Innovative planting program combats urban heat

Council is planting trees across eight locations in the Blue Mountains to combat increased temperatures associated with loss of tree canopy cover.
Tube stock for planting at the selected locations

This follows on from the successful planting of 384 trees in 2022, under the Greening our City project.

Funded by the NSW Government grant as part of the Greening our City Premiers Priority, in association with Local Government NSW, the project involves canopy renewal to mitigate the ‘urban heat island’ effect which is an increase in temperatures in some of our villages and town centres.

During early February 2024, Council is planting 19 trees at Katoomba, 6 trees at Springwood, 24 trees at Winmalee, 30 at Blaxland and 30 at Glenbrook. The locations selected for canopy renewal are those identified by heat mapping technology as a hot spot. They are:

  • Camp Street, North Katoomba
  • Victoria Street, North Katoomba
  • South Street & Minni Ha Ha Road, North Katoomba
  • Silva Road, Springwood
  • Hawkesbury Road (near Halycon Ave), Winmalee
  • Hawkesbury Road (near Reid Rd), Winmalee
  • Lennox Park, Blaxland
  • Glenbrook Park, Glenbrook

“This project is a simple and effective way to help keep our towns and villages cooler, greener and more comfortable in the hottest months,” Blue Mountains Mayor, Mark Greenhill said.

“Trees play an important role in creating cool spaces for our communities, enhancing outdoor recreation and exercise opportunities, and they improve air quality by removing fine particles. Trees also extend habitat for animals and birds, helping to increase the biodiversity of our urban areas.”

Blue Mountains City Council Chief Executive Officer, Dr Rosemary Dillon, said “As a City surrounded by a World Heritage National Park, Council aims to minimise the impact of our urban footprint and be a model for sustainable living.

“Council received $116,000 funding from the Greening our City project. It is being used to plant more than 450 trees in total, targeting townships identified as experiencing an excessive build-up of heat, as a result of increased hard surfaces and tree canopy loss associated with urban development.”

Canopy renewal is an essential measure to address climate change, by providing vital shade that reduces ambient temperatures and mitigates the urban heat island effect.

The species to be planted are a mix of native Eucalypt, other native species and Maples. The species have been chosen to:

  • Complement the existing trees and planting layout within the streetscape or park.
  • Respond to site constraints such as narrow verges, underground services and overhead power lines.
  • Incorporate indigenous species to enhance bushland character of the locality and highlight species associated with threatened ecological communities.
  • Enhance the village and park amenity by including deciduous Acer species (Maple) at suitable locations.
  • Complement other Council projects seeking to improve water quality with rain gardens and biofiltration stormwater upgrades of drainage lines (Lennox & Whitton parks).

A landscaping contractor will manage and maintain the trees for 18 months after planting.

This project is part of the Greening Our City grant program that is proudly funded by the NSW Government in association with Local Government NSW.

For more information:

Photo: Tube stock for planting at the selected locations.

/Public Release. View in full here.