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Greening our city

Increase the tree canopy and green cover across Greater Sydney by planting 1 million trees by 2022.

A Park in NSW

Why is this important?

Trees play an important role in creating great places for our communities, enhancing outdoor recreation and exercise opportunities and making the places we live and work greener, cooler and more connected. Green canopy enhances the amenity of local parks and streets and is crucial in providing vital shade that reduces ambient temperatures and mitigates the urban heat island effect.

Trees improve local character and enhance property values. They extend habitat, increasing the biodiversity of cities serving as a home for animals and birds. Air quality is improved by removing fine particles from the air and trees mitigate the impact of climate change, acting as a storehouse for carbon dioxide.

How are we tracking?

Our target is to have 1 million trees planted and registered with the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment by 2022.  

As at March 2021, the number of trees planted more than doubled in the last 12 months, to a total of 500,000 trees in the ground.

This Premier's Priority is part of our longer-term commitment to plant 5 million trees by 2030.

Download the Greening our city data information sheet (PDF, 222.32 KB)

What are we doing?

We are aiming to lessen the impact of the urban heat island effect and increase the city’s resilience to a changing climate. We are focused on both tree planting and policy change to ensure that the planning system supports trees and green cover well into the future. 

All of our initiatives have been designed with the aim of enhancing the urban canopy of Greater Sydney and creating more attractive, liveable spaces.  

These are some of the places that these initiatives are already making a difference: 

In 2019, the NSW Government commenced its first demonstration project in the suburb of Rosemeadow. Rosemeadow is a suburb that has high urban heat levels, an urban canopy level of predominantly less than 10% and the most common form of transport is car travel. In partnership with Campbelltown City Council, this project explores the value of trees in the community and how they can contribute to increasing active transport, stormwater retention, cooling and shade. The project involves surveys, school workshops, street design and community engagement, and planting events along Copperfield Drive and Haydon Park. The result will be a greener, more pleasant Rosemeadow for the community to use, access and enjoy. The pilot was announced June 2019 and is due to be completed in 2020. 

The NSW Government has partnered with Greening Australia and Landcare NSW to plant thousands of new trees across Greater Sydney and expand the city’s green canopy.  

Announced by Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes, the partnerships will see 172,000 new trees planted in Greater Sydney’s parks, schools and communities over the next two-and-a-half years. 

The respective partnerships will deliver: 

  • The Creating Canopies project which will see 100,000 trees planted across Greater Sydney, with a focus on Western Sydney with Landcare NSW.
  • The Cooling the Schools program which will bring tree planting education into classrooms as well as plant 72,000 trees across parks and community spaces and schools across Greater Sydney with Greening Australia. 

Trees being planted in NSW

We have also partnered with Planet Ark to be category sponsor of National Tree Day activities within Greater Sydney over the next 3 years. As part of this arrangement, 10,000 seedlings were donated towards Planet Ark’s Seedling Bank in 2020, an initiative that aims to safeguard the supply of seedlings for community groups. 

Find out more information about the programs and partnerships being delivered, including how you can participate.

Greening our City grants support local councils and their partners to enhance urban tree canopy and green cover by co-funding tree planting and demonstration projects across Greater Sydney.

Two funding rounds in 2019 and 2020 have awarded over $15 million to projects across 31 local government areas in Greater Sydney.

The first round of grant funding was awarded in early 2019 with thirty-two projects approved for over $5.3 million across 20 councils in Greater Sydney.

The second round of Greening our City grants has awarded $10.2 million in grant funding to 50 projects in Greater Sydney across 2 funding streams:

  • Stream 1: Cooler suburbs. $8.1 million has been awarded to 38 projects to boost council tree planting projects. As a result, Greater Sydney will have over 40,000 newly planted trees in public spaces, increasing shade and amenity in our parks and streets.
  • Stream 2: Green innovations. $2.1 million has been awarded to 12 projects that will showcase best practice, scalable solutions to overcome barriers to tree planting. These projects will increase tree canopy and green cover across Greater Sydney, providing cooler neighbourhoods.

Find out more information about the projects awarded grant funding, including those located near you

Find out more information about the programs and partnerships being delivered, including how you can participate.

What can you do?  

You can make your home and local area a greener, cooler and more beautiful place to live. It’s as easy as planting greenery in your garden or on your balcony. Just 1 or more small trees will make your home cooler and more private, with improved air quality. 

Recognise your efforts by registering your tree online

Greening our city

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