Urban Forests for Healthier Cities: Policy, Planning, Regulations, and Institutional Arrangements
Case Study: Greening for Resilience in Melbourne, Australia
Climate change threatens the way of life for residents of Melbourne, Australia. To contribute to city resilience against the threats of drought, heat, and extreme weather, the City of Melbourne developed an Urban Forest Strategy Plan. The plan draws from and informs many other municipal plans and strategies.
The plan highlights six strategies for the urban forest, as well as targets for each:
- Increase canopy cover to 40% by 2040
- City’s evidence-based tree selection guidelines
- Increase urban forest diversity, using the City’s evidence-based tree selection guidelines 63
- Improve vegetation health, with 90% of the City’s trees in good health by 2040
- Improve soil moisture and water quality, to allow for healthy growth of vegetation
- Improve urban ecology by protecting urban biodiversity
- Inform and consult the community.
The Urban Forest Strategy Plan presents specific actions to achieve each target: for example, to improve vegetation health, it recommends annual health checks for every municipal tree.64