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The City of Sydney Has Announced a Plan to Cover 40 Percent of the City with Greenery By 2050

Under a strategy being put to council this month, it also wants to plan 700 trees a year.
By Sarah Ward
March 17, 2021
By Sarah Ward
March 17, 2021

Sydney's laneways, roofs and walls could soon be filled with plants, and hundreds more trees could be added to the streets each year, all under a new strategy announced today, Wednesday, March 17, by the City of Sydney. Set for further council discussion this month, the Greening Sydney 2030 plan outlines a heap of greenery targets to work towards over the next nine years — and others to hit by the time that 2050 rolls around.

The big aim: to cover 40 percent of the city with vegetation and greenery by the time this century reaches its halfway point, including 27 percent canopy cover. There's also a target of 23 percent canopy cover by 2030, to be aided by the planting of 700 trees a year over the next ten years.

The City of Sydney is proposing to commit $377 million over the next ten years to the strategy, which also spans more shrubbery and plants in general — and it wants to put them in all types of places. More than 38 hectares of narrow laneways have been identified as prime sites for greenery, for instance. Adapting current city planning controls to make it easier for green roofs to be included in new developments and retrofitted to existing buildings is also on the cards.

Working with the local Indigenous community on cultural and practical principles that should be considered has been highlighted as a key part of the plan, too. So has encouraging Sydneysiders to take part in greening activities through education programs, citizen science programs, community gardens, the Sydney City Farm, bushcare and landcare groups, and footpath gardening projects.

And, to ensure that the entire city benefits, the City of Sydney has been analysing the existing streets, parks and properties to work out the current greenery footprint and canopy distribution. From there, it'll move forward with an aim of spreading the project equitably across town.

Announcing the plan, Lord Mayor Clover Moore said that it builds upon the previous Greening Sydney 2012 strategy, and the planting of 15,052 street trees over the past 15 years and 816,363 plants since 2009.

"In the past ten years alone, we have seen a 23 percent increase in canopy cover, a 13 percent increase in parks and green spaces, a 180 percent increase in expanded and restored native bushland, and 23 community and verge gardens established across the city," said the Lord Mayor.

The Greening Sydney 2030 will be put to the council at the Environment Committee meeting on Monday, March 22 and, if endorsed, the draft strategy will go on public exhibition between Monday, April 19–Monday, May 24. The later period is when the community can provide feedback and comments — so if you feel strongly about having more greenery around the city, take note.

The City of Sydney's Greening Sydney 2030 strategy will be put to the council at the Environment Committee meeting on Monday, March 22. For more information, head to the meeting's online agenda.

Images: Mark Metcalfe, City of Sydney.

Published on March 17, 2021 by Sarah Ward

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