Potential of trees to mitigate climate change impacts in a railway corridor case study in Sydney

Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/6e13f1_682d42481a4d4e08b9a046cfade9616a.pdf, 2019, 1 pp. 267 - 275 (9)
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Ghosh_Khan_SASBE2018-Sydney_Conference-Proceedings.pdfPublished version4.83 MB
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Railway corridors as transportation networks cover significant land areas in Sydney Metropolitan region. Many sections contain trees, shrubs and vacant land areas along the railway tracks. Trees are protected in these locations due to restricted access conditions and could act as urban forest banks located close to developments to mitigate climate change impacts. Trees as useful green infrastructure could provide significant environmental, ecological and economic benefits. Limited research has been carried out to measure the contributions of trees in the grey infrastructure facilities such as motorways, landfill sites and railway corridors in cities. Recognising immense prospects of greening these grey infrastructure spaces to provide climate change adaptation is essential. A railway corridor case study through residential suburbs of Western Sydney and approximately of 11 km long was selected for this project. The objectives of this paper were to determine the existing land use distribution and to measure climate change mitigation potential of trees as carbon storage and sequestration capacities; air pollution reduction capabilities and associated economic benefits in this corridor. This paper modelled tree growth using a scenario-based approach to determine the impacts of increasing tree canopy cover in the case study site. In this paper, existing land use distribution; potential of carbon storage and sequestration and air pollution reduction capacity and economic costs of current tree canopy cover in the rail corridor case study were measured. These aspects were analysed using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) methods and i-Tree software developed by US Forest Service. Results established that trees provide positive ecosystem services. Revegetating vacant lands with trees on the corridor case study could enhance carbon storage and sequestration and air pollution reduction potential and associated economic values significantly.
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