Posted by Ben Gooden on Thu, Feb 16, 2017 @ 8:01 AM
An Ecosystem and Resource Management Expert has said leaving space for trees in new Hobart housing developments is a matter of life and death for the city and its residents. Dr Greg Moore from the University of Melbourne told Leon Compton on 936 ABC Hobart, “We know that the presence of trees is important for the shade, the cooling. We know that there is a correlation between how long people live and the green environment in which they live.”
In fact, more Australians are at risk from death from heat-related problems than from bushfires or falling trees. Dr Moore said, “In the [Victorian] Black Saturday fires, 173 people died in the fires. But 374, more than double, died from heat-related deaths [in 2009], so you’ve got to get the balance right.”
Public planting by councils cannot provide enough canopy coverage alone, so space for trees in private gardens must be considered in housing developments.
Dr Moore said, “There’s not enough public land to provide the level of canopy, which needs to be between 30 and 35 per cent, to achieve the outcomes in terms of health, shade, cooling, and the economic benefits. You have to think about the quality of lives and the sorts of lives people living in those houses are going to have. Melbourne City Council is aiming to take its tree canopy cover from 22 per cent to 40 per cent by 2030. It’s doing that on economic and health grounds. It’s got nothing to do with feeling good about being green and leafy, it’s really hard-nosed stuff.”
Learn more about innovative tree solutions for urban forests here.