Urban Shade Forest Project

 

On a hot sunny day, we instinctively seek shade, often under a tree, as we know it’s cooler, but have you ever wondered why? The sun’s rays are blocked by the tree, creating shade, but that’s just a minor part of it. A major part of the cooling is from evapotranspiration. Trees draw water up through their roots, and this water cools the air as the tree transpires the water from its leaves.

With the impact of climate change increasingly being felt across the globe, our cities and urban areas are heating up dramatically, via a process known as the Urban Heat Island Effect. Buildings, roads and other hard surfaces trap and store heat which results in elevated heat levels, particularly at night. During heatwave events, this effect is compounded with Urban Heat Islands contributing to these already hot conditions. If we plant lots of trees in the right places, we can make a big impact by reducing the Urban Heat Island effect.

That’s why we are using urban greening to create shade, and to do this we need your help. We want everyone in our communities to get involved, planting and caring for our trees as they grow while thinking about how their own backyard might be a shade contributor.

 

 

Our vision

  • Our Forests are going to be big, and we want them to be dense enough to maximise the cooling benefits. Our first priority is to get as many people involved as possible to make the biggest impact
  • Our Forests are going to be diverse and designed specifically for each site, so that they’re resilient to climate change and provide maximum benefits, not just for humans, but for our wildlife. Because every place is unique, every forest must also be unique, and
  • Our forests will support biodiversity with habitat, food and possibly fruit for the community.

 

The Plan

To offset the Heat Island effect, urban design experts believe we need to increase our urban greenery by 30%, which has been shown to reduce temperatures by as much as 10 degrees.

CVA is in the first year of a 3-year project designed to develop and evaluate a model for engaging the community to deliver urban greening as a solution to rising temperatures. Areas at risk from the impacts of heat islands will benefit from this work, and involve the community, local councils, schools, conservation groups and others interested in being part of a solution that is good for the environment and for community wellbeing.

 

 

Our Partnership

 

We’ve partnered with Chevron Australia for the next 3 years to deliver a nature-based solution to making our urban areas more livable.

Proudly supported by our partners

Chevron

Get involved

We’re here to make it easy to take action for nature across Australia, and we would love your help. Check out the ways that you can get involved in your local area.