Understanding the carbon and pollution mitigation potential of Sydney's urban forest

The Institute of Foresters of Australia
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Managing Our Forests into the 21st Century - Poceedings of the Institute of Foresters of Australia National Conference, 2013, pp. 151 - 158
Issue Date:
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Sydney's population is expected to reach 6 million by 2036, with infill development along urban corridors housing many. Eighty percent of Australia's population now live in urban areas which will be affected by peak oil prices and climate change. The goal of this project is to better understand the benefits of urban forestry, given these challenges. A widely used technique to map and model the benefits of urban vegetation is i-Tree. This study aims to show, along two corridors, how remote sensing with hyperspectral and LIDAR imaging collected by local councils can add to this tool to help quantify some of the social aspects of urban forestry. LIDAR, hyperspectral and field data using the i-Tree manual were collected along two major highways that form linear transects across different suburbs and land uses. The total amount of shadow on the roads and buildings was calculated using the ARC-GIS hillshade function to serve as an index of potential microclimate mitigation. The results accurately indicate the amount of shading from trees and it is possible to calculate the energy savings from climate-extreme mitigation along both roads. The results demonstrate how remote sensing and i-Tree can be combined. Socialcultural barriers and preferences for more tree planting are also discussed. Overall the study shows the ways in which local councils can use two tools and sources of data with which they would already be familiar to calculate the impact of planning decisions such as increasing population density.
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