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Design a Biodiversity-Sensitive Suburb

Design a biodiversity-sensitive suburb

Urbanisation is a huge threat to wildlife and plants. Large suburbs are being created that do not offer enough green spaces for humans. Houses are packed tightly together and there are very small or no backyards available. It is even worse for the animals and plants - most have died or been chased away, because there is little to no habitat available to them.


  • Magnifying glass
  • Pencil
  • Printout of survey table

Coming up with a solution...

New suburbs can be designed to have ecological values as well as provide for human needs. It’s called Biodiversity-Sensitive Urban Design (BSUD) and you can read more about it here:

An impression of biodiversity sensitive urban design (BSUD). Photo credit: Sarah Bekessy - Professor, RMIT University

BSUD principles applied at the scale of an individual house. Photo credit: Sarah Bekessy - Professor, RMIT University


  1. Identify up to 5 threatened species living in your area using  and list them below.
Species name Conservation status
Redesign your suburb around these species to provide more habitat and food for them, as well as providing more green spaces for humans to feel happier with less anxiety, and be more productive.
  1. To inform your designs, research the following:
  • the species of trees your species interacts with
  • the species’ natural habitat
  • threats to each species
  • ways of managing these threats so your species can co-exist in your suburb
  1. Record your research findings (including a bibliography).
Get designing!
  1. Draw a draft design of your suburb. Remember to construct an aerial view of your suburb and label all evidence of BSUD.
  2. Complete a final rendering of your suburb in a medium of your choice. Below as some suggestions:
  • Pencil & paper (extension: you might want to collect natural materials from the school grounds to incorporate into your presentation)
  • Image editing or 3D design software
  • Minecraft: Educational Edition