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A case study balancing predetermined targets and real-world constraints to guide optimum urban tree canopy cover for Perth, Western Australia

Parker, J. and Simpson, G.D. (2020) A case study balancing predetermined targets and real-world constraints to guide optimum urban tree canopy cover for Perth, Western Australia. Forests, 11 (11). Article 1128.

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Abstract

Trees in urban settings are becoming increasingly important as mediators to emerging challenges that transect social, environmental, and economic factors. Trees provide shade; absorb and store atmospheric carbon and other pollutants; reduce local temperature fluctuations; provide essential inner-city fauna habitat; assist in reducing over-land stormwater flow; provide amenity; and provide many more social, environmental, and economic benefits. To secure these benefits, tree canopy cover targets are commonly employed by land managers; however, such targets are rarely quantified against the characteristics and limitations of individual urban centers. Through the generation and interrogation of qualitative and quantitative data, this case study of Perth, Western Australia presents a new conceptual tool that integrates eleven factors found to influence the capacity and opportunity for a city to support urban tree canopy cover. This tool is designed to capture and causally weigh urban tree canopy considerations based on individual city characteristics, collective values, and identifiable constraints. The output of the tool provides an “optimum” tree canopy cover result (as a percentage of the urban fabric) to better inform canopy cover targets and recommendations for urban tree strategic planning and management. This tool is valuable for urban land managers, city planners, urban designers, and communities in effective planning, management, valuation, and investment regarding urban trees as a sub-set of urban green infrastructure.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: Environmental and Conservation Sciences
Publisher: MDPI
Copyright: © 2020 by the authors
United Nations SDGs: Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/58379
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