The urban forest is a valuable asset and a key element of city infrastructure. The City’s Urban Forest Plan is a strategic action plan that aims to promote the urban forest’s long term health and resilience, despite the challenges it faces, and maximise the level of community benefits delivered.
The plan represents a first and significant step in promoting a more proactive, strategic management approach to this valuable city asset.
The plan’s development included a range of community engagement initiatives aimed at raising awareness of the importance of the urban forest and the community benefits it can provide.
Attractive street trees and well-designed green spaces bring a range of social benefits including the promotion of a sense of place and identity, supporting community cohesion and physical and mental health and well-being.
Healthy and attractive street trees can help improve property values, reduce heating and cooling costs, reduce health care costs and improve the life space of key assets.
A healthy and resilient urban forest helps to cool streets and public spaces, improve air and water quality, reduce stormwater run off and mitigate the impact of global warming through the process of carbon sequestration.
The Urban Forest Plan has been an important driver in the City of Perth’s transition to a water sensitive city, promoting the development of WSUD initiatives and pilot projects for water capture and storage. Pro active planning for an adequate and sustainable water supply for irrigation is important to help maximise the cooling benefits of the urban forest and its on-going health and resilience.
The Urban Forest Plan is a key element of proposals to help green the City of Perth. The range of community benefits that it can bring will help promote the long term economic, social and environmental sustainability of the city. The implementation of the plan has the potential to create a valuable and enduring legacy by handing over a greener, more beautiful, healthy and resilient City for all who live, work and play in it.