City launches draft Urban Forest Strategy

Media Release 4 August 2017

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.

Hard copies of the draft strategy will be available to view at City venues.

The City welcomes your comments and on the draft Urban Forest Strategy. To provide feedback visit Your Say South Perth.

Feedback closes 28 August 2017 and the document will be presented to Council in October 2017.

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