lightwood trees. They are close to each other to form a continuous sunshade on the walkways. Pedestrians will be protected against direct sunlight.

Vegetated Streetscape I - Pascoe Street - Cross section

The cross-section drawing illustrates the spatial configuration of the vegetation mode. With the conversion, the pedestrians enjoy a wider path plus a continuous natural sunshade, which helps reduce the ground temperature. The vegetation between roads and walking paths mitigates the noise and air pollutants emitted by vehicles. To reserve headroom for trees, the overhead cable for electricity should be removed. Drivers travelling along the new Great Ocean Road will enjoy a smooth ride due to increased capacity. Locals also enjoy an improved landscape of the town.

Vegetated Streetscape II - McLennan Street - Cross section

The spatial configuration of vegetation mode II is illustrated. Unlike mode I, the proximity to Bushfire Prone Area indicates a need for extra precaution to be taken while proposing a vegetation model for the area. To reduce the risk of fire, overhead electricity wires have to be relocated underground to minimise the chance of ignition. Distance between spreads of new trees has to be kept above 3m to avoid burning in a row. To preserve the identity of Apollo Bay as a low scale coastal town, street trees with heights above 9m or large spread are not recommended. For houses with sufficient setback, its front yards are with high potential to plant new trees for sunshade along streets.
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