Urban Heat, Urban Canopy

Perth's Eastern Region, like most urban settlements around Australia, is feeling the pressure of increasing urban density due to population growth. However, this increase in density is coming at a high cost to urban vegetation. As land is cleared to fit more houses on smaller blocks, less space is left for urban canopy, which is having a largely negative impact on communities.

A significant amount of research has been undertaken over the past decade to highlight the importance of vegetation within the urban environment and ways to design and retrofit developments to become resilient, sustainable, productive and liveable communities. Benefits of increased urban vegetation and urban canopy include:

  • reducing the urban heat island effect
  • reducing the running costs of buildings (e.g. heating and air conditioning)
  • improving human health and wellbeing
  • improving air and water quality
  • improving biodiversity
  • mitigating the impacts of climate change.

The EMRC is working with its member councils to support development of more and better green space to realise the health, environmental, social and economic benefits for the region.

202020 Vision partnership

Trees are good for mental health and productivity and they keep our cities cool and reduce pollution. People even heal faster when they are around trees. Yet trees are often overlooked within an urban setting.

The EMRC is supporting the mission of 202020 Vision to create 20 per cent more and better green space in our urban areas by 2020 within a network of more than 360 organisations across Australia. The 202020 Vision is based on the collective impact model for creating change and aims to promote the shared value of green space among government, business and the community. Partnering with 202020 Vision gives Perth's Eastern Region access to:

  • best practice information, research, case studies, resources and tools that contribute to more and better green space and green infrastructure
  • support to promote work that EMRC and its member councils are doing in this area
  • support to create an ongoing dialogue about the health, environmental and productivity benefits of green space
  • information and collaboration about proven solutions and scaling, replicating and socialising them, to create more and better green space.

To view the 202020 Vision Plan, projects and other available resources, visit 202020vision.com.au.

202020 Vision Urban Forest Masterclass

Over 130 people attended the inaugural West Australian Urban Forest Masterclass in Perth on 2 December 2015 at The Rise in Maylands. The event was hosted by 202020 Vision in partnership with EMRC, WALGA and Department of Planning, with additional support provided by Parkland WA and AECOM.

The WA workshop format was based on the National Urban Forest Masterclass that was held in Melbourne earlier in 2015, however, the event in Perth was programmed specifically to address the unique opportunities and challenges that face Western Australia. The aim of the workshop was to bring together local government staff, state government representatives, arborists, researchers, the property industry, horticulture industry groups and members of the community sector to share practical knowledge and experience to advance urban green space at a local council level, acknowledging that each area has its own unique challenges, varying political context, and is at a different stage of the journey.

The masterclass program was designed around The Ten Steps of How to Grow an Urban Forest and was facilitated by Yvonne Lynch, City of Melbourne and Jess Miller, 202020 Vision, beginning with a Welcome to Country by Noongar elder Robyn Collard. The program included 28 speakers across 8 sessions, including:

  • Perth in review - a celebration of achievements and thoughts for the future
  • Urban Forestry in practice - methodology and case studies from those doing urban forestry
  • Smart, cheap and useful ways to use data and mapping tools
  • An economic framework for valuing green infrastructure
  • Identifying different drivers for urban forestry strategies and plans
  • "Pitch to the pollies"

Approved presentations from the Urban Forest Masterclass are now available to access on the 202020 Vision website via the Help Centre.

Department of Planning WA Urban Forest of Perth and Peel information can be accessed via their Publications page.

Urban Monitor information and to access aerial vegetation data, surface and elevation models, please visit the Landgate website.

For further information please contact:

Joanne Woodbridge - Environment and Sustainability Coordinator
Phone: (08) 9424 2243
Email: joanne.woodbridge@emrc.org.au