​Acting now for greener neighbourhoods tomorrow

The City is developing an Urban Forest Strategy to help increase tree canopy cover on private and City-owned land over future decades. The strategy will set a clear direction for council and the community to follow ensuring greener neighbourhoods into the future. 

Join the conversation 

The City recently ran four community workshops and one industry workshop, consulting 225 people and generating more than 1,000 potential solutions to reduce tree loss and increase tree planting. 

A copy of  the presentation given is available here.  

As part of the consultation, the City also gave 100 Year 5 students from 14 schools across the City the opportunity to become councillors for the day and have their say on the direction of the strategy.

A summary of consultation outcomes will be published here in the coming weeks.

To stay in the loop about consultation outcomes and future opportunities, please subscribe to the 'Living Green' newsletter here.

What is the urban forest?

The urban forest is made up of all trees three metres or taller growing within the City on private and public land. The urban forest is owned by both the community and the City, and its management is a shared responsibility.

The benefits of our urban forest

The City’s urban forest provides economic benefits and promotes better environmental, community and health outcomes. The benefits of tree canopy include:  

  • Reducing heating and cooling costs
  • Increasing property value
  • Improving wellbeing and mental health
  • Providing food and homes for wildlife
  • Providing shade and cooling 
  • Creating liveable suburbs
  • Combating climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide.

What is tree canopy cover?

Tree canopy cover is one of the ways we can measure the size of the urban forest. Tree canopy consists of the branches and leaves of a tree. It is not the number of trees, but the amount of canopy cover that has the greatest impact on shade and cooling. This means it’s important to not only plant new trees, but to protect established trees with large canopies because they provide the most benefits.

Why do we need an Urban Forest Strategy?

• Over the last five years, tree canopy cover has fallen by nearly 1 million square metres
• Two-thirds of this loss has occurred on residential land, mainly as a result of development
• Although the City plants 10,000 new trees each year, this is not enough to replace the canopy being lost
• If we do not act now, canopy cover will be reduced by up to 50 per cent in suburbs with high rates of development.

This year's aerial survey shows the worst canopy loss so far.

An Urban Forest Strategy will help us to develop solutions to slow down canopy loss and increase the number of new trees being planted.

Next steps for the strategy

Based on the community consultation outcomes, a draft Urban Forest Strategy will be developed and presented to council for further consideration. We will then ask for feedback from the community before the strategy is finalised.

We look forward to your input to help grow our urban forest.