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City of Gold Coast expands its ‘green canopy’

City of Gold Coast expands its ‘green canopy’
February 3, 2021

With the City of Gold Coast having planted more than 50,000 trees in its streets and parks and 652,680 trees in its natural areas since 2012, a recent report has found that, across the total area of public open space lands and critical environmental corridors within the city’s urban footprint, the extent and maturity of tree cover has increased over the past 10 years.

Speaking after planting a weeping lily pilly at Evandale, Gold Coast Mayor, Tom Tate explained “we are one of the fastest growing cities in Australia, yet we still achieved this fantastic outcome.

“Healthy tree canopy is important for the long-term benefit of residents, visitors and our precious flora and fauna. I thank the many volunteer groups, private landowners and City staff for their incredible work in protecting our green canopy. We have some challenges ahead in key areas, but I am confident we are all committed to expanding our overall green tree canopy wherever we can.’’

The 2020 report - Urban Tree Canopy Study - found:

• From 2009 to 2014, the maturity of tree cover increased by 18 %, and from 2014 to 2018 it increased a further 14 %;
• Tree canopy cover within residential areas has maintained an average of 20 %; but decreased in approximately 25 % of all suburbs over the last five years;
• There is some tree canopy loss associated with in-fill developments (where a single dwelling is removed and two units/duplex style properties are constructed); and
• The average tree canopy cover across the whole urban footprint is 32 %, with 21 % of that tree canopy cover being on private owned land, 8 % of the canopy cover on publicly-owned land (including open space) and three percent of the tree canopy cover being on road reserves.

The study focused on the area of the city known as the ‘urban footprint’ which includes established urban areas and land with potential for new urban development. Residential areas occupy around one-third of the land within that urban footprint. It is this area where most people live and have an opportunity to walk or cycle to key destinations. A growing body of evidence suggests that further landscaping is needed to help mitigate forecast urban warming, support healthy and liveable neighbourhoods including attractive, tree shaded active travel environments.

Urban tree canopy is defined as trees or vegetation above 3 metre in height and contains both native and non-native species It differs from the city’s mapped native vegetation cover which captures native vegetation in large patches of native vegetation.

Mayor Tate went on to say “I want to see a continued focus on increasing tree canopy and street-lined landscapes throughout our city, providing cool thoroughfares. I also want to see greater focus on the habitat corridors we are establishing to give linkages for animals moving across our broader landscape.’’

The report was prepared by Arup and was the recipient of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects 2020 Landscape Planning Award.

Click here to view the report.

Related Articles

3rd February 2021 - Gold Coast’s Seaway Promenade nears completion

27th January 2021 - Gold Coast secures full program of events for 2021

5th January 2021 - Gold Coast Council announces grants to promote live music

6th August 2020 - Gold Coast Parklands’ upgrades to deliver engaging adventure playground

3rd February 2020 - Gold Coast’s Green Bridge connecting HOTA to Chevron Island opens

26th October 2020 - 10,000 trees planted around Tamworth sporting complexes

12th April 2020 - Melbourne study shows how cities struggle to enhance urban tree cover

8th March 2020 - Sunshine Coast to celebrate Parks Week with tree planting events

11th December 2019 - Latest IUCN reports that a quarter of eucalypt trees are threatened with extinction

13th October 2019 - Darwin set to plant 4000 trees to create green liveable spaces

5th July 2019 - Massive tree planting has potential to tackle climate crisis

31st May 2018 - Brisbane City Council plants 2.5 million trees since 2007

30th October 2019 - Gold Coast Council reverses decision to infill lake following conservation campaign

22nd July 2019 - Gold Coast Council makes multi-million dollar commitment to beach protection

19th October 2009 - Urban trees deliver green benefits

3rd September 2020 - Living turf crucial for mitigating ‘urban heat island’ effects

6th March 2019 - Councils assess heat island effects in built areas


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