The Town of Claremont is the West Australian council least vulnerable to extreme heat thanks to its green spaces and plentiful trees and shrubs, a new report has found.
National campaigners 202020 Vision found that the Town was the only urban council in WA, and one of only 12 nationwide, to achieve a low heat vulnerability rating.
The study, which analysed 139 urban councils, looked at the impact of green cover and the built environment on local temperatures on hot days. Councils with low green cover were generally found to experience extreme heat, while those with a high proportion of green cover enjoyed lower temperatures.
Mayor Jock Barker said the report demonstrates the Town’s ability to excel on environmental issues while leading the way on urban infill.
“People often think of urban infill as a choice between buildings and asphalt or trees and parks, but what we’re proving here in Claremont is that’s not necessarily the case and, in fact, you can have both,” Mayor Barker said.
“One of the most obvious ways to find this balance is by preserving existing trees and planting new ones wherever possible.
“An example of this is the Town’s current redevelopment of Davies Road. As well as keeping all existing trees, approximately 16 new trees will be planted on the road, spread between the new median and the redesigned verge.”
As well as a street tree masterplan, the Town encourages residents to make every effort to preserve trees on their property wherever possible. This includes helping residents work out alternative approaches that may allow a tree to be retained, and recommending arborists for tree consultancy.
“Along with our numerous open spaces and parks, the Town’s trees are rightfully considered one of our most valuable assets,” Mayor Barker added. “Not only do they assist in heat reduction by as much as seven degrees, but they also provide shade, nesting and food for native birds, all while enhancing the aesthetics of our Town.”
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