Melbourne’s western suburbs are some of the fastest growing areas in Australia. They are also drier and often warmer than other parts of Melbourne. As the population increases so too does pollution, heat and pressure on the environment.
Trees and vegetation are vital components for liveable, healthy suburbs and provide many health, environmental and economic benefits.
Trees and vegetation help to combat climate change by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. As our cities warm they also contribute to reducing the ‘urban heat island effect‘.
Cooler, shaded spaces in our parks, in streetscapes and alongside homes can reduce heat stress particularly for those in our community who are most vulnerable to high temperatures.
There is also evidence to suggest that people living in areas with quality ‘green space’ are more likely to be physically active than those living in areas with low levels of greenery.
Additional benefits of increasing trees and vegetation include:
Health and social
- Improved air quality through reduction in airborne particulates and contaminants that contribute to respiratory illness.
- Quality green space to enhance residents’ health and wellbeing.
- Protection from UV light.
- Visually pleasing neighbourhood open spaces and streetscapes.
- Creation of ecosystems that support biodiversity.
- Reduced stormwater run-off to mitigate against flooding.
- Creation of wind breaks.
- Reduction in home heating and cooling costs through the shading and insulating properties of trees and vegetation.
- Improved property values.
- Prolonged life of asphalt in footpaths leading to reduced maintenance costs.