Urban Forest Plan Consultation

Christchurch City Council is currently consulting on a draft Urban Forest Plan.

It’s an interesting read. There are some great facts about trees in general – the one about intercepting rainfall is especially relevant at the moment.

And then trees specifically in Christchurch. This one is such a nice infographic I almost want to print it out and put it up on my wall. Who knew that the city’s most common tree is the silver birch? Or that our rural areas have fewer trees than our residential areas?

I was also interested to read that, despite the whole “garden city” reputation, Christchurch has significantly fewer trees than both Wellington and Auckland. In aerial photos, tree canopy covers 14% of Christchurch, compared to 18% of Auckland and a whopping 30% of Wellington.

And it’s not distributed evenly. Wealthier areas tend to have more trees than poorer areas.

The plan proposes some long-term targets for getting more trees in the city:

I’m particularly interested in the “Street” target which aims to roughly double the number of street trees we have by 2070.

Personally I think this is a good idea. We have a few streets in the city with a lot of trees and I love them. This is one my mate lives on (Corfe Street in the relatively wealthy Avonhead/northwest):

But this street is an exception. Most streets in Christchurch look more like this one (back on my side of town in Spreydon/southwest):

There’s plenty of space for some greenery, but in the old days we generally preferred to just completely pave over everything for some reason.

Anyway, if trees are something you feel strongly about get in and have your say here!

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