Geelong has the capacity to establish itself among the world’s most innovative and liveable cities by recognising the role its urban forest plays in its future.
There are three main drivers that support the development of an Urban Forest Strategy for Geelong: community demand, consideration
of Geelong’s future and Council’s policy context.
A series of community consultation programs have been held in recent years to inform some of Council’s most important documents such as City Plan, the Environment Management Strategy and the Central Geelong Action Plan. In each of these consultations, the Geelong community demanded more urban greening.
Climate Change - Geelong faces a series of challenges as outlined in the City's Climate Change Adaptation Strategy: extreme weather events such as storms, heatwaves, flooding, sea-level rise and community and infrastructure vulnerability. The urban forest helps build ecological resilience towards these challenges through carbon storage and sequestration, stormwater interception, shade and cooling and wind abatement.
Community Health and Wellbeing - The future health of Geelong’s community is underpinned by multiple factors, not least the availability of quality open space, the Community’s engagement with nature within the City and behaviours towards physical activity. The urban forest offers a vast array of critical benefits to the people of Geelong and its management needs to incorporate factors such as social equity and encouragement of physical activity.
Economy - Economic transition and urban renewal are a key part of Geelong’s future. These processes require Geelong to enhance its unique character and its city brand, enticing investment and consumer spending. Public amenity is crucial to city branding, and the urban forest, through parks and gardens, tree lined streets, boulevards and city entry points contributes significantly. Places such as Brougham Street, Eastern Park and the foreshore currently demonstrate this renewal and unique character and should be replicated across the City.
1. Policy Context
There are eight key Council documents that provide the framework for developing an Urban Forest
Strategy for Geelong:
The Environment Management Strategy 2013-2017
Mandates the development of an Urban Forest Strategy
Sets out the delivery of the One Planet principles, particularly Land Use and Wildlife
City Plan 2013-2017
The Central Geelong Action Plan 2013
The Open Space Strategy (DRAFT)
The Climate Change Adaptation Strategy 2011
Geelong Play Strategy 2012-2021
Geelong’s Health and Wellbeing Plan 2013-2017
The Biodiversity Strategy 2013