An extra $8 million will be spent over the next 10 years to increase Sydney’s street tree canopy and reduce the damaging heat island effect.
The City of Sydney’s draft budget provides an additional $2.8 million to plant 100 more street trees on existing footpaths every year over the coming decade.
This is in addition to the 700 trees planted annually under the City’s street tree planting program at a cost of $1 million every year.
The draft budget also provides $5.4 million in additional funding for in-road planting in various locations, including Ripon Way Rosebery, in 2018.
As existing parks are near capacity for tree planting, the City is balancing the need to provide open space for recreation by identifying new streets in existing city streets in traffic islands and median strips.
As part of the City’s Greening Sydney Plan and Urban Forest Strategy, the City invests $1 million per year on its in road tree planting program.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the City was committed to protecting and expanding the inner-city tree canopy.
“We’re investing $8 million in additional funding over the next decade to improve air quality, provide habitat for birds and wildlife and beautify our city – and to help reach our target of increasing the urban canopy by 50 per cent by 2030,” the Lord Mayor said.
“Our urban canopy has taken a battering in recent years with unprecedented development and the worst impacts of the State Government’s light rail and WestConnex projects. Because of these destructive impacts, we need to redouble our efforts.”
The City has more than 31,000 street trees and 12,000 park trees. Over the past nine years, more than 9,300 street trees have been planted throughout the local area. The City installs over 10,000 square metres of new and upgraded street gardens each year, and plants new footpaths with street and rain gardens.
Recent research by global engineering and urban design company AECOM shows increasing street canopy can also boost home values by tens of thousands of dollars.
AECOM analysed tree canopy coverage and five years of house price data and found that houses on streets with 10 per cent more tree coverage were worth an average of $50,000 more than houses on less leafy streets in the same suburb.