The City of Canning is the 9th largest Council in the metropolitan area*…. yet it has just been revealed as having the third lowest amount of tree canopy in Perth.
The only councils scoring more disastrously than us are Fremantle and Belmont.
A lot of this decline is being related to infill development, of which Canning is undertaking in two areas in particular: the Bentley Regeneration Project and the Canning City Centre.
Some of those newer, developed suburbs with small blocks and big houses and not much space for trees… are as hot as, or close to, Perth Airport by midmorning in summer…[They] can be up to six degrees warmer than some of your older, more established suburbs with high canopy cover – such as Wembley Downs and Subiaco….evidence collected in 2014 by Sydney’s University of Technology – which ranked Australian urban councils’ tree canopies – spelled bad news for people living in the Belmont, Fremantle and Canning areas. These councils scored lowest for tree cover in Perth, with around 10 per cent each.
There are alarming implications to all of this – research highlighted in the article will contribute to the study of serious effects on the health and well-being of the many people who live with less income, and are unable to effect changes to the homes they dwell in that will help them cope.
We aren’t talking Pacific Island climate-change related damage here, but the difficulties involved in filling Canning’s spaces with people, combined with the serious lack of affordable housing options , which free up funds for people to develop greater resiliency.
We lost many trees down Manning Rd in a contentious council decision years ago (note: the staff propose a light rail to extend down the same route, which would see the trees removed also), but now we face a rationalisation of trees in Canning’s $700m partnership with Dept of Housing (Bentley) and if the policies put in place by staff in the absence of councillors are adhered to, ie, massive infill down Cecil Avenue, opposite Carousel, we may lose many more.
One councillor nominee, Graham Barry, is campaigning in Mason Ward on his concerns about infill, ie, his belief they can make for “future ghettos” and his concerns that the 10% standard allotment for “public open space” is not what it appears. Mayoral candidates Margaret Hall and Lindsay Holland are also concerned about the effects of infill on existing neighbourhoods.
*Executive Summary, City of Canning submission to Local Govt Advisory Board, 2014
Our thanks to Roel Loopers’s Freo’s View for alerting us to this article
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