The City of Sydney has announced plans to immerse a full 40% of the community in greenery in 2050, adhering to its Greening Sydney 2012 and 2030 strategies.

The plan will include new and enhanced parks, green roofs and walls, streetscape gardening and a multitude of new trees planted across the city in the next few years.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore proclaimed that the proposal is a component of the city’s desire to do their part for the earth’s climate crisis.

The City of Sydney is one of several councils in Australia that has enhanced canopy cover, and the only capital city has done so. Greening Sydney 2030 permits the city to advance this progress and supplies the next valuable chapter in the City of Sydney’s green story, she said.

Moore points out the climate crisis impacts have resounded through the area, with severe heat waves coming earlier, are hotter and last for a lengthier period. She said our community must adjust to the morphing climate and up its resilience to the probable impacts.

Moore states that urban streetscapes lined with flora are non-negotiable for tomorrow’s infrastructure.

Trees and other greenery are as important as roads and broadband internet to the urban street landscape. Effective and abundant canopy cover can lower temperatures on the ground by up to 10 degrees.

She says the city will plant more trees, plants and shrubbery, and ensure that their species are strong and more resistant to our shifting climate.

Making the city more ecoconscious has been a goal for the City of Sydney since 2008, when the Sustainable Sydney 2030 program was introduced in answer to climate change. 

Since then, the city has seen a 24% increase in canopy cover, a 13% increase in park space and greenspaces, a 180% boost in increased and restored native bushland since 2014, and 23 community and verge gardens instituted in the city.

Moore states that greenery is important for the physical and mental health of city residents and tourists.

Trees deplete thousands of tonnes of pollution from the air, store carbon and mitigate extreme weather conditions, while at the same time draining stress, depression and anxiety, she said. She says we must support our expansive urban forest and greenery by investing in it.

To attain these objectives, Greening Sydney 2030 has presented a series of proposed actions:

1. Green laneways, roofs and streets

The council will mandate more green roofs and walls, also greening concrete laneways and narrow streets.

2. Make access to greenery equal

Sydney City Council wants to plant greenery across the city, in the amount of about 30% canopy cover.

3. Incorporate Green Factor Scores

The Council plans to introduce Green Factor Scores, a planning tool that assesses and quantifies the degree and quality of urban greening a project supplies. All projects must attain a requisite score, based on the category of development, location and other site factors. Green Factor Scores will be incorporated into new planning controls, including the development control plan to guarantee greening is planned for and provided on private land.

4. Start a Greening Sydney Fund

City of Sydney intends to compensate for each tree cut down for infrastructure or development. The compensation will be placed in a Greening Sydney Fund, intended to enhance greening outcomes on private land in the form of programs and grants that will motivate inhabitants to plant new trees, install green roofs or make other steps to increase green cover.

5. Use Indigenous ecological knowledge as a resource

The Council will cooperate with regional Aboriginal and Torres Strait communities to pinpoint cultural and practical ideas that should be considered when designing new spaces, or that can integrate human beings with nature.

6. City participation and education

The council intends to continue participation in greening programs such as supporting education initiatives on urban greening and citizen science programs, community gardens and the Sydney City Farm.


The draft strategy will go on public exhibition for comment from 19 April to 24 May. To view a copy of the Greening Sydney Strategy 2030, click here