See the urban forest for the trees
It has been expressed many times within the local media, in community debates, in the Freo 2029 community visioning process and in café conversation: Fremantle people love our beautiful parks, our pristine beaches, the majestic trees and soft landscapes. They breathe life into our city and joy into our lives and we want to keep and care for what we have and add more green spaces where and when we can.
Last year I initiated the Green Plan Working Group to address key questions on how we retain, enhance and expand our city’s greenery. We gathered a group of experts, who volunteered their time and expertise to work with council to tackle the big challenges: like how to stay green in a drier, warming climate; the tough challenges: like what can we do to protect trees on private land; and the practical challenges: like how to ensure everyone in Freo has easy access to quality, useful green public spaces.
After three months investigation and analysis, we have a working draft of a revised Green Plan that will help us to achieve these important aims. But we want to make sure we haven’t missed anything – so we’re inviting the community to get involved as we prepare the final document for council consideration.
In order to help inform the Green Plan, we have undertaken detailed mapping of the existing green spaces within our city. Combined with demographic and land use analysis, this has helped us to establish what portion of the population live within easy walking distance (400m) of useable public open space, and where there is a deficit or need for more as our city grows. We‘ve been able to identify key walking and cycling links in need of more vegetation to cool the immediate vicinity and make walking and cycling more comfortable.
We have also been investigating ways of ensuring our green spaces are adequately reticulated, with opportunities for water recycling, including tapping into waste water sources. The selection of appropriate vegetation to reduce water use while providing suitable landscaping has also been investigated.
The removal of mature trees on private land has been a much-debated issue in Fremantle. The ability for council to impose our wishes on what people do with trees on their land is limited, but we want to find a way to incentivise people to keep trees on their land and to plant more. As members of our community, what do you think would be a fair and effective way to do this?
We also acknowledge the wealth of knowledge and ideas held by our community that can help the City design and implement our green spaces. As such, we have prioritised establishing mechanisms and funding sources that will empower local communities to be involved in creating and managing our parks and public open spaces.
In keeping with this philosophy, we are encouraging community members to be part of the development of this comprehensive Green Plan. A forum will be held where people can find out about the work done to date and let us know if it meets their needs and vision for our city.
Join the discussion on Monday 23 March at 6pm in the City of Fremantle Reception Room. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org