Valuing urban trees in Melbourne i-Tree Eco Melbourne Urban Forest Accord Group
The business case…
Our starting concern: water restrictions and stressed trees Melbourne’s response to drought - outdoor water restrictions Are water restrictions really helping the environment and city? Saving a litre by not watering a tree may possibly mean: • more greenhouse and air pollution, and less biodiversity • less city amenity leading to less social and economic wellbeing • more infrastructure maintenance requirements.
So what good are trees (and vegetation)? Street trees provide increased urban amenity Social • passive outdoor activity • heat and air pollutants • decreased reliance on health system Economic • real estate values • better amenity in shopping strips Environmental • environment benefits including greenhouse, climate change, water quality, biodiversity and air pollution. This project is seeking to put a value on the environmental benefits of trees.
Chicago Urban Forest Project Chicago trees removed 6, 154 tons of air pollutants valued at US$9. 2 m Increasing tree cover by 10% (three trees per building) could reduce total heating and cooling energy use by 5 -10% Total Co 2 sequestration = 155, 000 tons per year Cost benefit ratio of 2. 83
Management factors A value on the environmental benefit of trees will help to assess the ‘operational challenges’
Let’s make a Melbourne tree calculator To date, there are some tree calculators in use – only amenity value However there a few environmental calculators for trees internationally. The most useful one appears to be i-Tree Eco covers air quality, energy savings of nearby buildings, carbon sequestration, property values USDA Forest Service. So we gave them a call.
i-Tree Tools This is the most useful and fundamental tool for new cities like Melbourne… Analysis Tools Utility Programs i-Tree Eco i-Tree Streets i-Tree Species i-Tree Vue i-Tree Storm i-Tree Design i-Tree Ped i-Tree Hydro
i-Tree Eco International for Melbourne i-Tree Eco for Melbourne – now set up! We have piloted it with Moreland Melbourne City Councils Melbourne, Sydney and other capital cities. Thanks NGIA. Ongoing tool management. Thanks Aboriculture Australia. Are Councils ready to use the tool straight away? Wait - there is still work to be done by each user… Councils need to gather the right tree details. This does not need to happen overnight. Just make sure that data collection from here on in is consistent.
How will this information help us?
Questions? https: //sites. google. com/site/melbourneurbanforests
Melbourne Urban Forest Accord Group Partners • Moonee Valley City Council • City of Melbourne • City of Port Phillip • Victorian Local Sustainability Accord Others interested and involved to date • Melbourne Water • Department of Health • City West Water • University of Melbourne, Monash, RMIT • Aboriculture Australia • Additional Councils • Whoever is interested…
i-Tree Tools i-Tree suite v 4. 0 includes four urban forest analysis tools and three utility programs. Analysis Tools Utility Programs i-Tree Eco i-Tree Streets i-Tree Species i-Tree Vue i-Tree Storm i-Tree Design i-Tree Hydro i-Tree Ped i-Tree Eco broad picture of entire urban forest. i-Tree Streets focuses on benefits provided by street trees. i-Tree Vue map of land cover, including tree canopy. Models planting scenarios. i-Tree Design analysis of individual tree at the land parcel level i-Tree Hydro analysis of stormwater benefits of urban trees i-Tree Species helps select most appropriate species based on environmental function and location i-Tree Storm helps assess widespread storm damage immediately after a severe storm i-Tree Ped helps identify pests and their management solutions.