As part of its mega green drive, Sydney is mulling to plant thousands of new trees to cover 40 per cent of its area in green growth by 2050. Proposed by the City of Sydney Council, the Greening Sydney 2030 plan has an estimated Budget of 377 million Australian dollars (about $291.5 million), to be put towards planting 700 new trees in urban areas per year, and increasing green roofs, walls and streetscape gardening, Xinhua reported.
The plan is partly in response to an increase in the prevalence of heat waves world wide, with multiple studies showing that areas primarily made up of concrete and hard surfaces experience much higher temperature than those with greenery. “We’re in the middle of a climate crisis and we are already experiencing its impacts. Dangerous heatwaves are arriving earlier, are hotter and last longer," Sydney’s Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.
“Trees remove thousands of tonnes of pollution from our air, store carbon and help mitigate extreme weather, while also relieve stress, depression and anxiety. Effective and extensive canopy cover can reduce temperatures on the ground by up to 10 degrees."
Under the plan, new developments will be required to meet a basic “green factor" requirement based on the type of development, location and other site considerations. The city will also work with the local aboriginal community to identify cultural and practical principles to incorporate when designing new spaces, as well as to help integrate people with nature.
Moore said Sydney was one of the only councils in Australia to see its canopy cover increase over the past decade, planting 15,052 street trees in the past 15 years and 816,363 new plants in open spaces since 2009.
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