A cyclist riding on Bourke Street cycleway in Surry Hills.

City streets

People who live, work in and visit the city centre and its villages agree that Sydney should go green – literally – so we’re busy upgrading parks, establishing gardens (including raingardens) and planting more trees.

There’s no denying the benefits plants and trees bring to cities. They help clean the air, provide welcome shade and soften the urban environment. They also attract wildlife and increase property values. And they make us happy.

There are already close to 30,000 street trees in the city and the number is growing. In some places we’re planting whole avenues of trees and building median strips to house more street trees.

We’re now increasing Sydney’s urban forest by planting 800 more trees a year. Once these trees have matured, the urban canopy (a measure of tree coverage) will be 50% greater – creating enough shade to reduce temperatures in the city by 2 degrees Celsius.

The City of Sydney’s arborists have chosen species to suit the soil, conditions and character of local streets; avoiding trees with root systems that uplift pavements and the ones that drop heavy seed pods or slippery leaves, flowers and fruits.

Our many parks and reserves (there are more than 400) are home to 12,000 trees – again this number is ever-growing. We’ve been progressively upgrading the major parks, small parks, reserves and playgrounds across the city to improve our green open spaces. New trees and plants include mixes of native and exotic species.

The ultimate, big-picture goal is to establish green leafy corridors so people can walk and cycle through tree-lined streets, parks and open spaces.

Towards 2030 we are greening our streets to:

  • promote active transport
  • reduce congestion
  • encourage biodiversity
  • cut greenhouse emissions
  • act on climate change
  • create a sustainable Sydney.

Sydney 2030: green, global and connected. Go to the 2030 strategic directions.