'Where Have All the Trees Gone?' Urban Consolidation and the Demise of Urban Vegetation: A Case Study from Western Australia
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Despite a vast body of empirical evidence emphasizing the significance of urban landscapes for improved quality of life, academic literature examining the impacts of urban consolidation on established vegetation and trees remain limited. This paper outlines the economic, social and environmental benefits of urban vegetation and trees and investigates the consequences of urban consolidation on established vegetation and trees in Como, an inner suburb, south of Perth, Western Australia (WA). It presents data from a longitudinal study utilizing photographic evidence and visual observations over several years. This study reveals an overwhelming trend for the removal of all landscaping when land is redeveloped under the current policy direction of urban consolidation. This paper investigates the importance of urban vegetation and trees, as a significant and valuable proportion of ‘greenery’ in urban areas. A conclusion drawn is that there exists little or no incentive for developers to preserve established urban vegetation and trees and only limited capacity to regulate for the protection of established ‘greenery’ in the private domain. Finally, the authors provide some recommendations, which emerge from this research.
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