Battling heat with trees

Schofields and Mount Druitt are set to have more than 100 new trees lining residential streets as part of Blacktown City Council’s plans to reduce urban heat.

Blacktown City Council is working alongside NRMA Insurance as part of the Cool Streets© program, enabling the planting of 113 trees.

Cool Streets© is an initiative developed by Dr Libby Gallagher of Gallagher Studio that encourages local communities to take the lead in choosing the right trees to cool their neighbourhoods.

Blacktown City Mayor Stephen Bali MP said: “Urban heat is a major challenge for Blacktown and tree planting is one of the methods to reduce the impact.

“The Cool Streets initiative allows communities to be involved, they are given the opportunity to choose and care for the trees planted around their homes.

“Trees in residential streets are beneficial to the communities. They can reduce household air-conditioning costs, reduce local air pollution, help store carbon and even add value to house prices.”

NRMA Insurance Safer Communities Executive Manager Jen Cobley said: “We’re excited to be part of this Cool Streets© initiative and help to tackle heat stress in Western Sydney.

“We know that when trees and vegetation are removed, the temperatures can soar and by revegetating areas we’ll be creating cooler streets benefiting the community and the environment by increasing shade and reducing CO2 emissions.

“The NRMA Insurance Good ‘Hoods program focuses on how we can support local community-led initiatives that will help communities feel more connected, which will allow them to be stronger, safer and more confident.”

Trees will be planted in Mount Druitt in the coming months.

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