Urban Forests

The urban forest, a term used to describe trees and shrubs on public and private land in and around urban areas, is a vital resource in managing climate change and variability. Recognition of the urban forest in policy as a community asset in the health and well-being of the Australian population, mitigating climate change and variability and increasing the economic prosperity of the Australian economy is urgently required across all levels of Government.

The Australian nursery industry is championing initiatives that enable greater recognition of the urban forest. For example, industry is currently investing in research to identify the many direct and indirect benefits of Australia's urban forest in managing climate change and variability. In order to achieve this, the industry is working with Universities across Australia as well as CSIRO to address key gaps in urban forest research that include:

  • Estimating the values and benefits associated with tree canopy cover and its spatial distribution at property and neighbourhood scales
  • The potential benefits of urban vegetation in mitigating heat island effect

Earlier, in 2008, NGIA commissioned a report titled "The Green We Need" to build an accessible information base to serve future debate and support future research into the health impacts of urban green spaces. The report was written by Allyson Holbrook through the Centre for the Study of Research Training and Impact (SORTI) at the University of Newcastle, Australia.

To download a copy of the report, click on the icon below.

The appendix to this report can be downloaded by clicking HERE

The report was released at the inaugural Urban GreenScapes Symposium held in Canberra on 17 February 2009. The Symposium brought together leading national and international speakers, who together, provided a compelling insight into these three key areas. The event attracted some 233 participants, of which 50% were external stakeholders. The MC for the event was multi-award winning journalist and documentary maker Jenny Brockie.