SUSTAINABLE WATERSHED SYSTEMS, THROUGH ASSET MANAGEMENT: Can money really grow on trees in the urban environment? – Australian research finding is YES

Note to Reader:

A report, released by infrastructure firm AECOM in April 2017, compiled urban data analytics across three different suburbs in Sydney, Australia, and found that for every 10 per cent increase in the canopy coverage within the street corridor, the value of properties increased by an average of $50,000 Australian.

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Research Report Demonstrates that Increased Tree Canopy Boosts Property Values in Sydney, Australia

Report co-author James Rosenwax said population growth in Sydney had placed enormous pressure on existing critical infrastructure like roads and utilities, but trees were often forgotten or undervalued.

1James Rosenwax_AECOM Australia_160p“If we don’t put a financial value on trees there is less incentive to protect them when looking at the cost benefits of new roads, bridges or buildings,” he said.

“Unfortunately, the humble street tree is often in conflict with other forms of infrastructure and development.

“Our report found that without sufficient ‘green infrastructure’ Sydney would be hotter, more polluted and could be worth $50 billion less.”

To ensure the value of green infrastructure is recognised, the research found a connection between canopy coverage and the value of Australia’s favourite investment, the family home.

Relationship between Tree Canopy and Land Prices

While there are many variables affecting land and property prices, the analysis focused on the relationship between the size of the tree canopy, the price of land and property, and temperature.

To achieve this, AECOM calculated the tree canopy coverage in each suburb by inputting aerial photography and Landsat thermal imagery into a geographic information system.

A key finding: the value of properties increased by an average of $50,000 Australian for every 10 per cent increase in the canopy coverage within the street corridor.

To Learn More:

Download Green Infrastructure: a vital step to brilliant Australian cities

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