26. January 2022

Brisbane has more tree cover than any other Australian capital, new aerial imagery shows


Greater Brisbane has more suburbs with good tree cover than any other Australian capital metropolis, new aerial evaluation has revealed.

However, like other Australian capital cities, Brisbane is feeling the strain of rising metropolis temperatures as builders take away timber to supply inexpensive housing in small-lot, high-density estates.

Brisbane suburbs with good tree cover - including Bardon - are seven degrees cover than those with no tree cover.

Brisbane suburbs with good tree cover – together with Bardon – are seven levels cover than these with no tree cover.Credit:Tony Moore

Planners in Australia now realise residential temperatures could be diminished by planting or protecting timber that may additionally reduce energy payments by decreasing airconditioning in well-planned areas.

Brisbane properties in suburbs with good tree canopies are seven levels cooler than areas with out timber, in response to Brisbane City Council analysis.

Similar variations have been recorded in Melbourne – which can also be taking planning steps to counter local weather change – the place metropolis temperatures may rise by 3.4 levels by 2070.

The new aerial imagery comes from Australian agency Nearmap, which assessed high-resolution maps of more than 5000 Australian suburbs between February and March 2021.

Nearmap imagery of Bardon in March 2021 showing 34 per cent tree cover, below Sheldon at 66 per cent and Mt Crosby on 60 per cent.

Nearmap imagery of Bardon in March 2021 exhibiting 34 per cent tree cover, beneath Sheldon at 66 per cent and Mt Crosby on 60 per cent.Credit:Nearmap

It shows more than 79 per cent of suburbs in Greater Brisbane have more than 20 per cent tree cover.

That is the next share of suburbs with good tree cover than Hobart (71 per cent), Darwin (66 per cent), Canberra (58 per cent), Greater Sydney (44 per cent), Melbourne (30 per cent), Adelaide (26 per cent) and Perth’s 22 per cent.

Nearmap synthetic intelligence senior director Michael Bewley stated that for the primary time, the analysis was accomplished nationwide.


Dr Bewley stated one layer of the know-how, captured six instances a yr over 90 per cent of Australia’s inhabitants, was mixed with present Australian Bureau of Statistics inhabitants knowledge.

“So it gives a measure of tree cover to where people live,” he stated.

“It tops out in Brisbane, where four out of five residents living in a suburb which has at least 20 per cent tree cover, which includes local parks, backyards, street frontages and nature refuges.”

Griffith University city planning lecturer Tony Matthews stated there was “mounting evidence” timber offered a important service to cities.

“But the total canopy coverage in a city is not distributed everywhere,” he stated.

Greater Brisbane suburbs with most tree cover in 2021

  1. Sheldon – 66 per cent
  2. Mt Crosby – 60 per cent
  3. Burbank – 55 per cent
  4. Bunya (Brisbane’s north) – 53 per cent
  5. Pullenvale – 52 per cent
  6. Buccan (Logan) – 43 per cent
  7. Bardon – 34 per cent
  8. Wamuran (Moreton) – 31 per cent
  9. Shorncliffe – 23 per cent  

Dr Matthews stated developed inner-city suburbs, equivalent to Fortitude Valley and Woolloongabba, lacked timber.

“But they are really popular with people right now looking for the inner-city residential lifestyle,” he stated.

“The other big area where there is a lack of trees in a lot of the new outer suburban housing estates.”

Dr Matthews stated builders had been decreasing the price of housing for first-home patrons by consolidating the city footprint and decreasing prices by decreasing the scale of the block.

New homes and townhouses under construction in Ripley,

New properties and townhouses below building in Ripley, Credit:Tony Moore

Trees, nature strips, inexperienced areas, public paths, footpaths on either side of the roads are diminished.

Dr Matthews stated it was about affordability however subsequently a few of these outer suburbs ended up with massive “roofscapes” and suffered from city warmth island results.


“There is nothing to break these roofscapes up,” he stated.

“There are no trees poking up, no tree canopy effect and there is no green space to absorb the heat, so they tend to suffer from urban heat island effect.”

That drives up airconditioning and power bills, he stated, producing a “thermal inequality” which is a monetary penalty over time.

“A lot of people who live in these estates are first home buyers. They certainly don’t have hundreds of extra dollars to pay for inflated electricity bills because of an increased need for airconditioning,” Dr Matthews stated.

Brisbane council atmosphere chairperson Tracy Davis stated the council, like Sydney and Melbourne, aimed to have 40 per cent pure habitat throughout your entire metropolis.

Cr Davis stated Brisbane’s pure habitat had elevated 2.1 per cent since 2016, to 38.9 per cent.

This new estate at Everton Hills has no tree cover making it hot until trees grow, but has chosen light colours on walls and roofs which reflect heat.

This new property at Everton Hills has no tree cover making it sizzling till timber develop, however has chosen gentle colors on partitions and roofs which mirror warmth.Credit:Tony Moore

Cr Davis stated 14,000 road timber had been planted annually and areas for 100,000 further timber had been recognized. There had been 454,000 road timber planted throughout city Brisbane.

“We focus on areas where residents would benefit from shade, like along footpaths and populated areas,” she stated.

“This builds on the 2 million trees planted in Brisbane between 2008 and 2012.”

More than 4270 hectares of great koala habitat and pure areas have been introduced into public possession since 1990, together with 750 hectares of bushland protected up to now 4 years.

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