The City of Moreland at its upcoming meeting has a recommendation from council offices to approve the draft Cooling the Upfield Corridor Action Plan which would see a community consultation session begin in early April.
The draft action plan came about as a result of the Moreland Council's overarching 2017-2018 plan and it seeks to focus on mitigating the urban heat island effect in the corridor that spans both Brunswick and Coburg from Park Street to Gaffney Street.
Moreland's officer report sets the cost of action of the initiatives which have a defined scope just shy of $10 million over the next 11 years. The report also notes there are other initiatives which could be leveraged including VicRoad's Revaitalising Sydney Road study.
Currently, VicRoads is investigating opportunities to revitalise Sydney Road which could include options to reconfigure the Sydney Road to allow for tree planting and prioritise pedestrians and cyclists.
Through these negotiations, Council is committed to ensuring that Sydney Road will retain its function as the civic and commercial heart of the Brunswick and Coburg Activity Centres whilst ensuring the inclusion of street trees and prioritisation of pedestrians and cyclists.
The Draft Action Plan identifies greening and cooling strategies for the Sydney Road/Upfield Corridor area under 6 themes:
Moreland Council Officer's report on Cooling the Upfield corridor Action Plan - page 343
- Theme 1: Streets for People – Interventions that re-allocate space within existing streetscapes to create new landscaped areas.
- Theme 2: Influencing outcomes in the private realm – Building collaborative relationships to increase greening opportunities within the private realm.
- Theme 3: Utilising Council owned car parks – Harnessing opportunities to add landscaping to Council owned land.
- Theme 4: Planting in side streets - Increase tree canopy cover within the side streets off Sydney Road
- Theme 5: Sydney Road - Increase planting opportunities within the Sydney Road streetscape
- Theme 6: Additional Interventions – Potential projects requiring new funding which harness opportunities to cool/green the corridor.
Moreland already has endorsed Urban Forest Strategy (2017) which among other things aims grow the existing canopy in the municipality by 5000 trees per annum and the Cooling the Upfield Corridor Action Plan seeks to align the tree planting initiative into appropriate areas in the Sydney Road/Upfield corridor.
Sydney Road is sparsely populated with vegetation and one of the projects the officer's report lists as scope to be confirmed is opportunistic landscape planting to be carried out in conjunction with private landowners within close proximity to Sydney Road.
The officer's report also lists Coburg Streetscape Masterplan and Sydney Road Revitalisation projects as scope to be confirmed - in Sydney Road's case that project is being led by VicRoads, not the council.
The draft action plan is attached to the upcoming council meeting agenda, you can view it here (from page 341 onwards).
If the council endorses the action plan, community consultation will open from April 4th and run to May 16th.