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We cycled up New Canterbury Road Dulwich Hill last week & were surprised at the large developments happening there. Our area is changing fast.
One of the high-rise blocks has four Brushbox trees planted out front, though one is already dead. Street trees of this kind will enhance the streetscape and keep the footpath area cool so I am glad they were planted.
The other high-rise building has no street trees, just a long expanse of brand new concrete.
If this is going to be the future look for New Canterbury Road, then I think it is a missed opportunity. Inner West Council needs to insist that developers include a decent number of street trees as part of the development & dare I say, verge gardens. There certainly is room enough for them.
When NSW Transport built the light rail stations, they did not stop at station infrastructure. They also planted trees & other plants extensively both inside & around the light rail stations & made these places quite attractive. It is this that I would like to see developers do when they build a new building for the area – to look at the streetscape surrounding & especially in front of their development. What they don’t spend in concrete, they can spend on street trees & plants. I learnt from listening to the architect for The Revolution in Marrickville that if something “green” is not mandatory, then they don’t bother to include it in the development.
More & more around Sydney I am noticing busy roads including verge gardens & it all works well. With climate change starting to really make its impact & with three heatwaves already this year, development needs to change into something that assists the community. Concrete does not cut it anymore. We know too much about how great expanses of concrete is bad for us & exacerbates heat.
I also think Council should make it mandatory to have street side building awnings to be of the kind that has cutouts to allow the canopy of a street tree to grow & gain height as is the norm all along the Princes Highway in North Sydney. They have tall Brushbox trees growing along their business/shopping strip & all the trees have space for their canopy to grow. It looks good & not only that, it is sensible. I’ve also seen this in Waterloo. Why can we not have this in our area?