Australia

Australia's first guide for urban forestry launched

AUSTRALIA'S first comprehensive guide to growing and maintaining tree populations in urban areas was last week launched by the City of Melbourne, the Victorian Government, and the 202020 Vision.

Chair of the City of Melbourne's Environment Portfolio, Arron Wood, said 'How to Grow an Urban Forest' is a 10-step guide to developing and maintaining urban tree populations.

Trees in Yarra Park, Melbourne
Photo: Trees in Yarra Park, Melbourne / by Tony & Wayne.

"This guide will provide a vital resource for urban councils across Australia. It will help them strategically plan for and develop healthy urban forests to create liveable and climate resilient cities and towns," Cr Wood said.

"The guide was inspired by the City of Melbourne's Urban Forest Strategy, which aims to increase our canopy cover from 22 per cent to 40 per cent by 2040.

"We're planting 3000 trees in Melbourne every year to increase the resilience of the urban forest and cool our city by four degrees Celsius. We're proud to share our knowledge and help increase shade and greenery in towns and cities across Australia."

The guide includes case studies from cities that have successfully implemented Urban Forest Strategies such as the City of Melbourne, the City of Adelaide, the City of Port Phillip, and Christchurch City Council.

Executive Director, Water and Catchments at the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Scott Hamilton, said it was increasingly important to support measures that combat climate change and improve liveability.

"Melbourne's population is predicted to increase rapidly in the coming decades. As the population grows, so too will the importance of urban greening in supporting liveable, sustainable and inclusive communities," Mr Hamilton said.

"The Victorian Government supports a wide range of programs to promote sustainability in our use of resources and this is a great example of adopting environmentally friendly measures for the benefit of the entire community."

'How to Grow an Urban Forest' is the first major outcome to be implemented from The 202020 Vision Plan, released in May this year, which is working towards a 20 per cent increase and improvement of urban green space by 2020.

More information is available from the 202020 Vision website at <http://202020vision.com.au/>.

Photo: Trees in Yarra Park, Melbourne / 'Avenue of trees' / Tony & Wayne / Licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC 2.0.

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