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$1.2 million City of Melbourne backing for Urban Forest Fund

$1.2 million City of Melbourne backing for Urban Forest Fund
May 31, 2017

In the second major City of Melbourne initiative in the past five days focusing on extreme heat, Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle has announced that the Council will allocate $1.2 million to a new Urban Forest Fund to encourage more greening in the city, described as “the most effective way to protect us against extreme heat.”

Following an simulated extreme heat emergency exercise at the MCG last Friday, Lord Mayor Doyle announcement of allocations to the Urban Forest Fund that will aim to increase vegetation to help protect against extreme heat as well as makting the city greener and more liveable.

The City of Melbourne will partner with philanthropists, property developers, community groups and other Government organisations on greening projects, with the Lord Mayor explaining “the initiatives could include planting trees, creating parks, green walls, roofs and facades and stormwater projects. We will match successful projects dollar for dollar to leave a green legacy for our city.

“As well as protecting us from extreme heat, our trees and parks are a major contributor to Melbourne’s liveability. The City of Melbourne is increasing public green space and planting 3000 trees a year. This initiative, to stimulate greening of private property which represents 73% of land in our municipality, is the next frontier.

“Green infrastructure is fundamental to help cities respond to the challenges of climate change, urban heat, flooding and population growth.”

The City of Melbourne hopes that in the years to come, Melbourne will boast 10 tennis courts worth of green rooftops and 4,600 hectares of green façades on buildings. And by 2040, the plan is that urban canopy will be 40% (as opposed to today's 22%).

The Urban Forest Fund has $1.2 million in seed funding, which the City of Melbourne aims to grow to $10 million through contributions from organisations and individuals who want to create a greener city.

Lord Mayor Doyle suggested that if its $1.2 million was matched with a private donation a $2.4 million greening outcome could be achieved, which could create:

• 6000 metre² of green roofs - equivalent area of 10 tennis courts
• 4600 metre² of green facades - the equivalent area of 7.75 tennis courts
• 900 metre² of green walls - the equivalent area of 1.5 tennis courts
• 4,000 street trees. 1,000 more trees than the City of Melbourne plants annually.

Nursery & Garden Industry Victoria Chief Executive Craig Taberner said greening on private land would help create a healthier and cooler city.

Tabarner added “the establishment of an Urban Forest Fund by the City of Melbourne is an exciting and progressive step towards securing a green and climate ready future for Melbourne. 

“Access to collaborative funding should energise and empower individuals and communities to take action, and share the responsibility of creating and maintaining the city’s green spaces.”

Making private donations for public or private city greening is not new. In 2013 Mirvac donated $200,000 to develop a five year temporary park in Yarra’s Edge, Docklands.

The University of Melbourne has also donated $2 million to assist the City of Melbourne in an expansion of University Square in Parkville.

Images: The City of Melbourne's plans for urban greening (top) and a rooftop garden in the city (below).

26th May 2017 - MCG HOSTS EMERGENCY RELIEF EXERCISE

7th April 2017 - MELBOURNE CAR PARK TO BE TRANSFORMED INTO A PUBLIC PARK

19th November 2016 - CENTRAL MELBOURNE’S TREES NEED TO ADAPT TO CLIMATE CHANGE

11th November 2016 - MELBOURNE’S LANEWAYS SET TO GO GREEN

17th October 2016 - RISING TEMPERATURES SET TO DEVASTATE PLANT LIFE

20th May 2016 - CREMATED REMAINS TO NOURISH MEMORIAL TREES

8th March 2016 - NEW SKY PARK TO OFFER OPEN SPACE 10 METRES ABOVE THE STREETS OF MELBOURNE 

22nd September 2015 - CITY OF MELBOURNE RELEASES CONCEPTS FOR THE RENEWAL OF UNIVERSITY SQUARE

14th April 2015 - MELBOURNE’S URBAN FOREST STRATEGY ‘THE MOST COMPELLING URBAN LANDSCAPE PROJECT IN AUSTRALIA’

10th April 2015 - DEAKIN UNIVERSITY STUDY INTO THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF PARKS


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