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The Radical Idea of Depaving

31 May 2024

A fascinating idea that came up in my meeting with Adriaan van Hoogstraten who is a strategic planning adviser at the City of Utrecht  was the radical idea of depaving.

Utrecht like many other cities around the world is pulling up pavers and replacing them with greenery.

It seems there is now a competition among cities as to who can remove the most paving. Utrecht even has a live count with almost a million pavers removed so far in 2024 – well 979,396 to be exact as of today!

The whole of The Netherlands has removed almost 10 million pavers this year.

France, too, is embracing depaving. The French government has made €500m available for urban greening, including depaving but also green walls and roofs. Part of the motivation is to make urban areas more resilient to the growing number of summer heatwaves.

Imagine this idea for Perth which I suspect has one of the highest levels of paving, asphalt, and concrete per capita on the planet.


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