Today Green Adelaide on behalf of the South Australian Government has released a draft strategy to increase metropolitan Adelaide’s tree canopy, cool the city and boost biodiversity.

The Urban Greening Strategy for metropolitan Adelaide is a 1st for South Australia and will be used to bring together government, councils, non-government organisations, industry peak bodies, research institutions, Kaurna and the broader community to deliver practical greening actions that will help achieve a more liveable city.

Green Adelaide Board Chair Professor Chris Daniels announced earlier this month that tree canopy cover over metropolitan Adelaide is only 17%, which highlights how critical it is to have a strategy for improvement.

“We are a long way off achieving 30% tree canopy cover, which is a widely accepted level to achieve multiple health, liveability and economic benefits for urban areas,” Professor Daniels said.

“Tree canopy and greening cools our city, provides mental and physical health benefits for our population, and provides homes for native animals.

“Urban temperatures are predicted to increase, so it’s even more important that we grow a healthy and diverse urban forest to ensure that Adelaide stays liveable and cool.

“Retaining and planting more trees and vegetation in our suburbs will go a long way in keeping our streets and houses cool – in turn, reducing people’s reliance on air conditioners to battle Adelaide’s hotter summers, and resulting in financial savings and gains for our community.

“Greener cities are nicer to live in, respond better to climate challenges and contribute to a healthier economy,” Professor Daniels said.

The Urban Greening Strategy is a practical plan to bring people together to enhance our city’s liveability, by complementing and amplifying existing efforts to boost greenery.

Professor Daniels added that saving and increasing greenery in metropolitan Adelaide relies on not just a love for trees and green spaces, but also legislation, policy, capacity-building and coordination to protect and enhance it.

“This is what this new strategy aims to do, and I thank all our government and non-government partners for their contributions, energy and expertise in shaping the development of this important work.”

The draft Urban Greening Strategy is available for the public to read and provide feedback until 28 June 2024. Get involved at

Fast facts about metropolitan Adelaide’s greenery

  • About 17% tree canopy cover (30% tree canopy cover is the widely accepted target for urban areas)
  • 69% of trees are less than 10 metres tall
  • 90% of native vegetation has been cleared since 1836 (European colonisation)
  • Average urban heat intensity increased by 0.2°C from 2014 to 2023
  • Green spaces are nature’s air-conditioners as they reduce the air temperature of the area by 5°C to 10°C

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