Creating a greener and ultimately cooler Melbourne is a priority for the Victorian Government. Plan Melbourne 2017-2020 will enhance the city’s urban forests to create more liveable and climate-adapted communities. To support this work, the Clean Air and Urban Landscape Hub partnered with the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, RMIT University and the CSIRO to map and analyse vegetation and assess its relationship to land use and urban heat.
As cities grow and change, tree, shrub and grass cover are often lost in the process. These maps will allow planners to precisely measure the area of vegetation at a local level, understand the relationship between urban vegetation cover and urban heat island effects, and track changes over time.
This evidence can inform greening targets, identify areas where investment is needed most, and provide a baseline to track the progress of greening strategies. Researchers also produced a vulnerability assessment to identify the areas with communities most vulnerable to heat waves.
Image: Urban greening in Melbourne CBD, photo by Briena Barrett.