Sydney sprouts cool future

Article image - Sydney sprouts cool future The city’s urban canopy is growing.

The City of Sydney will expand its tree canopy to help green the city and has welcomed the recent federal government commitment to further grow Australia’s urban forest.

The City’s own urban forest strategy aims to increase the canopy size by 50 percent in the next 15 years, creating a city that is leafier, healthier and more liveable.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore welcomed the federal government’s announcement.

“The City applauds this commitment to increase tree coverage across Australian cities, to help tackle climate change, improve quality of life and reduce the urban heat island effect.

“Trees make our streets more beautiful and add to the city’s character as well as improving our air, water and soil quality and providing habitat for birds and animals

“Urban forests play a vital role in the health, social framework and economic sustainability of a city, and that’s why the City also has a target of increasing our urban canopy by 50 per cent by 2030.”
The City’s urban forest manager, Karen Sweeney, said despite the urban conditions of the city centre, trees are growing well across the local government area.

“Planting avenues of trees and green corridors enhances the character of individual precincts and villages and can increase property prices.

“Expanding the city’s tree canopy creates friendly spaces where residents, workers and visitors can relax in shaded, leafy pockets of calm in the heart of our bustling city.”

A register of significant trees now lists the city’s 1,931 most historic and important trees, including those with an outstanding height, trunk or canopy spread, association with an important historical event or local rarity as a species.

The City of Sydney also developed Australia’s first green roofs and walls policy that commits to working with the community and increasing the number of green living spaces on buildings.

Green roofs and walls have been around for decades, but have become increasingly popular in recent years with benefits for buildings including reduced noise pollution, lower energy costs for heating and cooling, and potential higher values for sales and leasing.

The City’s 2030 vision and program includes planting thousands of trees, introducing energy efficient LED street lights, installing solar panels on buildings, retrofitting buildings to improve energy efficiency and harvesting stormwater for a cleaner environment.