Urban tree canopy and green cover plays an important role in creating healthy, happy and liveable neighbourhoods.
The NSW Government has committed to achieve 40% urban tree canopy cover for Greater Sydney by 2036.
To help deliver a sustainable future for our city, the department collaborated with Resilient Sydney and councils to co-design a program to empower councils to create cooler and shadier neighbourhoods. The program provides updated data, financial support and policy guidance to councils to support strategic approaches to urban forest management.
Greener Neighbourhoods grant program
In 2022, the grant program awarded $1.37 million to 28 councils across Greater Sydney to deliver 32 projects. This funding will help councils strategically plan for and manage urban forests in their local government area.
The successful projects include:
- developing or updating urban forest strategies and street tree master plans
- developing and enhancing tree asset databases
- analysing tree canopy data to identify priority planting areas
- engaging the community through workshops and educational campaigns to promote the benefits of trees and canopy cover.
Full list of successful projects
- Bayside Council – $50,000
- Bayside Council Urban Forest Strategy
- Blacktown City Council – $50,000
- Urban Forest Strategy
- Blue Mountains City Council – $50,000
- Urban Forest Visualisation
- Burwood Council – $50,000
- Burwood Council Street Tree Inventory
- Camden Council – $50,000
- Camden Urban Forest Strategy 2023-2033
- Campbelltown City Council – $50,000
- Campbelltown Council Urban Greening/Forest Plan
- Canterbury Bankstown Council – $50,000
- Understanding our Urban Forest – Tree asset database and Urban Forest Strategy
- City of Canada Bay Council – $50,000
- Collating Our Canopy
- City of Parramatta – $50,000
- City of Parramatta Council Canopy Cover Assessment
- Tree GIS Database Training
- City of Sydney – $50,000
- Street Tree Master Plan review
- Council of the City of Ryde – $50,000
- Tree Asset Data Collection
- Cumberland City Council – $50,000
- Trees are tops blitz
- Fairfield City Council – $50,000
- Fairfield City Street Tree Master Plan
- Georges River Council – $40,000
- Georges River Park and Open Space Tree Asset Study
- Hawkesbury City Council – $50,000
- Hawkesbury's Urban Forest Strategy
- Inner West Council – $50,000
- Urban Forest Policy and Strategy
- Urban Forest Delivery Plan
- Ku-ring-gai Council – $50,000
- GIS Tree Inventory Priority Area data acquisition
- Lane Cove Council – $50,000
- Trees on Private Land: Community Engagement Project
- Liverpool City Council – $50,000
- Liverpool City Council's strategic urban tree management framework
- Mosman Council – $30,000
- Mosman Street Tree Priority Locations
- Northern Beaches Council – $50,000
- Northern Beaches Urban Tree Plan
- The Tiny Forest Project
- Penrith City Council – $50,000
- Suburb-Specific Tree Canopy Targets for Penrith LGA
- Randwick City Council – $50,000
- Review and update of Council's Street Tree Masterplan
- Strathfield Council – $50,000
- Counting Trees
- Waverley Council – $50,000
- Integrated Urban Canopy and Greening Strategy
- Willoughby City Council – $50,000
- Identification of priority urban canopy planting areas in Willoughby LGA
- Wollondilly Shire Council – $50,000
- Significant Tree and Tree Asset Register
- Woollahra Municipal Council – $50,000
- Educational videos
- A Framework for Nominating Significant and Heritage Trees
Grant program resources
For further information about the grant program, refer to the following documents:
- Greener Neighbourhoods grant guidelines (PDF, 6234.59 KB)
- Frequently asked questions (PDF, 215.77 KB).
You can find more details about these projects using the interactive map below.
Alternatively, you can download a PDF version of the map (PDF, 2831.22 KB).
Successful Greener Neighbourhoods grant projects
Find out more about the 32 projects which will help bring healthy, happy and liveable neighbourhoods near you.
Greener Neighbourhoods guide
We recognise councils are important partners in achieving NSW Government’s goals around improving quality of life outcomes, including by enhancing our urban environments.
The Greener Neighbourhoods guide aims to support councils to create greener and shadier urban areas by developing or updating strategic urban forest plans.
This guide is for local governments across NSW who want to establish, build upon or re-envisage strategic planning for their urban forests. It gives guidance on how to understand, plan for, monitor and manage urban forests and promotes best practice and consistency in urban forest planning.
See a list of supporting resources to help guide and inform urban forest planning and management.
Plant selection tools
Which Plant Where?
A tool to help practitioners and decision makers to identify species that will be resilient to climate change across Australia. The tool also provides resources and best practice guides that tackle some of the universal barriers to green space.
Local Government NSW
Local Government NSW is the peak organisation that represents the interests of NSW general and special purpose councils. Local Government NSW aims to strengthen and protect an effective, democratic system of local government across NSW by supporting and advocating on behalf of member councils and delivering a range of relevant, quality services.
Resilient Cities Network
Resilient Cities Network co-creates urban solutions to address complex and interrelated urban challenges, so that cities and communities thrive. The network will focus on 3 priorities to be delivered through programs of collective action with member cities during the next 2 years through a holistic approach to resilience.
Treenet is the national urban tree research and education cluster, which provides networking, resource, education and event opportunities.
Australian Citizen Science Association (ACSA)
ACSA is member-based incorporated association that seeks to advance citizen science through the sharing of knowledge, collaboration, capacity building and advocacy.
Greener Spaces Better Places
Originally the 202020 Vision program, Greener Spaces Better Places is a movement that brings together community, growers, government, academia, business, industry and everyday people to make our homes, streets and suburbs the greenest in the world. After all, every green space counts towards a greener Australia.
Urban forestry resources
How to Grow an Urban Forest
Designed for councils, this guide is based on a decade of work by the City of Melbourne.
Rosemeadow Demonstration Project
The project is an innovative NSW Government initiative that sets a new benchmark for tree planting in urban environments to improve liveability for communities in areas with critical urban heat problem.
Trees for Cities
UK charity working at a national and international scale to improve lives by planting trees in cities.
Urban Forest Management Toolkit
A collection of tools that are available internationally.
Urban Green Cover Technical Guidelines (PDF, 14.9 MB)
The guidelines provide practical guidance on how to adapt the urban environment through urban green cover projects.
Urban Greeners’ Resource Hub
Greener Spaces Better Places and Living Melbourne teamed up to create the Urban Greeners’ Resource Hub, a curated collection of best practice tools, guides, resources and case studies to help urban greening professionals protect and enhance Australia’s urban forests and green cover in our towns and cities.
Urban Heat Planning Toolkit
The toolkit focuses on strategies that can be implemented in new development and redevelopment, to reduce urban heat and help people adapt.
Urban Tree Canopy Targets & Development Controls Report by Gallagher Studio & Studio Zanardo (PDF, 8380.52 KB)
- Appendix A (PDF, 552.12 KB)
- Appendix B (PDF, 14473.14 KB)
- Appendix C (PDF, 8712.56 KB)
This report details voluntary best practice targets and planning controls to enhance tree canopy, outlines the method for establishing the targets, and contains examples of design solutions that can be used to achieve the targets.
Water Efficiency for Urban Tree Management Report (PDF, 3731.9 KB)
NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment commissioned a water efficiency study to guide councils in supporting responsible tree planting.
Western Sydney Street Design Guidelines (PDF, 18.2 MB)
The guidelines seek to create streets with improved environmental, social and health outcomes for all street users. The guidelines are focused on service provision to new greenfield development areas in Western Sydney. They do, however, have the potential to be applied to existing areas that are undergoing significant change and are in an appropriate urban setting.
Atlas of Living Australia
Open access online repository of information about the distribution of Australian plants, animals, and fungi.
Australian Plant Name Index
A tool for the botanical community that deals with plant names and their usage in the scientific literature, whether as a name or synonym.
Kew Gardens Plants of the World
1,198,000 global plant names, 106,800 detailed descriptions, and 278,600 images.
Tree canopy data
Updated tree canopy data (2019) is now publicly available on the NSW Government’s SEED portal.
Tree canopy cover across Greater Sydney remained stable between 2016 and 2019 at 21%.
Everyone, including state and local government agencies, can access the 2019 canopy data shapefiles that present spatial and geographic data, summarised to ‘Modified Mesh Block’.
Local governments can use the data to track and plan for tree canopy over time. Other stakeholders such as utility providers can use the data to see how tree canopy interacts with their service infrastructure.
Resilient Sydney’s Environmental Performance Platform also provides benchmarking views that enable councils to easily compare canopy data across local government areas, suburbs and change over time.
The department is currently developing a 2022 canopy dataset that will be more detailed than previous canopy datasets, supporting more targeted management of urban tree canopy. A less detailed version of the 2022 canopy dataset will be made publicly available, with the more detailed dataset available to local and state government only.
Future canopy data acquisitions are also planned for 2024 and 2026. A canopy user interface is also being developed for local and state government stakeholders to view and undertake analysis of canopy data.
For more information about the 2019 tree canopy data, read the frequently asked questions (PDF, 209.72 KB). All data acquired by the department complies with departmental privacy guidelines and practices.
For more information about the Greener Neighbourhoods program, please contact the team via email.