Tree-lined Sydney suburbs have cleaner air compared to other suburbs. That’s good news, given air pollution kills more Australians each year than traffic accidents.
This video by the Inner West Council shows what trees planted on the street can give to urban environments.
Faced with rising temperatures, Penrith City Council is planting more than 100,000 trees to help cool down their area.
Trees help reduce the ‘heat island’ effect – that’s when heat is absorbed by hard surfaces in urban areas (such as unshaded pavements, roads and buildings). This heat is then radiated back out, making urban areas significantly hotter than surrounding regions.
Photo: City surface temperatures can be 10–20 degrees hotter than air temperatures because buildings, roads and other hard surfaces absorb and store heat. Numbers on this image indicate the temperature in degrees Celsius. The hottest temperatures are orange to red and the cooler temperatures are blue. Jason Dowling, Courtesy of City of Melbourne.
The NSW Government has a range of grant programs available for community groups and local councils that support projects to protect and restore native vegetation in Sydney. For more information check out the NSW Environmental Trust grant programs.
Replacing hard surfaces with plants, including trees, will help cool our environment as they provide shade and reflect heat.
Trees can also increase the value of property, including those growing along your street.
Research on the Sydney suburbs of Annandale, Blacktown and Willoughby estimated that 10% more tree canopy in street trees could increase the individual value of local properties by $50,000.