UR­BAN FOR­EST WORK NEEDED

Southern Gazette (Belmont) - - OPINION -

CHRIS Muir is spot on in his as­sess­ment of the City of South Perth’s draft Ur­ban For­est Strat­egy as ‘ho hum’ (South­ern Gazette, Au­gust 22).

As ur­ban in­fill in­ten­si­fies, we will see a dras­tic de­cline in canopy cov­er­age, in a pe­riod where our sub­urbs are likely to be get­ting hot­ter and drier.

Yet the City’s strat­egy is seem­ingly short on any kind of strat­egy to deal with this.

Rather than speak­ing with the com­mu­nity, they have de­vel­oped a doc­u­ment that ap­pears to be a sim­ple re­hash­ing of the cur­rent is­sues and their cur­rent pol­icy ini­tia­tives. Where is the in­no­va­tion? Here are a few ideas you might like to con­sider. Free of charge. First off, how about set­ting some spe­cific goals for in­creas­ing canopy cov­er­age by a par­tic­u­lar date?

How about repur­pos­ing drainage sumps to be­come ur­ban for­est hotspots?

Or en­cour­ag­ing res­i­dents to in­stall more na­tive verges?

What about man­dat­ing green roofs and walls for larger de­vel­op­ments?

You could con­sider im­ple­ment­ing an in­cen­tives based pol­icy to en­cour­age landown­ers to pro­tect ma­ture trees on pri­vate prop­erty, like the City of Can­ning is con­sid­er­ing.

How about de­vel­op­ing a strat­egy for creat­ing green cor­ri­dors for wildlife?

How about some de­tailed ac­tions cater­ing to the en­dan­gered Carn­aby’s cock­a­toos and threat­ened red­tailed black cock­a­toos that re­side in the area?

Per­haps you could fo­cus on in­creas­ing the di­ver­sity of street trees to cre­ate a more bal­anced ecosystem?

And fo­cus on im­prov­ing canopy cov­er­age around schools to in­crease walk­a­bil­ity? Come on South Perth, think a lit­tle harder on this one. RYAN QUINN, South Perth

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