At The Climate Factory we design, build and teach about urban micro-forests. Micro-forests are dense pockets of urban vegetation that cool the landscape, provide habitat and enhance community connectedness.

The Climate Factory is a social enterprise established in 2019. Its founder, Edwina Robinson trained in landscape architect and ecology and is passionate about revegetating urban areas to counter a warming climate.

After experiencing Canberra’s hottest summer on record in January 2019, Edwina knew she needed to act.

Trees are one of the most important elements in the landscape and play a vital role in absorbing carbon via photosynthesis. The carbon is stored in a tree’s trunks, leaves and roots.

“The Climate Factory’s vision is big,” said Edwina Robinson “we want to plant 100,000 trees and shrubs in micro-forests in urban Canberra by 2025.”

Trees also cool the ground beneath them, essential when dealing with the Urban Heat Island effect (UHI).

The UHI occurs in cities and towns due to a loss of vegetation and hard surfaces, like concrete and bitumen that absorb heat and re-radiate the heat at night time. Hard surfaces also prevent rainwater from penetrating and cooling the ground. Commonly temperatures in cities and towns are hotter than surrounding rural areas.

Studies have found that the ground underneath a trees canopy can be between 2 and 10 degrees cooler than the surrounding area.

The Climate Factory can work with you to design and build micro-forests at your school, park, home or development.

We also offer training workshops on how to create a forest for your organisation or community.

The Climate Factory works with each client to design a micro-forest appropriate for their site and liaises with experts in selecting species for a hotter and drier climate and in using water harvesting. The team from Bluebell 2509 install the forest.

Edwina says about this new social enterprise, “We are looking for partners in 2020 to help us build a micro-forest in a school located in an urban hotspot in the Canberra region”.

The Climate Factory is one of 11 social enterprises that participated in the Mill House Social Enterprise Accelerator Program in 2019.

Edwina Robinson is also a part-time Executive Officer of SEE-Change – a not-for-profit group which empowers Canberrans to live sustainably.

Mapping surface urban heat in Canberra

Backyards can cool temperatures by 5-6C