Urban Forest Strategy

City: Melbourne

The urban innovation of Urban Forest Strategy in Melbourne was created to help mitigate the effects of climate change and urban heat island effects. Melbourne’s Urban Forest Strategy consists of a program that allows citizens to adopt a tree through social network. In the US Sustainability reading material “Cities, Green infrastructure and health”, the author states that planting trees reduces the city’s urban heat island effect and flood risk, while increasing air and water quality, and active travel (Landscape Institute). Tree planting works towards better health protection; improving availability of quality open/ green space and lowering air pollution (Cities, Green infrastructure and health). This concentrates on the health aspect of sustainable development.

The project’s sustainability goal outcomes are to create healthier ecosystems, engage and involve the community (Urban Forest Strategy). In the article from Emerging Urban Innovations, it supports the positive use of Urban Forest Strategy when discussing studies that show increasing a city’s green area by 10% could compensate for temperature increase caused by climate change. This is because vegetation helps block shortwave radiation while also cooling air (Global Agenda Council on the future of Cities). This is addresses both the environment and health factors of sustainable development.

Since Melbourne faces challenges of climate change, population growth and urban heating, the city encourages its citizens to take pride in urban greenery through its Urban Forest Strategy program. The program consists of over 70,000 trees. The trees are tagged on a database, citizens are able to adopt a tree, name it and track its growth and carbon offset and share data through social networks. Trees cover 22% of Melbourne today, and by 2040 that number is hoped to increase to 40% (Global Agenda Council on the Future of Cities). Melbourne is becoming a global leader in urban forestry which advances their economic sustainable development. A healthy urban forest helps maintain the health of Melbourne and its people. The use of tree tracking through social networks helps citizens feel connected to the project and to their environment! The open availability for anyone to participate in the program appeals to the social equity factor of sustainable development.


US Sustainability reading source material: https://us130urbansustainability.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/future-cities-green-infrastructure-health.pdf

Additional resources:

“Top Ten Urban Innovations” prepared by the Global Agenda Council on the Future of Cities: http://www3.weforum.org/docs/Top_10_Emerging_Urban_Innovations_report_2010_20.10.pdf

“Urban Forest Strategy” from the Landscape Institute: http://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/community/parks-open-spaces/urban-forest/Pages/urban-forest-strategy.aspx


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