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$1.2 million Urban Forest Fund to green Melbourne

$1.2 million Urban Forest Fund to green Melbourne


The City of Melbourne will allocate $1.2 million to a new Urban Forest Fund to encourage more greening in the city – the most effective way to protect us against extreme heat.

The City of Melbourne will partner with philanthropists, property developers, community groups and other Government organisations on greening projects.

“The initiatives could include planting trees, creating parks, green walls, roofs and façades and stormwater projects. We will match successful projects dollar for dollar to leave a green legacy for our city,” the Lord Mayor Robert Doyle says.

“As well as protecting us from extreme heat, our trees and parks are a major contributor to Melbourne’s liveability. This initiative, to stimulate greening of private property, which represents 73 percent of land in our municipality, is the next frontier.

“Green infrastructure is fundamental to help cities respond to the challenges of climate change, urban heat, flooding and population growth.”

The Urban Forest Fund has $1.2 million in seed funding, which the City of Melbourne aims to grow to $10 million through contributions from organisations and individuals who want to create a greener city.

For every dollar that a private investor pays into the fund, the City of Melbourne will provide an additional dollar towards a greening project.

Image courtesy the City of Melbourne.

Image courtesy the City of Melbourne.

The City of Melbourne has also created what it thinks is a world first online tool which maps all the rooftops in Melbourne’s municipality to see if they have the potential to be turned into solar, cool or green roofs.

Chair of the City of Melbourne’s Environment Portfolio councillor Cathy Oke said Expressions of Interest are being sought from property owners and developers for potential green projects, such as green roofs.

“Our aim is to support new greening projects that otherwise would not be funded,” Oke says. “The City of Melbourne owns and controls only one-fifth of the city’s land area, so we’re looking for proposals to create new green space on private property. This project could lead to the creation of new spaces that can capture stormwater to reduce flooding, reduce summertime temperatures in the city and create habitat for plants and animals.”

If $1 million is matched with a private donation, a $2 million greening outcome could be achieved, which could create:
– 6000m2 of green roofs – the equivalent area of 10 tennis courts,
– 4600m2 of green façades – the equivalent area of 7.75 tennis courts,
– 900m2 of green walls – the equivalent area of 1.5 tennis courts, and
– 4000 street trees – 1000 more trees than the City of Melbourne plants annually.

The Urban Forest Fund was launched today on the top of the new Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, the home of Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, which features one the largest rooftop gardens in Australia at 1400-square metres.

For more information and to donate, click here.

Lead image courtesy City of Melbourne.

Last year, the City of Melbourne also announced the laneways that will be transformed into green spaces through the Green Your Laneway initiative. Read more about it here.


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