Urban heat and tree mapping viewer


The City of West Torrens is committed to adapting to climate change and is undertaking initiatives aimed at understanding these issues better and in building a more resilient community. 

Trees and irrigated green spaces make our streets and suburbs cooler by providing shade and acting like evaporative air conditioners as they release moisture from their leaves (transpiration). Increasing tree canopy is one of the most cost effective and efficient ways for urban areas to adapt to climate change. In addition to alleviating urban heat, trees provide significant economic, social, environmental, ecological and aesthetic benefits to communities.

Tree canopy across the metropolitan area has now been spatially mapped, and together with urban heat maps, and other GIS layers, are now available on the State Government's "Urban Heat and Tree Mapping Viewer".  The online Viewer enables the user to zoom into an area of interest to examine urban heat and tree canopy. 

Use the following links to access the Viewer:

(The online Viewer 'User Guide' is useful to assist in navigating and obtaining information - this is available in the top banner of the Viewer webpage).

The mapping shows that tree canopy cover in West Torrens covers is nearly 13%, while the average for metro Adelaide is approximately 23%. Our lower percentage is generally due to the long history of urban development experienced in West Torrens compared to other suburbs. We continue to seek opportunities to plant more trees, and encourage our community to protect and grow trees on their property too.

The majority of tree canopy across Adelaide is on private land, however proportionally private land has the least of canopy cover (20%) compared to streets (24%) and other public land (31%). The data shows tree canopy in West Torrens is 12.64% of the council area.

The State Government's 30-Year Plan for Greater Adelaide has a target of a 20% increase in urban green cover by 2045, the greatest opportunity to meet this is on private land, as there simply is not enough unplanted space on public land alone, despite the efforts of councils across metro Adelaide to increase plantings.

The online mapping viewer can provide a useful visual tool for benchmarking canopy cover and tree height at a point in time, which can be replicated in the future to track tree loss or gain trends. Together with the urban heat maps, these can help develop greening and cooling initiatives, as well as assist the community in developing their land more sustainably.

Indicative tree height is shown in the coloured legend with blue being small and green being high. Specific heights can be revealed by clicking on the tree, as shown below:


Urban heat can be revealed by clicking on an object, as shown below:


The mapping will be revised in 2022 which will help track trends in canopy cover and urban heat.