Wollongong City Council has released its draft Urban Greening Strategy that aims to recognise trees and other vegetation as critical urban infrastructure.
The draft Urban Greening Strategy analyses the current status of Wollongong’s ‘urban forest’, presents a coordinated approach to managing urban vegetation and outlines the steps required to begin a program of planning and targeted investment in public urban greening.
The current average of urban tree canopy over the city is 17 per cent, which is well below the national average of 39 per cent. In some suburbs the percentage of urban forest covers 52 per cent while other suburbs have as little as three per cent cover, well below the ideal of 35 to 40 per cent.
The acting Manager Environmental Strategy and Planning, Jason Brown, said many cities in Australia are measuring the health, diversity and extent of the urban forest.
“This is necessary to ensure we deliver best practice management of trees and open space. This draft strategy sets out to put an economic value on our city’s trees and open spaces.
“The urban forest also supports Wollongong’s economy, provides high quality urban amenity which in turn supports the pedestrian economy and reduces operating costs for local businesses and Council.”
The Draft Urban Greening Strategy will be on public exhibition until 22 September.