Tuesday, 10 November 2020
‘Where Will All The Trees Be?’ (NY19001) is the third instalment in a series of national canopy benchmarking reports that began in 2013 (following previous reports, ‘Where Are All The Trees’, and ‘Where Should All The Trees Go’). The project aims to ensure that as cities and suburbs expand and become consumed by infrastructure, that the importance of green cover isn’t left forgotten.
2020 Urban Canopy Benchmarking Report is now available, providing research results from 131 Local Government Areas (LGA) as to which places have the greenest cover, which are gaining and losing this cover and how poorer performing areas can learn from those who have successfully boosted their inclusion of greenlife.
According to lead researcher, Associate Professor Joe Hurley RMIT, while some places are defying the odds and growing thriving urban forests, others have reported concerning levels of loss and face significant challenges to grow their green cover in the future.
“Fundamentally, as our suburbs, towns and cities grow, so should our green cover – but in order to increase our urban green cover, we need to understand what’s happening where, and why.”
The findings acknowledge that the ability for an area to achieve high levels of green cover, it will depend significantly on their context, such as high rainfall areas, therefore results will vary.
The findings of the report can be used by industry to help support marketing and promotional efforts, and to provide useful context for discussions with stakeholders, customers and supplies.
A webinar will be held on Wednesday 11 November, introducing the key findings of the report and walking through what it means for industry.
Where will all the trees be – highlights
- 62% of included LGAs now have more green cover than in 2016
- Cairns Regional Council (QLD) has Australia’s highest recorded level of green cover, sitting at 82.9%
- Between 2016-2020, City of Launceston (TAS) has the highest increase in green cover, by 9.5%
Whilst the current trends recognised in this report show signs of improvement, long term trends show that loss in green cover is still significant, with 69% of included LGAs have less green cover than in 2013.
There’s been growth in ‘grey cover’, which is the like of pavement, roads or car parks, seeing 73% of LGAs between 2016-2020 increase the inclusion of grey cover in areas.
Overall, the majority of the Australian LGAs included in this study have in fact lost green cover since 2013, with 67% of urban areas now considered to face challenges in growing and maintaining green cover into the future.
What can be done?
Green cover comes with a lot of benefits – from being critical for our mental health and wellbeing to doing wonders for our climate, working as the ‘lungs’ of our cities.
It is important that we consider the range of social, environmental and economic impacts when looking to what can be done it ensure we can better plan and better plant for the sake of our suburbs and cities.
With the goal to ensure green spaces can evolve with city and population growth, the report maps out how this can look to be achieved – understanding that every area is made up of different characteristics. It considers rainfall, level of urbanisation and density for the areas included in the study, mapping out what contributes to their results and why they may vary place to place.
Check out the report to see detailed breakdowns of the LGAs that are doing great things for greenlife and those that need further support. Find out what they’re doing well, how they’re maintaining it and what the future for their areas looks like. But perhaps most importantly, uncover key opportunities for your business.
Access the report
Browse the results of the study via the interactive tool, found at the bottom of the site HERE
Access the full report HERE
The ‘Where Will all the Trees Be?’ (NY19001) project has been funded by Hort Innovation using the vegetable, nursery, melon and potato research and development levies and contribution from the Australian Government.