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The City of South Perth’s Urban Forest Strategy was formally adopted at the Council Meeting on 31 July.
Nearly 400 hectares of trees and shrubs are dotted throughout public and private properties throughout the City of South Perth. Although the canopy cover has increased by 20 per cent on public property over the past 30 years, it has decreased by 20 per cent on private property.
A healthy urban forest is a vital community, environmental and economic asset. The City works to balance often competing interests to accommodate the current needs of its community, whilst also ensuring a healthy future for its residents and the environment.
The strategy has been developed to identify opportunities to manage the challenges of urbanisation, development, climate change and population growth. It provides a clear direction for the City, Council and the community on urban forest management in both the public and private realms.
Aligned with the City’s Strategic Community Plan, the strategy includes actions and goals that the City is working towards achieving.
- Increase the diversity of species
- Improve the health of our urban forest
- Review and strengthen City policies
- Register significant trees
- Facilitate offset planting
- Investigate green roofs and walls
- Increase trees on private property
- Activate our green infrastructure.
Goals for 2018-2023: Five Year Targets
- Maintain current canopy coverage at 20% with no net loss
- Plant 7,500 street trees
- Plant 2,500 trees on parks and reserves
- Plant 1,000 trees on school land
- Increase species diversity
- Identify all public space available for tree planting
- Develop a City Tree Management Plan
- Increase nursery production by 25%
- Investigate areas for improvement i.e. partnering opportunities, storm water capture, maximising verge plantings, tree/street competitions
- Increase the number of protected trees.
“Our tree-lined streets, green spaces, iconic foreshore and beautiful bushland reserves are a precious asset, they are the reason so many people love living in and visiting our City,” City of South Perth Mayor, Sue Doherty said.
“As the City faces increasing impacts from climate change, including drought, heat, diminishing groundwater levels, salinity and sea level rise, it is vital that the urban forest is preserved and actively managed for future generations.
“While the City has been able to increase its urban forest in public areas through a rigorous tree planting, maintenance and replacement program, it has little control over trees on private property.
“This important Strategy outlines the actions the City is taking to manage its urban forest, which means actively working towards a goal of maintaining canopy cover into the future.
“Through ongoing education and awareness campaigns it is hoped that trees will be seen as an asset and not a liability to private properties. An important part of this goal is to develop greater community awareness and education, which will take place in schools, businesses and the wider community.”
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The importance of a healthy urban forest to a city’s liveability, environment and prosperity is widely recognised.
The City of South Perth has developed a draft Urban Forest Strategy to identify opportunities to manage the challenges of urbanisation, development, climate change and population growth for our future generations.
The Perth metropolitan area has doubled since the 1970s and this has resulted in the clearing of large areas of native vegetation and mature trees.
Nearly 400 hectares of trees and shrubs are dotted throughout public and private properties throughout the City of South Perth and although the canopy cover has increased by 20 per cent on public property over the past 30 years, it has decreased by 20 per cent on private property.
The draft strategy aims to provide a clear direction for the City, Council and the community on urban forest management in both the public and private realms.
The draft strategy outlines the actions the City is taking to manage its urban forest, which means actively working towards a goal of maintaining canopy cover into the future. An important part of this goal is to develop greater community awareness and education, which will take place in schools, businesses and the wider community.
The City plans to develop new actions to protect its urban forest, including investigating green walls and roofs, increasing trees on public and private property, mapping and responding to vulnerability and improving City policies.
Healthy urban forests contribute to improving air quality; reducing the urban heat island effect; the physical and mental wellbeing of residents and visitors; providing ecological links and habitat; greater resilience to a changing climate; reduction in storm water flows and nutrient loads and reducing energy costs.
“The intrinsic beauty of trees in an urban area is well understood. The City of South Perth is characterised by its beautiful tree-lined streets and leafy streetscapes, open green spaces, iconic foreshore and bushland reserves which provide precious habitat for a diverse range of wildlife,” Mayor Sue Doherty said.
“There is a long lead time between when a tree is planted and when it can start providing significant benefits to the community and the environment. Consequently, there is a critical need for long term strategic planning and decisive action to protect existing trees, plan for future canopy cover and to maximise the health, resilience and value of the urban forest.
The City welcomes your comments and feedback on the draft Urban Forest Strategy.
Feedback closes 5pm, Monday 28 August 2017 and the document will be presented to Council in October 2017.