Penrith Council’s greening our workplaces

Penrith City Council continues to lead the way in cooling the City with the expansion of their Greening our City tree planting program into industrial areas and major transport corridors.

The program first commenced in suburbs that were identified as having low canopy and were vulnerable during periods of extreme heat. As a continuation of this work, we are excited to move our tree planting focus towards industrial areas and major transport corridors that have been identified as having fewer trees.

Council will be planting over 1,000 trees across multiple sites in North and South Penrith, Emu Heights, Emu Plains, and Werrington. All trees used in the program have been specially grown in Council’s own nursery, ensuring that they are well adapted to Penrith’s unique climate.

Penrith Mayor Tricia Hitchen said that addressing the problem of urban heat is critical in maintaining a sustainable way of life now and into the future.

“High temperatures can be detrimental to workers and businesses alike, often leading to a decrease in productivity and greater health concerns for employees,” Cr Hitchen said.

Increasing green infrastructure by planting shade trees will help reduce the amount of heat energy that is stored within our hard surfaces, such as roads, and significantly reduce ambient air temperatures.

Planting trees in industrial estates and major transport corridors is vital in reducing urban heat. These locations consist of large expanses of hard surfaces that absorb and trap heat, which is the main contributor to the urban heat island effect.

The urban heat island effect commonly occurs in urban communities and is caused by large amounts of paved and dark coloured surfaces like roads, roofs, and car parks. The sun’s heat is absorbed instead of being reflected, which causes the surface and ambient temperatures to rise. Council’s Cooling the City Strategy has identified tree planting as one of the easiest ways to mitigate this issue.

“By planting these trees, we are helping to ensure that businesses in the area remain productive and a safe environment for employees, as well as accessible to consumers during the summer months,” Cr Hitchen added.

“Council’s project team will be working closely with businesses in the area to achieve positive outcomes for all involved,” she said.

Planting locations have been carefully considered to maintain visibility of business signage and access to driveways using a variety of native and exotic tree species to fit with existing infrastructure.

The project is part of the Greening Our City grant program and is proudly funded by the NSW Government in association with Local Government NSW.

Residents and businesses can keep up to date with these tree-planting projects and provide feedback by following the Greening our City Have Your Say Page at yoursaypenrith.com.au/greeningourcity

Photo caption: Regentville Road Estate before the trees are planted and after when the trees have fully established.

(The imagery is an estimation of what the trees will look like once matured.)

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