Five Million New Trees Good For Sydney But Road And Electricity Agencies Must Give Support
The announcement by the NSW Government that they will plant 5 million trees in Sydney by 2030 is good news for a cooler city says the Urban Taskforce.
“The overall greening package of $290 million to help green Sydney will make a big difference to the urban environment,” says Urban Taskforce CEO, Chris Johnson.
“Many of these trees will shade streets where black bitumen absorbs heat that adds to the Heat Island Effect but in previous exercises to roll out street planting the roads and electricity agencies have made tree planting very difficult. The NSW Government will need to coordinate the role of roads and electricity authorities to ensure that maximum shade to roads can occur. Overhead electric wires are often a major problem related to tree planting.”
“While the government is looking to lift the tree canopy from 16.8 percent to 40 percent there will be different circumstances for more urban areas relative to suburban areas. The Urban Taskforce recommends that urban areas should target 15 to 25 percent for tree canopy with the suburban areas targeting 40 percent.”
“The development industry is doing its bit to contribute to urban greening as outlined at an Urban Taskforce Industry Breakfast held recently. Innovative projects presented included the Central Park project by Frasers and Sekisui House, One Sydney Park by HPG and a proposed apartment building in Waterloo by the Crown Group. Each of these projects incorporates greenery in significant ways into the architecture (see images below). The growing trend towards green walls and green roofs reflects major initiatives taken by the Singapore Government to make the city green. In Singapore floor space incentives are given to projects with green walls and green roofs and Sydney should also incorporate an incentive system.”
“While supplying trees is a great start for greening Sydney there will need to be maintenance programs to ensure they are cared for. Water supply will be particularly important as Sydney seems to be getting more very hot days than in previous years.”
“The development industry has already shown leadership in creating greener environments and this will continue as the skill in planning, planting and maintaining greenery increases.”
“The best way for private development to incorporate greenery will be if large sites are developed that include parklands like the Central Park project. The government and councils must support the redevelopment of large inner city sites and this will require a rethink of policies that protect every industrial site in the inner ring regardless of whether it is being used effectively.”