Concrete city tag shock

The 202020 Vision report Where are all the Trees? used a program called I-Tree to analysis tree canopy cover and green space in 139 Australian local governments.

The City of Fremantle has been vocal in their push to become one of WA’s greenest and most sustainable local governments, introducing a number of initiatives in the Green Skins Project, which put two green walls in concrete heavy areas and the recently formed Green Plan Working Group, which will look at improving Fremantle’s green spaces.

However, this push has not stopped the report labelling Fremantle the second most ‘hard surface heavy’ area in Australia and the second worst for green space of the 29 councils measured in WA, reporting just 10.4 per cent of the area was green.

Fremantle councillor and Green Plan Working Group chair Jon Strachan said the mapping provided from the report was a good way for the city to have a ‘very accurate and clear understanding’ of what they had now and the opportunities for improvement.

‘At the end of the day you need to know what you’ve got before you can effectively plan to improve it,’ he said.

‘The large uncovered hard areas at the port will mean Fremantle will never get tree cover ratios similar to places like Armadale, but that does not mean we are not taking this initiative seriously.

‘The forming of the Green Plan Working Group is a key plank in making real changes to our city in regards to outside amenity, temperature, storm water management and of course exercise and recreation facilities for our community.

‘I am confident the group has the skills and commitment to set Fremantle on the path to providing the community with access to the highest quality urban open, green, recreation spaces.’

The 202020 Vision brought their findings to Perth last week as part of the national Growing the Seeds tour to find ways of increasing urban green space.

Nursery and Garden Industry Australia chief executive Robert Prince said the benefits of more green space included mitigating climate change, creating healthier and happier communities and making people productive.

‘We also know there are a range of specific obstacles to increasing green space,’ he said.

‘The report kick started a range of conversations amongst councils and industry groups which has further demonstrated the hugely complex planning, geographical and climate-related factors that challenge councils, business and communities in this sector.

‘But it has also highlighted a plethora of solutions that despite our geographical distances may be shareable and scalable, and it is this insight that is driving our tour, to gather these solutions and share in the form of a specific action plan.’