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An Urban Greening Strategy for metropolitan Adelaide

We are bringing together stakeholders and the community to make a practical plan to protect and enhance Adelaide's mature trees, green open spaces and urban biodiversity.

We are leading the creation of the first Urban Greening Strategy for metropolitan Adelaide. The strategy will bring together different sectors, knowledge and resources to accelerate the greening of our streets, open spaces and backyards.

The strategy will focus on increasing tree canopy cover, reducing hard surfaces, meeting the urban green cover target of the 30-Year Plan for Greater Adelaide and prioritising areas that are the most vulnerable to heat.

This will help deliver the government’s commitment to increase greening in our neighbourhoods, improve urban biodiversity and address the loss of mature trees.

We will collaborate and partner with all sectors who deliver, champion or influence urban greening outcomes, including other state government agencies, local government, industry peak bodies, research institutions, non-government organisations and Kaurna Miyurna (people).

What’s happened so far?

We are developing the Urban Greening Strategy in 3 stages to ensure we capture the different views of all our partners and stakeholders.

Stage 1 – Scoping and early engagement

We have undertaken a literature review, practitioner survey and early stakeholder engagement to better understand who is working on urban greening in metro Adelaide, what they are doing, the critical gaps and what kind of strategy would work best.

We are also building on recent consultation on this important topic, including the development of Green Adelaide's Regional Landscape Plan (PDF | 3.34 MB).

For further details, download the Stage 1: Scoping and Early Engagement Summary Report (PDF | 2.73 MB).

Stage 2 – Development of the strategy and stakeholder engagement

We have undertaken cross-sector collaboration with a range of practitioners to help develop the strategy and determine how best to work together to implement it. A Discussion Paper (PDF | 5.01MB) has been prepared to support engagement activities.

The following engagement activities have occurred:

Greening Adelaide Leaders Event (May 2022)

To foster urban greening leadership, identify new partnership opportunities and drive commitment to collaborate. Discover what we heard (PDF | 3.17MB) at this event and the Practitioner Summit.

Cross-sector Practitioner Summit (May 2022)

To share progress, identify priorities for action and build momentum for shared action. Discover what we heard (PDF | 3.17MB) at this event and the Leaders Event.

Sector Discussions (May 2022 to June 2023)

To identify areas of consensus, difference and where individual sectors and organisations could play the lead and their priorities for action. For example, discover what we heard from the development industry (PDF | 1.77MB).

Scenario Planning Workshop (October 2022)

To co-create scenarios, generate shared vision and develop action pathways to achieve the vision.

Technical working groups and background evidence bases (Ongoing)

We have set up three cross-sector technical working groups via an expression of interest process. These groups include subject matter experts who will provide advice on the development of the Urban Greening Strategy, and supporting evidence bases, on the following topics:

  • Urban heat and tree canopy
  • Urban biodiversity
  • Quality green space and policy.

As part of the Urban Biodiversity Technical Working Group, Green Adelaide is working with the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) to develop an Urban Biodiversity Evidence Base which will:
  • discuss the benefits of biodiverse urban greening
  • identify current urban biodiversity data, trends and mapping (and any gaps)
  • provide case studies of biodiversity sensitive urban design (BSUD) in different contexts and scales across metropolitan Adelaide.

Next steps

We are working through some remaining investigation and engagement activities as part of preparing a draft strategy for public consultation.

Stage 3 – Public consultation

A draft Urban Greening Strategy will be prepared for consultation with the wider metropolitan Adelaide community.

How to get involved?

For practitioners

The success of the Urban Greening Strategy relies upon coordinated cross-sector resourcing and collaboration.

There are many practitioners with a role in delivering, championing and influencing urban greening outcomes in metro Adelaide.

These practitioners work in a range of professions from arborists to engineers and designers to sustainability officers and planners, policy makers, and people looking after our local parks, plus more.

They also work across a range of different sectors such as state government, local government, industry bodies, research institutions and non-government organisations.

We are delivering targeted engagement activities with practitioners from across these different sectors.

For community

During public consultation, a community focus group will be held for interested public to share their thoughts on key elements of the Urban Greening Strategy.

Keep in-the-loop

Subscribe to the monthly Green Adelaide newsletter to stay in-the-loop on Adelaide’s first Urban Greening Strategy.


Green streets and other public spaces provide much more than a pleasant place to live. They also provide habitat for native animals, enhance biodiversity and improve people’s mental and physical health, as well as supporting an economically valuable ecosystem.

Urban green cover is declining in many neighbourhoods across metropolitan Adelaide. So, it is vital that tree cover and quality green spaces are increased to help maintain our city’s liveability and to enable our city to better adapt to a changing climate.

The development of Adelaide's first Urban Greening Strategy will be key to making this happen.

As well as preparing this strategy, we are working on a range of initiatives with partners to green our streets, open spaces and backyards, including:

Green wall


1. What is urban greening?

Urban greening is the conservation, restoration or creation of green infrastructure, including trees and vegetation in and around urban areas that benefit people, nature and our economy, and the soils and water to support it.

Urban greening types include:

  • Private greening – residential front and backyards, commercial car parks, market gardens, green roofs, urban renewal projects.
  • Streetscapes and transport corridors – street trees, green walls, verges, rain gardens, swales, and major road, rail and tram.
  • Green and blue corridors – coastlines, lakes, rivers, creeks, natural and managed wetlands.
  • Urban parks – local parks, playgrounds, sportsgrounds, community gardens, conservation areas and forests.

2. What is an Urban Greening Strategy?

It’s a plan to identify the challenges and opportunities for enhancing Adelaide’s tree canopy and green spaces, and to detail a way forward to implement urban greening efforts.

It will focus on actions which address gaps that would benefit from multiple partners working together.

3. Why does Adelaide need an Urban Greening Strategy?

There are lots of individual commitments from all sectors to improve urban greening. However, there is no cohesive, overarching plan for metropolitan Adelaide.

We recognise the unique resources, knowledge and capabilities of different sectors. By partnering and creating a practical plan with shared action, Adelaide's first Urban Greening Strategy will bring these resources together to deliver a much greater impact than could be achieved individually.

News and blogs

10 common trees you’ll see around Adelaide

Adelaide has around 3,000 species of native and exotic trees around the city and suburbs. Here’s 10 of the most common ones that you’ll likely spot.

10 common trees you’ll see around Adelaide - Green Adelaide

5 plants for your garden in the ‘burbs

Want to spruce up your yard with colour and diversity? Discover 5 plants that will love life in an Adelaide garden.

5 plants for your garden in the ‘burbs - Green Adelaide

6 steps to build a green wall at home

Keen to add a touch of alternative green to your home? Here are 6 easy-to-follow steps to build a green wall.

6 steps to build a green wall at home - Green Adelaide

Nearly $2 million funding to green and cool streets

SA's streets will be greener, cooler and more liveable thanks to almost $2 million of funding to support local tree planting projects. Find out more.

Nearly $2 million funding to green and cool streets - Green Adelaide

A greener Adelaide? We’ve been here before

Green Adelaide Presiding Member Chris Daniels looks as what did and didn’t happen about 150 years ago, and what we can learn.

A greener Adelaide? We’ve been here before - Green Adelaide

Find out why greenery is key to Adelaide’s liveability

Adelaide is a beautiful green city, but action is still needed to look after its greenery. Why? Read on.

Find out why greenery is key to Adelaide’s liveability - Green Adelaide

5 ways to make your home greener for the greater good

If you’re building a new home you know that there are lots of decisions. We’ve got your covered on the sustainable front. Here’s 5 ways to make your home greener.

5 ways to make your home greener for the greater good - Green Adelaide

Thousands of trees to be planted on suburban Adelaide streets

Almost $1 million of funding has been awarded to local councils to support the planting of thousands of trees across Adelaide to keep suburban streets green and cool.

Thousands of trees to be planted on suburban Adelaide streets - Green Adelaide

Is any tree better than no tree?

Have you ever seen a kookaburra in a palm tree? It’s not a classic image, but it happens – and it’s important. Here Professor Chris Daniels our Presiding Member of the Green Adelaide Board explains why.

Is any tree better than no tree? - Green Adelaide