As verge popularity grows, new survey digs deep on householder preferences

25/08/2022 | 2 mins

Does your verge resemble a native garden? Do you use it as an extra parking bay? Does your nature strip house a trampoline or swing?  Do you ignore it altogether?

It’s these questions and more The University of Western Australia hopes to answer with a new survey looking at what people in Perth want for their verges and those in their neighbourhoods.

The Landscape design and Policy preferences for verges in Perth project, funded with a UWA Research Collaboration Award, is being led by Professor David Pannell from UWA’s School of Agriculture and Environment and Centre for Environmental Economics and Policy.

Co-investigator Associate Professor Michael Burton, from UWA’s School of Agriculture and Environment and Centre for Environmental Economics and Policy, said verges could be a divisive topic among neighbours.

“Verges provide value to communities but can also be controversial depending on what’s on them,” Associate Professor Burton said.

“We know that they’re used for a lot of different reasons – some people park on them; some put trampolines or playgrounds on them; some don’t maintain them at all; some use a lot of water; and others include native plants that some people find beautiful and others detest.

man and dog walking next to verge garden 

“Most councils have active verge schemes and different councils provide a range of support which can include mowing verge lawns for residents if it is neglected, offering and planting street trees, free mulch and rebates or subsidies for native plant gardens.

“We hope to identify the type of support that might encourage people to take up the schemes being offered by their local councils.”

Associate Professor Burton said the project was based around a survey of a random sample of roughly one-third of households in 26 suburbs, across 13 postcodes in the Perth metropolitan region.

“In the survey we ask about what type of verges people would like to see in their neighbourhood and if they haven’t already got a native verge garden what would encourage them plant one, such as subsidies and help with preparing the ground and sourcing the plants,” Associate Professor Burton said.

The survey is live until September 12, 2022.

People wanting to provide feedback who haven’t received an invitation by mail are encouraged to access the survey at: 

Media references

Annelies Gartner (UWA Media Manager)       08 6488 3229

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