A green and liveable city
High-quality urban greenspace will help build resilience against the impacts of climate change, enhance nature connectivity across the urban landscape, and deliver quality-of-life benefits to the community. Trees and shrubs provide vital refuge for wildlife and pollinators across the urban landscape and cool the urban environment. To meet the ACT’s tree canopy targets significant investment will be required to boost overall tree numbers, including compensating for tree losses expected to occur as a result of old age, storms, and drought. In order to meet the target’s timeframe, planting will need to occur early with resources allocated to ensure maintenance and care. Consideration should be given to the appropriate siting of native and non-native trees and shrubs, and the impacts of a changing climate on plant suitability.
01. Implement a comprehensive strategy for Canberra’s urban forest that:
a. Meets the 30% tree canopy target equitably across suburbs;
b. Integrates the tree canopy objectives and the tree protection regime;
c. Includes planting a diverse mix of native and non-native trees and shrubs in urban parks to support connectivity and habitat for wildlife and pollinators, optimise solar access in winter and shade in summer, and reduce the need for mowing;
d. Ensures suitable species selection for the ACT environment, accounting for future climate projections; and
e. Focusses planting efforts in the next decade to ensure 2045 targets are met.
02. Provide recurrent funding for the planting and maintenance of trees and shrubs to ensure full replacement of ageing trees and expansion of the urban forest to achieve the 30% canopy target by 2045.
03. Mandate the use of quantitative tree risk assessment for mature trees in the ACT, which only permits tree removal where risk is above internationally accepted levels and where this risk cannot be mitigated by actions such as landscaping and tree management.
04. Invest $300,000 per year to continue and expand the Adopt-A-Park community grant program to facilitate the community undertaking planning, maintenance and citizen-science initiatives in urban greenspace.
05. Utilise precinct planning to maximise shared greenspace in new developments to facilitate space for urban tree plantings in streets, urban open space and on residential blocks.
06. Mandate that at least 50% of the living infrastructure in the urban open space of new suburbs is pollinator friendly trees, shrubs and groundcover plants for year round flowering.
With a new ministry in place, Canberrans can continue to call on the government to step up for the future of our city. Our handy action guides will help you to take action.