Greening our neighbourhoods while cooling our streets

Building resilience in the community to rising temperatures.

Trees bring character and beauty to our streets. Shady trees create an environment that is appealing and help to create a cooling effect.

Street trees improve the appearance of our neighbourhoods, and provide a simple connection to nature. Shady trees encourage people to enjoy the outdoors - to exercise and socialise - providing health benefits and supporting the local economy.

If there are few or no trees in an area, hard surfaces like roads and pavements absorb heat, creating localised warming and radiating heat towards houses, cars and nearby infrastructure. With an increasing number of hotter days predicated in a changing climate, the impacts on our neighbourhoods from heat are anticipated to be further accentuated. In addition, neighbourhoods that include limited tree foliage are often considered less visually appealing and less welcoming.

Cooling not only occurs from the shade the street trees provide but works in the form of evapo-transpiration, where the moisture escapes through pores on leaf surfaces, cooling the surrounding air as it evaporates.

Delivering on the Sunshine Coast Street Tree Master Plan 2018, planting of trees often occurs in conjunction with road construction or repair. The approach is to plant suitable trees on the adjacent areas of the nature strip. This occurred at Buderim Pines Drive where 30 street trees were planted.

The greater the number of trees in a street and the denser their canopies, the more shading and cooling effect it has on the local environment.

Having street trees are key components of green space providing shade, cooling and many other visual, social, economic and environmental benefits for our neighbourhoods.

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