Mandurah could become greener and cooler, as apart of the local government’s fresh focus on street trees.
Mandurah is in the midst of significant “urban greening” and an upcoming local government report has placed putting the city on an environmental front foot as a priority ahead of the region’s anticipated population boom.
While infill development targets are putting urban nature space at risk in local governments nation-wide, the City of Mandurah has vowed to ensure there is sufficient planning to combat the issue.
The new report in the process of being forged will be a detailed master plan that outlines ever street tree in the city.
While it has been more than a year-long objective for the local government, the master plan is expected to be ready for public consultation in a matter of months.
Research has proved that trees in built up areas can benefit communities through social interaction, recreation and relaxation.
According to the city’s deputy mayor Caroline Knight, Mandurah’s unique natural assets are a top priority for local residents.
“The community have said it’s really important. Through the surveys that we do, it comes up time and time again in the top four priorities,” Ms Knight said.
“I think it’s so important for the health of our community. The quality of people’s health is linked to the quality of the environment, so it is incredibly important.”
Results of the latest independent review that evaluated community priorities and measured the City of Mandurah’s around performance echoed Ms Knight’s sentiment.
According to the data, collated by strategic planning and research service Catalyse, natural environment was ranked fourth for most valued aspects for residents.
Green space, parks and environment were keywords in several of the featured comments from survey respondents.
The City of Mandurah has also looked into the current state of trees in the city and detected significant changes between 2007 and 2016.
By using remote sensing techniques such as thermal imagery the local government has been able to calculate that there is 19 per cent canopy cover in the City of Mandurah.
Overall, there has been an average increase in canopy cover in Mandurah of 5.7 per cent between 2007 and 2016.
The most significant uptake of this was seen in the rural to rural residential zones and in other tree prevention areas.
Ms Knight said the City of Mandurah and various environmental groups had helped by implementing tree planting projects.
The quality of people’s health is linked to the quality of the environment, so it is incredibly important.- City of Mandurah deputy mayor Carloine Knight
According to Benchmarking Australia's Urban Tree Canopy report, the City of Belmont in the greater Perth region features a tree canopy of only nine per cent.
The study, undertaken by the Institute of Sustainable Futures, analysed the amount of vegetation covering local governments nation-wide.
The research attributed to low figure to the suburb having hard surface proportions of over 50 per cent with grass-bare ground averages of 20-25 per cent.
The top local government’s in Western Australia included the Shire of Kalamunda at 63 per cent, the Shire of Mundaring at 54 per cent and the City of Swan at 34 per cent.
When it came to where canopy cover was occurring locally, the City of Mandurah’s managed lands such as parks and reserves boasted the highest amount at 38 per cent.
Road reserves across the City of Mandurah held 18 per cent of local canopy cover.
Ms Knight said tree canopy cover changed the land surface temperature of streets, which had a big impact on how hot each suburb felt.
According to a City of Mandurah report into the matter all suburbs had experienced a slight increase in land surface temperature from 2007 to 2016.
Results showed a roughly 0.5 degrees celsius fall in land surface temperature for every 10 per cent increase in canopy cover.
However, past 60 per cent cover the trend flattened out.
The suburbs that contained tree canopy cover greater that 17 per cent included Parklands, Herron, Bouvard, Dawesville and Greenfields.
More built up suburbs such as Madora Bay, Dudley Park, Wannanup, San Remo, Silver Sands and Central Mandurah recorded tree canopy cover below 10 per cent.
The greatest tree canopy loss between 2007 and 2016 was in the suburbs of Dudley Park, Silver Sands, Madora Bay, Halls Head,Central Mandurah and Greenfields.
Greenfields had the greatest loss of canopy height.
From the data collated by the City of Mandurah it was identified that tree health decline was a local issue.
Specialist mapping highlighted a high number of areas with declining relative tree health throughout Mandurah from 2007 to 2016.
Stay tuned to the Mandurah Mail over the next couple of weeks as we’ll bring you the remained of our Urban Greening series.
What is your opinion on trees in Mandurah? Send the Mandurah Mail team a letter via email@example.com.
Follow Caitlyn Rintoul on Twitter via @caitlynrintoul.
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