The way NCA land is currently used and planned for, its future use will put numerous pressures on NCA’s trees. These pressures range from compaction and impacts from public events in parks, development encroaching on existing trees and the design of developments which disregard the importance of integrating greening into their footprints.
There will continue to be conflict between densification, public events and the need to maintain and grow the NCA’s tree canopy cover. Any loss of canopy from tree removals or decline in tree health will jeopardise the much-needed contribution that trees make to the designed landscape character, including vital environmental services such as shade provision.
Providing clear and transparent guidelines around how these activities are managed with trees in mind and how NCA landscapes can transition towards more resilience, diversity and functionality for the future is desirable.
What does best practice look like?
Integrated strategic and policy documentation that reflect an agreed vision for future land and treescapes
Tree canopy targets at various scales that provide incentives to appropriately manage the pressures on trees
Successional plans for proactive tree replacement to guide transitions to future landscapes
Incorporate design knowledge and practice of integrating trees and green infrastructure into development
Robust tree protection and enforcement, including the use of bonds
Consider the land use (e.g. events) in the selection of tree species and the resilience of the tree species to better suit the use and future impacts
Create a “place planning approach” for tree planting in line with landscape character function and requirements so that all stakeholders (developers, event organisers, planners etc) can work towards the same goals.
How could these issues be addressed?
Work towards aligning Tree Management Policy with the National Capital Plan and other relevant strategic priorities
Review the NCA planning frameworks to include clear visions, objectives and principles that reflect contemporary best practice from cities across the world
Advocate for a Canberra Landscape Plan, vision and shared narrative
Embed the principles and objectives of the Tree Management Policy into statutory planning framework
Develop landscape and development design excellence guidelines that clearly demonstrate how integrated design can provide good built form and landscape outcomes including case studies
Ensure all developments are undertaken to realise a net gain in greening
Develop robust tree protection measures that incorporate Australian Standards, AS 4373 Pruning of Amenity Trees and A 4970-2009 Protection of Trees on Development Sites
Provide certainty on tree protection requirements and enforcement
Consider the temporary use of sites and how best to manage the landscape for events
Match landscape design, management and maintenance with species selection.