THE NSW Government last week said it will create a greener Sydney and State to improve the health, economy, environment, infrastructure and biodiversity for all its families and people as part of a statewide green infrastructure policy, Greener Places.
Minister for Planning and Housing, Anthony Roberts, made the announcement during the Greening Sydney Symposium held at Sydney Olympic Park, which brought together stakeholders from local government, developers, community groups and industry bodies.
The Symposium facilitated discussion and promotion of the draft Green Infrastructure Policy, Greener Places, and the collaborative work government was doing to make NSW greener.
"Our commitment to enhancing green, open space will complement the new homes and infrastructure being delivered to address NSW's increased population, which is expected to grow by 2.2 million people by 2036," Mr Roberts said.
"Our plan will improve the lives of our residents through an unprecedented commitment to green, open spaces.
"Through partnership with local government, developers, industry and the community, this program will see trees planted in our streets, parklands, and front and back yards.
"The Greener Places policy aims to create a healthier, more livable and sustainable urban environment by improving community access to recreation and exercise, and supporting walking and cycling connections".
The initiative will be led by Department of Planning and Environment's newly formed Office of Open Space and Parklands.
Commissioner for Open Space and Parklands, Fiona Morrison, said that tree canopy was one of the biggest factors in addressing heatwaves in our suburbs and reducing the urban heat island effect.
"Trees not only offer shade and shelter from rain and wind but they also help keep the air clean by producing oxygen, support wildlife while also adding value to the aesthetics and economy of our cities and suburbs," Ms Morrison said.
The draft Green Infrastructure policy – Greener Places: Establishing an urban Green Infrastructure policy for New South Wales – was produced by the Government Architect NSW (GANSW) to guide the planning, design and delivery of Green Infrastructure in urban areas across NSW.
Green Infrastructure is identified as the interconnected network of open space, and includes parks, rivers, bushland and private gardens that are strategically planned and designed. Greener Places explores why Green Infrastructure is needed and the vision for its implementation.
NSW Government Architect, Peter Poulet, said: "We need to think of Green Infrastructure as equally essential as roads, transport infrastructure, storm water and drainage because of the many benefits it provides".