As urban density increases and green cover on private properties diminishes, more pressure is being placed on local councils to ensure there are enough public green spaces to meet the social and recreational needs of our growing community.
Green cover, such as lawn and trees, support healthier communities and make suburbs more liveable by reducing urban heat, providing places for local fauna and flora to thrive and improving stormwater management, thereby reducing potential flooding risks.
Green cover across West Torrens is at risk of being replaced with houses and other buildings and hard surfaces. The trend is for smaller allotment sizes with dwellings covering most of the allotment area, resulting in loss of previous green cover and little, if any, remaining space for replanting and stormwater drainage.
Just over half of West Torrens comprises hard surfaces (such as roads and buildings); the remainder is green cover, such as trees, shrubs, grass and bare earth. Hard surfaces can increase urban heat, so there is a need to shade and cool these spaces. There is also a need to maximise opportunities for more plantings throughout the area, which will help build community resilience to climate change, cool urban heat and maintain healthy and connected communities.
What are we doing?
During the past couple of years we've undertaken an analysis on green cover in West Torrens and, as a result of the study, have a better understanding of how we can improve green spaces in our city. We have also developed a Tree Strategy which provides planning and maintenance guidance for Council-owned trees.
We understand the positive impact public green spaces have on public and environmental health and our community is interested in what we are doing to improve green cover. A summary document has been prepared to describe the actions we are undertaking to achieve this. This includes planning and policy, street designs, drainage works, plantings, collaborating with other organisations, on-ground actions and trialling new initiatives.
While some of these actions may seem very 'common-sense', one solution does not necessarily fit all. The type of green cover chosen in various areas (eg trees verses shrubs, lawn verses plants) can play an important role in enhancing our public spaces.
Find out more about how we are planning to help green West Torrens.