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Sydney to plant 700 new street trees annually to green the city

Greening Sydney 2030 sets the directions, targets and actions for all aspects of greening, including canopy targets and innovative plans to increase green roofs and walls and streetscape gardening.

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Tree-lined Chippendale Street. Photograph: Mark Metcalfe, City of Sydney
Tree-lined Chippendale Street. Photograph: Mark Metcalfe, City of Sydney

The City of Sydney has announced plans to plant 700 new street trees annually and aims to cover two-fifths of the city in greenery by 2050.

 

Greening Sydney 2030 sets the directions, targets and actions for all aspects of greening, including canopy targets and innovative plans to increase green roofs and walls and streetscape gardening.

 

 

Greening strategy

 

The plan aims to build on the achievements of the City’s first greening strategy, Greening Sydney 2012, which, reportedly, made the City one of the only Councils in the country to increase its canopy cover over the past decade.

 

“We’re in the middle of a climate crisis and we are already experiencing its impacts. Dangerous heatwaves are arriving earlier, are hotter and last longer. Our city must adapt to the changing climate and increase its resilience to the likely impacts,” said Clover Moore, lord mayor of Sydney.

 

“Trees and other urban greenery are as essential as roads and broadband internet. Effective and extensive canopy cover can reduce temperatures on the ground by up to 10 degrees.”

“Trees and other urban greenery are as essential as roads and broadband internet. Effective and extensive canopy cover can reduce temperatures on the ground by up to 10 degrees”

She continued: “We have developed this strategy to re-affirm and extend our commitment to providing a greener, cooler, calmer and more resilient City. We have set ambitious targets and will work to ensure 40 per cent of the city’s footprint is covered with greenery by 2050.”

 

The City has a proposed budget of $377m on greening, including the development and renewal of existing parks and open spaces, across the city over the next 10 years.

 

New canopy and greenery targets:

  • 23 per cent canopy cover by 2030
  • 27 per cent canopy cover by 2050
  • 40 per cent vegetation and green cover across the city by 2050
  • The creation of greener buildings, with all public and privately-owned properties providing 28 per cent of green cover, including 20 per cent tree cover
  • At least 700 new street trees planted across the city local area every year, for the next 10 years.
Showing how residential area canopy cover will look. Image: City of Sydney
Showing how residential area canopy cover will look. Image: City of Sydney

 

To achieve these targets, Greening Sydney 2030 sets out 20 priority actions, including:

  • Green laneways, roofs and walls: across the city, there is 38.3 hectares of narrow streets classified as laneways. Laneways are often under used and unappreciated. The City will review the various design and usage issues to identify laneway greening projects or programs that are most easily provided. It will also gradually amend planning controls to increase the adoption and use of green roofs in new developments, and retrofitted onto existing buildings where possible
  • Indigenous ecological knowledge: the City will work with the local Aboriginal community to identify cultural and practical principles to that should be considered when designing new spaces, or that can help integrate people with nature
  • Community participation: the City will continue to encourage participation in greening activities. This includes supporting education programmes on the importance of greening the urban environment and citizen science programmes, along with championing community gardens, the Sydney City Farm, bushcare and landcare groups, and footpath gardening projects.
  • Equitable access: to distribute greening fairly across the local government area so that everyone shares the benefits provided by greening. Research outlines 30 per cent canopy cover, within an area of around 1.6 kilometres, provides key heat and health benefits. Analysis of each individual site in the city (street, park and property) has been undertaken to confirm the extent of greening and canopy cover distribution. This data-driven research will be used to ensure fair access to greenery is prioritised and to invest in areas that need it the most.

In the past 10 years, the City reports a 23 per cent increase in canopy cover, a 13 per cent increase in parks and green spaces, a 180 per cent increase in expanded and restored native bushland, and 23 community and verge gardens established across the city.

 

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