Living Sydney 2050

Decision Maker: Council

Decision status: Recommendations Determined


Living Sydney 2050

Moved by Councillor Miller, seconded by Councillor Scully –

It is resolved that:

(A)      Council note that:

(i)         increasing the volume and biodiversity of flora and fauna in a city can improve overall health, wellbeing, productivity and social cohesion. It can help to cool the city, reducing the risks associated with extreme heat;

(ii)        the City of Sydney has long recognised this and worked hard to increase the canopy cover and biodiversity in our area as part of Sustainable Sydney 2030;

(iii)      our Greening Sydney Plan was adopted in 2012 and the Urban Ecology Strategic Action Plan was adopted in 2014;

(iv)      in the last 13 years, the City has planted over 12,847 new street trees and added over 81,010 square metres of street gardens;

(v)       the Office of the Government Architect is also promoting more liveable, resilient, healthy and sustainable cities through their ‘Greener Places’ framework. Planning Priority E17 in the Greater Sydney Commission’s Eastern City District Plan identifies the importance of tree canopy and the delivery of open space connections to achieve the benefits of Sydney’s Blue Green Grid;

(vi)      new research is emerging that shows that climate change is creating new risks for the urban ecology of Australian cities. Given that these risks are likely to increase, staff should review our existing plans to ensure they adequately protect the city;

(vii)     this includes reviewing the tree species in our inventory to ensure they will tolerate more extreme droughts, an assessment of rooftop and laneway space for potential planting, assessing soil health, and offering more protection to fauna as we experience more days of extreme heat; 

(viii)    Council will continue to advocate for the State to maximise urban canopy, open space, permeable surfaces, green roofs and walls; and

(ix)      consultation for Sustainable Sydney 2050 is underway and provides an opportunity to engage our communities on best practice urban ecology, urban agriculture, biophillic, regenerative, adaptive and water sensitive urban design; and


(B)      the Chief Executive Officer be requested to:

(i)         investigate best practice approaches to improving the City’s urban ecology as part of the Sustainable Sydney 2050 consultation and use that to update the overarching strategic approach and relevant city plans;

(ii)        look at whether that could include prioritising outcomes and exploring levers for achieving them such as the review of forthcoming Local Environment Plans, development control plans, tender documents, major projects, demonstration projects, new programs (such as a Living Infrastructure Partnership), via our grants or planning controls, community engagement, new targets, regulatory barriers and advocacy priorities; and

(iii)      provide an indicative timeline for when this review might take place via CEO Update.

Carried unanimously.



Report author: Rebekah Celestin

Publication date: 19/11/2018

Date of decision: 19/11/2018

Decided at meeting: 19/11/2018 - Council

Accompanying Documents: