Median Tree Planting

Decision Maker: Council

Decision status: Recommendations Determined


Moved by Councillor Thalis, seconded by Councillor Miller –

It is resolved that:

(A)      Council note:

(i)         despite major urban renewal, the City of Sydney has increased tree canopy from 15.5 per cent cover in 2008, to 18.1 per cent in 2019;

(ii)        the City of Sydney aims to increase tree canopy to 27 per cent cover by the year 2050;

(iii)      the City's Greening Sydney Strategy 2021 indicates median tree planting is needed to increase the shading of streets. For example, in local streets wider than 15 metres, an additional row of large sized trees can be planted in a median island;

(iv)      median street tree planting not only shades the carriageway and increases canopy cover, but also reduces the width of the roadway to slow vehicles;

(v)       the City has successfully completed many median tree planting projects including in Glebe, Rosebery, Beaconsfield, Redfern and Pyrmont;

(vi)      a standard detail for medians is provided in the Sydney Streets Design Code. This detail must align with the Roads and Maritime Services Technical Direction nominating medians with kerbs, and therefore should not be flush;

(vii)     the Sydney Streets Design Code provides the following design considerations for corners and kerb radii:

(a)       to maximise pedestrian safety and comfort by minimum kerb radii while providing adequate accommodation for vehicles; and

(b)       that the City will review on a case by case basis the merits of any deviation from the standard materials palette to express a distinctive place; and

(viii)    a flush median (as opposed to raised), with wheel stops or sandstone blocks integrated with landscape if required, would create a less-engineered approach to street design, assist pedestrians crossing, allow for better Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) and potentially reduce costs of median tree planting projects; and

(B)      the Chief Executive Officer be requested to:

(i)         provide Councillors with a forward plan of future median tree planting proposed across the Local Government Area via a CEO Update; and

(ii)        investigate the addition of flush, Water Sensitive Urban Design or landscape design-led median detailing solutions into the design guidelines for the Sydney Streets Design Code.

Carried unanimously.


Report author: Erin Cashman

Publication date: 15/11/2021

Date of decision: 15/11/2021

Decided at meeting: 15/11/2021 - Council

Accompanying Documents: