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Lyndal Plant - 2019 Conference Abstract

The life and death of the Australian leafy street

Almost 20 years ago Tony Hall, a UK urban planning researcher, recently arrived in Australia, reported on “The Life and Death of the Australian Backyard”. House floor areas had grown and lot sizes had already become too small to deliver backyards in new urban dwellings. With less space for trees to grow on private property, delivering effective tree cover in the public realm becomes even more important. Local and state governments have acknowledged the importance of access to public green space like parks, waterways and natural areas but across too many new greenfield developments we are now seeing the death of the leafy street. At a time when leafy streets and parks have been confirmed as essential to the environmental and human health and well-being of our suburbs, new residential development areas are falling well short of greener, cooler and attractive streetscapes.

In the next 10 years another 500,000 new dwellings will be built alongside new streets in new greenfield residential developments across metropolitan Sydney,Melbourne, south east Queensland, Perth and Adelaide. This presentation uses case studies from developments that are achieving better tree cover and leafier streets than many others, to explore some of the ingredients of breathing life back into the Australian leafy street.

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