The governance of private residential land in cities and spatial effects on tree cover

Daniel, Claire, Morrison, Tiffany, and Phinn, Stuart (2016) The governance of private residential land in cities and spatial effects on tree cover. Environmental Science & Policy, 62. pp. 79-89.

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Trees in cities supply ecosystem services, including cooling, storm water quality management, habitat, visual screening and softening of built form. There is an expanding interdisciplinary field encompassing biodiversity, ecosystem services, and stewardship networks in cities. However most of this work focuses on public greenspace. While much work has been done to demonstrate that trees on private land are an important complement to the public urban forest, and to understand the social drivers of such, less is known about the governance of private greenspace in cities. Private land contributes to a significant component of a city’s tree cover, particularly in cities characterised by low-density residential suburbs. It is important to understand the mechanisms that govern private tree cover, given the pace and scale of urbanisation globally. We combined policy and spatial analysis to examine the influence of larger and denser forms of residential development on suburban tree cover and the scope of contemporary governance measures. We interrogated tree cover patterns in the rapidly densifying and consolidating city of Brisbane, Australia, to show that private residential tree cover is explained by dwelling density, housing age, terrain slope, high school education, and household income. Results show significantly (30%) less tree cover in low-density residential suburbs developed since the early 1990s. We develop five governance principles for reversing the decline of urban trees on private residential property that may be transferable to other rapidly developing cities in around the world.

Item ID: 54387
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-6416
Keywords: environmental governance; urban governance; private land; law; planning; policy
Date Deposited: 03 Jul 2018 05:55
FoR Codes: 44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4407 Policy and administration > 440707 Housing policy @ 50%
33 BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN > 3304 Urban and regional planning > 330404 Land use and environmental planning @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960999 Land and Water Management of Environments not elsewhere classified @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960708 Urban Land Policy @ 50%
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