A NSW Government website

Greener neighbourhoods

The Greener Neighbourhoods program empowers councils to create cooler, shadier neighbourhoods

Urban tree canopy and green cover play an important role in creating healthy, cooler and liveable neighbourhoods.

To help deliver a sustainable future for our city, the department collaborated with Resilient Sydney and councils to co-design a program to empower councils to create cooler and shadier neighbourhoods. The program provides updated data, financial support and policy guidance to councils to support strategic approaches to urban forest management.

A coordinated approach to planning for tree canopy and green cover is essential to achieving 40% urban tree canopy cover for Greater Sydney by 2036.

Greener Neighbourhoods guide

The Greener Neighbourhoods guide (PDF, 11.3 MB) supports councils to create greener and shadier urban areas by developing or updating strategic urban forest plans.

The guide is for all local councils across NSW who want to establish, build upon or re-envisage strategic planning for their urban forests. It gives guidance on how to understand, plan for, monitor and manage urban forests and promotes best practice and consistency in urban forest planning.

Greener Neighbourhoods grant program

In 2022, the grant program awarded $1.37 million to 28 councils across Greater Sydney to deliver 32 projects. This funding will help councils strategically plan for and manage urban forests in their local government area.

The successful projects include:

  • developing or updating urban forest strategies and street tree master plans
  • developing and enhancing tree asset databases
  • analysing tree canopy data to identify priority planting areas
  • engaging the community through workshops and educational campaigns to promote the benefits of trees and canopy cover.

Successful grant recipients

Read more on the successful grant recipients and projects funded by the Greener neighbourhoods grant.
People sitting at the park. No image credit.

Tree canopy data

The department has worked with consultants ArborCarbon to acquire a new tree canopy dataset for Greater Sydney.
Tree canopy banner

Grant program and supporting resources

Grant program

For further information about the grant program, refer to the following documents:

Plant selection tools

Which Plant Where?

A tool to help practitioners and decision makers to identify species that will be resilient to climate change across Australia. The tool also provides resources and best practice guides that tackle some of the universal barriers to green space.


Local Government NSW

Local Government NSW is the peak organisation that represents the interests of NSW general and special purpose councils. Local Government NSW aims to strengthen and protect an effective, democratic system of local government across NSW by supporting and advocating on behalf of member councils and delivering a range of relevant, quality services.

Resilient Cities Network

Resilient Cities Network co-creates urban solutions to address complex and interrelated urban challenges, so that cities and communities thrive. The network will focus on 3 priorities to be delivered through programs of collective action with member cities during the next 2 years through a holistic approach to resilience.


Treenet is the national urban tree research and education cluster, which provides networking, resource, education and event opportunities.

Australian Citizen Science Association (ACSA)

ACSA is member-based incorporated association that seeks to advance citizen science through the sharing of knowledge, collaboration, capacity building and advocacy.

Greener Spaces Better Places

Originally the 202020 Vision program, Greener Spaces Better Places is a movement that brings together community, growers, government, academia, business, industry and everyday people to make our homes, streets and suburbs the greenest in the world. After all, every green space counts towards a greener Australia.

Urban Forest resources

How to Grow an Urban Forest

Designed for councils, this guide is based on a decade of work by the City of Melbourne.

Rosemeadow Demonstration Project

The Rosemeadow Demonstration project is an innovative NSW Government initiative that sets a new benchmark for tree planting in urban environments to improve liveability for communities in areas with critical urban heat problem.

Trees for Cities

UK charity working at a national and international scale to improve lives by planting trees in cities.

Urban Forest Management Toolkit

A collection of tools that are available internationally.

Urban Green Cover Technical Guidelines

The guidelines provide practical guidance on how to adapt the urban environment through urban green cover projects.

Urban Greeners’ Resource Hub

Greener Spaces Better Places and Living Melbourne teamed up to create the Urban Greeners’ Resource Hub, a curated collection of best practice tools, guides, resources and case studies to help urban greening professionals protect and enhance Australia’s urban forests and green cover in our towns and cities.

Urban Heat Planning Toolkit

The toolkit focuses on strategies that can be implemented in new development and redevelopment, to reduce urban heat and help people adapt.

Urban Tree Canopy Targets & Development Controls

This report details voluntary best practice targets and planning controls to enhance tree canopy, outlines the method for establishing the targets, and contains examples of design solutions that can be used to achieve the targets.

Water Efficiency Study for Urban Tree Management – Final report June 2020 (PDF, 3.6 KB)

NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment commissioned a water efficiency study to guide councils in supporting responsible tree planting.

Western Sydney Street Design Guidelines

The guidelines seek to create streets with improved environmental, social and health outcomes for all street users. The guidelines are focused on service provision to new greenfield development areas in Western Sydney. They do, however, have the potential to be applied to existing areas that are undergoing significant change and are in an appropriate urban setting.

Botanical resources

Atlas of Living Australia

Open access online repository of information about the distribution of Australian plants, animals, and fungi.

Australian Plant Name Index

A tool for the botanical community that deals with plant names and their usage in the scientific literature, whether as a name or synonym.

Kew Gardens Plants of the World

1,198,000 global plant names, 106,800 detailed descriptions, and 278,600 images.

More information

This grant round is being administered by Local Government NSW on behalf of the department. For enquiries or more information, email the team at [email protected]