Mosaic Insights partnered with treeiQ to deliver the Greener neighbourhoods guide, an Urban Forest Guidance document for local government as part of a suite of tools for improved greening of urban areas.

NSW’s Premier’s Priorities set targets for greening, canopy and access to quality open space for all people across the Sydney metropolitan area. Councils and other public place managers have either adopted these Premier’s Priorities or set their own targets for canopy and or greening. There remains however a gap in policy support from the State Government and in know-how across many organisations about the best approach to canopy, greening and tree management in the public and private domain. NSW DPIE under its greening programs has been working with councils in Sydney to understand the challenges they face in urban forest management and to fill the gaps in policy and data support.

Mosaic Insights provided insights and directions for the background research and a literature review into best practice urban forest management and interviews with leading local government practitioners into what makes a sound urban forest strategy.

The research identified the core elements of and common barriers to best practice urban forestry planning. These include leadership and vision, involvement of key stakeholders and the community, sound evidence and capacity to monitor changes in urban canopy and greening.

We used insights and ideas from the research to identify core guidance aspects needed to assist local government to plan for improve and healthy urban forest. The draft guide provides context about strategic planning in the NSW local government context, a self assessment check list to assist council officers understand the capacity of their organisation to undertake an urban forest strategy and process maps for strategic planning and engagement processes.

The draft guide will form part of a suite of tools and support materials for local governments interested in canopy, tree management, and green infrastructure planning.