Income

Tree study shows low-income Brisbane suburbs need more shade – Reuters

Researchers say more investment in tree planting is needed after discovering uneven shade cover in some Brisbane suburbs.

A University of Queensland study counted trees in three Brisbane suburbs of different middle income levels: low (Deagon), middle (Riverhills) and high income (Parkinson).

Lecturer in urban planning at UQ School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Dr Dorina Pojanisaid that, like many other low-income suburbs around the world, Deagon was forced to suffocate due to rising temperatures and more frequent heat waves.

“We found that Deagon has about 77 street trees per kilometer, which is 46% less than Riverhills, which has 113 street trees per kilometer,” Dr. Pojani said.

“Parkinson was found to have 87 street trees per kilometer, 12% less than Riverhills.

“The lack of trees in Deagon compared to the other two suburbs is a significant inequity, and if left unaddressed, has the potential to become a broader environmental justice issue.

“We are on the brink of a situation where low-income suburbs are bearing the physical and financial brunt of climate-related temperature rises, and where lives are at risk.

“Trees not only protect people from the harsh sun outside, they can also reduce the need for air conditioning.

UQ environmental science and urban planning graduate Sean Patton, whose honors thesis formed the basis of this research, said more money needs to be spent planting trees in suburbs like Deagon.

“Brisbane City Council’s tree planting budget for 2020 was $19.7 million, but it’s worth investing more to ensure residents have better access to sun protection, especially in a city ​​where local government encourages active transportation,” Patton said.

“A full analysis of the benefits and costs, together with a wider survey of Brisbane, would determine the budget needed, but given the health risks associated with rising temperatures, we certainly need more than what is necessary. we are currently seeing.

“The benefits of trees increase as they age, so the sooner we start planting more street trees in these at-risk suburbs, the better.”

The research has been published in australian planner.

Media: Dr. Dorina Pojani, [email protected]+61 (0)473 989 847, Mr. Sean Patton, +61(0)448 231 312, Faculty of Media Science, [email protected]+61 (0)438 162 687.