The City of Melville recognises and values the significance of trees within the urban setting for the many social, economic and environmental benefits they provide.
- Increasing our the mental and physical health/resilience
- Reducing the potential for heat related illness
- Encouraging outdoor activity and therefore social interaction
- Encouraging outdoor activity and therefore increase surveillance and reduce crime
- Helping create a sense of place and mark our heritage/ landmarks
- Reduction in cooling costs – air conditioning
- Increase property value
- Increase commercial activation of a business
- Increasing the life of some assets like asphalt – road pavement
- Market a location.
- Capturing rain in their leaves
- Holding the soil and reducing erosion with their roots
- Increasing habitat and biodiversity
- Creating shade for us and reducing the heat
- Cleaning the air of pollutants
- Creating oxygen for us to breathe
A healthy, resilient urban forest provides multiple environmental, social and economic community benefits, and contributes significantly to the character and liveability of an urban area. Just as the benefits of the urban forest are shared across the community, so its protection and enhancement is a shared responsibility between the City and the community.
Following on from the adoption of the City's Urban Forest and Green Spaces Policy, by Council in September 2016, the City with the Community developed an Urban Forest Strategic Plan 2017-2036, Part A: City Controlled Land which guides the City's long term management of trees in our parks, streets and neighbourhoods.
The City's vision is to:
- Proactively manage, protect and replenish our tree stock in ways that meet the needs of our present and future generations
- Increase the overall number of trees / canopy cover across the City
The Benefits of the Urban Forest & Green Spaces
Urban forest refers to the trees and vegetation within any given area, on both private and public land. Retaining and installing trees and vegetation is one of the most viable options for building climate change resilience. Trees provide cooling from shade and lower local temperatures through a process called evapotranspiration. These cooling benefits can help reduce our energy demands and ultimately our utility bills.
Other benefits of trees and green spaces include the provision of food sources and habitat for wildlife; improving air quality through filtering pollutants & the production of oxygen; carbon sequestration (storing); improving water quality; reducing soil erosion and wind speeds; and improving human health.
Tree lined streets not only improve the liveability aspects of neighbourhoods such as providing shaded spaces for walking and parking your car, but also increase residential house prices. For more information regarding the benefits of trees visit the 202020 Vision website.
The Urban Forest Strategic Plan
One of the ways is which Local Governments nationally and internationally are adapting to climate change is through the retention and expansion of the urban forest.
The City of Melville adopted the ‘Urban Forest Strategic Plan 2017-2036, Part A: City Controlled Land’ in 2017 following a high level of research and consultation with the community.
The Urban Forest Strategic Plan outlines actions that will increase tree coverage and green spaces in public areas for the benefit of everyone.
Key recommendations identified in the plan are the replacement of aging trees and no net loss of canopy coverage on public land. Trialling new tree species for streetscapes that are drought tolerant will not only increase the diversity of species within the urban forest, but it will also increase the resilience of the urban forest into the future.
Thermal mapping and data collection efforts will assist in directing planting efforts to priority areas that have been identified as having low vegetation cover and higher localised temperatures.
Trees on private land
Although the Urban Forest Strategic Plan Part A focuses on trees and vegetation on City controlled land, the City of Melville recognises the importance of retaining trees on private property as an integral part of the urban forest. The loss of canopy coverage from private land is a phenomenon throughout the Perth region and can be directly attributed to infill development and the desire for larger dwellings on smaller blocks.
The City encourages residents that are developing their land to consider designs that allow for the retention of large established trees; include passive cooling and heating features; and allow space for tree installation following development.
You can assist the City in growing the urban forest by requesting a free verge tree for your property or by participating in the City’s free native plant giveaway. For more information contact the City on 9364 0666 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The City of Melville is responsible for planting, pruning, replacing and maintaining Council Verge Trees. The City's street trees are one of our most important assets.
For more information visit Street Trees.