Trees and parks have the potential to transform the quality of life in Australian cities, but remain vastly undervalued.
The number of residents in Australian cities is forecast to boom in the next few decades. Population growth will increase demand for housing and jobs, and will place enormous pressure on health systems and transport. Energy consumption will increase as temperatures rise due to climate change. As our cities become increasingly crowded, there will be less space for the trees, parks and the other photosynthetic elements we call green infrastructure.
AECOM’s research deals primarily with the costs and benefits of street trees because they are the green infrastructure that conflicts most with other infrastructure in our cities. But many of the observations in this report also apply to other forms of green infrastructure.
The research focuses on three Sydney suburbs, and estimates that a 10 percent increase in the leaf canopy of street trees can increase the value of properties by an average of $49,000.