Thursday, 27 June 2019 15:07

Cooler suburbs: More than trees

Tree canopy and green spaces help cool built environments Tree canopy and green spaces help cool built environments

Media release, 26 June 2019

Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) welcomes the news that green spaces and planting more trees are new Premier’s Priorities.

Since 2016, WSROC has called on the NSW Government to make urban heat an urgent priority to ensure better health and resilience outcomes in the region. In December 2018, WSROC released the Turn Down the Heat Strategy; the first multi-sector approach to heat mitigation, which includes the call for including trees and green spaces as critical urban infrastructure.

Western Sydney experiences the worst of Greater Sydney’s urban heat, with higher temperatures, and less relief from heat held by built environments. As the region continues to develop and grow, the adverse effects of urban heat are projected to increase.

WSROC President Cr Barry Calvert welcomed the NSW Government’s announcement, saying, “Premier’s Priorities focused on increasing green spaces and canopy is an enormous win for WSROC and its member councils who have, for many years now, worked hard at bringing the issue of urban heat in Western Sydney to the fore.

“The Premier’s commitment to increasing green spaces and planting additional trees across Greater Sydney are strides in the right direction, however, creating cooler suburbs requires more than just planting trees,” he said.

“We need to be mindful that it will take decades for trees to mature. We should ideally focus on a combination of multiple cooling strategies including cool materials, greenery and water, which has been proven to deliver the greatest cooling benefit.

“Tackling urban heat includes broader strategies, such as using cool materials in pavements and facades, working with airflow, water-sensitive urban design, and better building efficiency,” said Cr Calvert.

Western Sydney councils are already working with these integrated principles, in projects such as: reviewing guidelines for material selection, Blacktown City’s Water Sensitive Urban Design Showground precinct; and Liverpool City Centre Public Domain Master Plan, incorporating standard WSUD (passive irrigation) in tree planting.

Cr Calvert affirmed, “It’s gratifying to have this clear indication of the Premier’s commitment to working with local government towards improving the lives of people living in Western Sydney communities.”

“WSROC looks forward to working with the NSW Government to inform and support a successful delivery of this laudable Premier’s Priority. This will include considerations of some of the critical elements to make quality green space work: selecting appropriate species that deliver cooling benefits, ensuring our

planning policies deliver an urban form that reserves appropriate space for greenery, and making sure appropriate resources are in place for maintenance, ” he said.




Media contact: Kate O'Connell, 02 9671 4333 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Last modified on Tuesday, 06 August 2019 15:57

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