Greening the city

Greening the city

Breathe easy

Sydney’s natural landscape has changed dramatically and is nearly unrecognisable from its state before the arrival of the First Fleet more than 2 centuries ago.

There has been a huge drop in the number of native trees, plants and flowers with the clearing of forests, filling of swampland and changes to the shoreline, not to mention the construction of buildings, streets and footpaths.

The City wants to reintroduce greenery to our home as part of Sustainable Sydney 2030, our mission to make the local area as green as possible.

Our blueprint for improving the local area can be found in Greening Sydney, which is available to download at the end of this page.

Here are some ways we are contributing towards a greener future.

Trees

Trees help clean the air, offer some shade and add an aesthetic appeal to the urban landscape. They attract wildlife and bring a smile to people’s faces.

The City is currently planting more trees all over Sydney.

There are nearly 30,000 street trees in the local area and that number is set to grow.

The City has planted more than 7,000 street trees in the past 6 years. We plant around 800 trees each year.

Once these have grown, the urban canopy will be 50 per cent larger. This will create enough shade to reduce average daily temperatures by 2 degrees Celsius.

Privately owned land makes up to 62 per cent of the local area, but only contributes to 42 per cent of its urban canopy.

The City is working with private property owners and plans to help those living in multi-storey buildings make the most out of their space.

Green walls and roofs can add a bit of charm to a building, boost its sustainable credentials and add to the local area’s urban canopy.

Promoting biodiversity

The ecological health of urban environments needs to be nurtured because it can have a big impact on the quality of life on all its inhabitants – the two-legged variety and otherwise!

Most of the plants in the City are introduced varieties. The local area is also home to a diverse mix of native and foreign animal species. By improving existing habitats and creating new ones, we can increase the number of plants and animals that call Sydney home.

Pocket parks, backyards and even pot plants on tiny balconies have important roles to play as stepping stones to help various species travel between larger green areas.

Streetscapes and public spaces

We have landscaped more than 28,000 square metres of public space. Greening local streets and open spaces can have a flow-on effect as people are inspired to exercise, get some fresh air, hang out with old friends and make some new ones.

Local streets we have upgraded are also doing their bit for increased environmental sustainability as they help collect and filter stormwater.

Transport and utility corridors

Spaces owned by the State Government's public transport and utility authorities occupy large tracts of land, which is often in prime locations and within potential green corridors. Increased greenery in these spaces can help boost the urban canopy and wildlife habitat, so the City aims to work in partnership with the relevant authorities.

Community participation

Volunteers are the lifeblood of any large-scale project and there can never be enough hands to help green our city.

City residents have already shown an interest and commitment in spreading the green goodness with efforts such as the Glebe Bushcare Group, Rozelle Bay Community Nursery, the Pyrmont Ultimo Landcare Group and the Glebe Society’s Blue Wren Group.

The City is developing and supporting green initiatives in the community by offering clear and ongoing communication, education and support as well as its range of grants for specific projects.

Last updated: Thursday, 4 July 2013