Developing an Urban Forest Strategy

Urban forest: the sum of all urban trees including those on public and private land.

Council is seeking community feedback on its vision to ensure a greener Maribyrnong.

Our urban forest is a critical part of the health and livability of our City. Council has drafted an Urban Forest Strategy to plan and manage the City's vegetation, trees and plants to ensure they are sustainable and to maximise social, environmental and economic benefits.

Did you know trees do more than just provide shade and reduce pollution? Here are some of the lesser known benefits of trees:

  • Improved mental health from exposure to natural environments and lower levels of stress and anxiety.

  • Improved real and perceived community safety in public areas.

  • Safer streets as uniform, avenue like plantings along streets encourage motorists to drive slower.

  • Improved retail activity by up to 20%. Shoppers spend longer and more money in retail areas that are well treed and landscaped.

We are now seeking community feedback on the proposed vision, objectives and actions outlined in the Draft Urban Forest Strategy. We are keen to access your knowledge and passion for your community and its ecological health to support our aim to be a city that is leafy, cool and inviting.

In other news, do you have a favourite or special tree within our City? Nominations are now open for Council’s Significant Tree Register.

Urban forest: the sum of all urban trees including those on public and private land.

Council is seeking community feedback on its vision to ensure a greener Maribyrnong.

Our urban forest is a critical part of the health and livability of our City. Council has drafted an Urban Forest Strategy to plan and manage the City's vegetation, trees and plants to ensure they are sustainable and to maximise social, environmental and economic benefits.

Did you know trees do more than just provide shade and reduce pollution? Here are some of the lesser known benefits of trees:

  • Improved mental health from exposure to natural environments and lower levels of stress and anxiety.

  • Improved real and perceived community safety in public areas.

  • Safer streets as uniform, avenue like plantings along streets encourage motorists to drive slower.

  • Improved retail activity by up to 20%. Shoppers spend longer and more money in retail areas that are well treed and landscaped.

We are now seeking community feedback on the proposed vision, objectives and actions outlined in the Draft Urban Forest Strategy. We are keen to access your knowledge and passion for your community and its ecological health to support our aim to be a city that is leafy, cool and inviting.

In other news, do you have a favourite or special tree within our City? Nominations are now open for Council’s Significant Tree Register.

Survey

Thank you for taking the time to review the draft Urban Forest Strategy and considering if we are on the right track.

The survey should take about 10 minutes to complete. To assist you in this effort please see the document library for a number of reference documents.

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YOUR IMPRESSION

Council is keen to understand how the draft Urban Forest Strategy has been received by the community.

Having read the document, what is your impression of the draft Urban Forest Strategy? * required

DRIVERS FOR CHANGE

How well do you believe the draft strategy responds to the local drivers for change identified?

1. HISTORICALLY LOW CANOPY COVER AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS - Historical land use patterns (due to large industrial areas) and pre-existing vegetation classes have resulted in a low baseline tree canopy. * required
2. TREE CANOPY COVER - An independent study has found that overall Council’s proactive tree planting is increasing the growth of both street and open space tree canopy cover. Conversely, tree canopy cover in the private realm has decreased slightly by 0.5% between 2011 and 2017. * required
3.CLIMATE CHANGE AND URBAN HEAT ISLAND EFFECT - Climate change modelling shows that Maribyrnong’s urban environment will get hotter and drier, with more extreme weather events, like flooding and heatwaves. * required
4. POPULATION GROWTH - Maribyrnong’s resident population is forecast to increase by over 65% by 2041. This growth means that additional housing, public infrastructure and services will be required, including quality open space to meet the health and wellbeing needs of this growth. * required
5. INCREASED DENSITY OF DEVELOPMENT Hard surfaces across Maribyrnong’s land area increased by 1.5% from 2011 to 2017. Population growth will require further densification and urban consolidation to meet the housing and service requirements of future communities. * required
6. CONFLICTS WITH INFRASTRUCTURE - Previous tree planting regimes, particularly those in the 1970’s and 1980’s did not always comply with the common sense approach of planting the right tree in the right place. As a result, planners are now left with a legacy of inappropriately planted trees in locations that cause conflict with both hard infrastructure and service provision such as stormwater, sewerage and electricity. * required
7. INTEGRATED WATER MANAGEMENT - For trees and urban vegetation to thrive and mitigate urban heat, retaining and using stormwater in the landscape is a high priority. Integrated water management involves a holistic approach that considers alternative water uses and sources, such as passive irrigation of street and park trees, and stormwater treatment and harvesting. * required

OBJECTIVES

How important is each objective to you? *
How important is each objective to you? Very important Important Moderately important Of little importance Not at all important
Increase the tree canopy on public land - the total surface area in Council owned land covered by overhead tree canopy.
Adapt to climate change and maximize environmental outcomes - maximising the benefits of trees, permeable surfaces and water can have on cooling the city and providing improved habitat
Raise awareness and improve advocacy - aims to communicate the benefits of trees to all in the community
Improve planning for trees - investigate how the town planning regulations and the Maribyrnong Planning Scheme may be able to place greater emphasis on tree retention and replacement
Maximise community health and wellbeing outcomes - ensuring the community gets the most out of the benefits of new tree planting, such as providing shade
Streamline Council's processes and monitor progress - ensuring we track changes in the urban forest to understand if we are progressing well towards targets and if additional interventions are required in order to deliver the Strategy.