Why is Biodiversity so Important to Orterra?

If you have been following us for a while you might have seen us harp on a bit about biodiversity. It is one of our core company values. Our value states that “We promote, campaign and defend our environment and improve, rehabilitate and regenerate the biodiversity and the environment of our projects.” The 22nd of May is Biodiversity Day we love this time of year as it is a great way for us to really celebrate our environment. It is a time for us in the office to really think about what biodiversity means to us and our work. How […]

Why is Seating so Important in a Design?

One of my favourite all-time design quotes is by a man called William H Whyte. He did a famous study on public spaces back in the 1970s that looked at how people use space. The best quote out of the whole study is “People tend to sit where there are places to sit” Now the beauty of this statement is in the simplicity of the idea. You sit where there are seats. Now you might be thinking well that’s obvious and why are you telling me? When it comes to designing places, public places, parks, schools, your garden. The importance […]

Three Things to Think about when Building Around Trees

Mature trees have so many benefits we have talked about before including shade, habitat, and character to name a few. When you are building or renovating it is important to keep as many trees as possible. Today we are going to talk about three things you need to be aware of when building around trees. 1. Damaging the Trees Roots A tree’s roots are where they get all of the water and nutrients from. They have a network of roots that can extend way beyond the canopy of a tree and not only provide food but support for the healthy […]

What Is Different About Soil In An Urban Environment?


When we talk about soil in an urban environment they are referred to as urban soil. Or soil that is “ extensively influenced by human activities, found mostly but not only in urban areas.” Source So basically, it is soil that has been disturbed by humans. Which when you think about it are a lot of the soils which we see and walk on day today. Most of us live in an urban environment whether it be a town or city. There is probably very little of the world left that has been untouched by humans in some way. So […]

5 Ways to Avoid Problems When Planting a Tree


Trees are underrated and an amazing part of our ecosystem. But many people don’t like them. They have had issues of damaging roots, falling leaves, branches, flowers, and berries. They attract animals, they are messy. This blog post is going to go through ways to avoid problems when planting trees. Because trees also provide homes, shade, cooling, habitats, food, character, beauty and can improve our health. So how do we get more of the benefits of trees and less of the pain? If you have read my blog posts before you would have heard me, say right plant right place. […]

What is Green Infrastructure?

Green Infrastructure it’s becoming quite a popular catchphrase and I have often been asked what does it actually mean? The term green infrastructure started being used sometime in the 1990s. It is not clear when or where it has started to be used. But has become more popular over the last 20 years to try and describe a way to achieve better environmental outcomes. The interesting thing is that there is no definitive definition of green infrastructure. Different sectors have used the term to refer to different outlooks. Sometimes it is used to refer to the tree canopy of an […]

Plants Amazing Impact On The Urban Heat Island Effect

The urban heat island effect is a result of densely populated cities and urban spaces where there are many people, transport, buildings and infrastructure in the same space – without planting producing shade and landscape to counter this effect. With climate change high on people’s agenda, communities around the world are now asking how we can improve the design of our cities so we can reduce the impacts on our climate. If we don’t change our urban areas, it is estimated that the heat island affect will mean our communities are up to 4 degrees Celsius hotter by the end […]

Landscape Impacts Of The New Streetscape Design Manual

The new Street Design Manual: Walkable Neighbourhoods – developed by the Queensland IPEAW in collaboration with the Queensland Government – provides a guide to plan and deliver Queensland neighbourhoods with an emphasis on sense of place and community. As part of a growing international movement that aims to make neighbourhoods more walkable – and climatically sustainable – the guide provides a valuable resource in supporting active and healthy communities for the future. However, as a neighbourhood or residential developer, you may be considering how the Amendment Regulation will impact your developments into the future. Here we outline the impacts from […]