Plan to handle the heat

Well, it turns out you can with some clever environmental planning and dedicated tree planting.

The City of Melville is working towards creating an urban forest in residential and retail areas, involving tree canopies and sustainable water management.

Mayor Russell Aubrey, who put up a successful motion at last week�s council meeting to start the process, said a full canopy across a road could reduce ground temperature by up to 40C, for example from 66 to 26C at the height of summer.

The motion, which asked for City of Melville chief executive Shayne Silcox to develop a funding model for the plan, was passed unanimously.

Mr Aubrey said the council�s strategies to help fight global warming included the urban forests, as well as water harvesting from buildings and strategies to manage rising sea levels.

He said similar plans had been implemented in Melbourne and Sydney and the outcomes not only provided environmental benefits but also a better looking streetscape.

With detailed plans for the Canning Bridge area, Riseley Street precinct, Melville City Centre and the redevelopment of Willagee currently being finalised, the Mayor said it was an opportunity to incorporate these strategies into the plans.

The first redevelopment to benefit may be Melville City Centre, including Garden City Shopping Centre and the Civic Buildings.

�We are putting the garden back into Garden City,� Mr Aubrey said.

Mr Aubrey said the cost of the environmental initiatives would be covered by developers, not ratepayers.