Samantha Downing

Hometown: Elphinstone
Occupation: Landscape architect and permaculture
Area of Interest: Community engagement and extreme heat resilience

How is climate change impacting your community?
The biggest impact I have noticed in my community is the increase in anxiety over climate change. Increasing temperatures and fire risk are at the forefront of everyone’s minds after the past Summer. People are worried for their children’s futures and many households are not equipped to deal with the extreme heat.

Things like sports and recreation activities will also have to adapt to the changes, all sports seasons may have to be moved or played in drastically different ways.

What are you passionate about changing?
I’m interested in solutions that look at the bigger picture. My background is in landscape architecture and permaculture, so I know we need to keep local ecology in mind when planning for landscape cooling. We also need to find a way to bring together business knowledge, science and local planning for effective outcomes.