A new research report from the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS)
has found Hobart, Brisbane and Darwin’s CBD councils performing better than
Sydney and Melbourne in urban greening with the highest percentage of tree
canopy cover among all Australian cities.
‘Where Are All The Trees’, a new report from the 202020 Vision analyses
tree canopy cover in Australia’s most urban, dense, local government areas
(LGAs). The 202020 Vision is a collaborative initiative between business,
governments and community groups to increase green space in urban areas by 20
per cent by 2020.
According to Dr Anthony Kachenko, Research and Market Development
Manager, National Urban Forest Alliance (NUFA), the report is significant since
such a national analysis that has tracked and measured the number of trees in
Australia’s most dense urban areas has never been done before.
Dr Kachenko observes that trees and urban green spaces have the unique
ability to improve the environment, save lives, mitigate the risks of climate
change, and provide significant cost savings across the economy. Governments
across all levels as well as several businesses are looking to mitigate the
critical effects and costs of significant changes to the climate, lowered
productivity, environmental degradation and ill-health, such as obesity and
Extensive global research underlines the importance of maintaining and
increasing high-quality green space in cities, given the positive impact on the
environment, productivity and society, especially with benefits such as reduced
pollution, improved air quality, decreased utility costs, more efficient water
management, increased commercial productivity, better health and wellbeing
outcomes, and more cohesive community spaces.
The research for the report was conducted by UTS Institute for
Sustainable Futures (ISF), led by Dr Brent Jacobs, utilising a software program
called i-Tree Canopy to analyse the amount of tree canopy cover in 139 of
Australia’s most urban LGAs, which are home to 68 per cent of the country’s population.
The report also analyses grass and bare ground coverage such as lawns,
industrial estates and sporting grounds, and hard surfaces such as buildings,
asphalt, water and coastlines. These findings indicate the possibly significant
opportunities for councils to turn older industrial areas into community
parklands or green rooftops.