Canopy cover delivers essential ecosystem services including urban heat regulation, stormwater run-off mitigation, habitat, as well as a range of cultural services such as recreation and aesthetic value. Recognising this, the Victorian Planning Authority (VPA) is developing a new target for public realm tree canopy coverage as part of updated precinct structure planning guidelines.


Victorian Planning Authority


Sustainable Planning & Policy




University of Melbourne


Kim Landy


HIP V. HYPE, in partnership with Dr Judy Bush of the University of Melbourne, developed an evidence base for public realm canopy tree coverage, including a review of academic literature, regulatory influences and a selection of case study examples from Precinct Structure Plans delivered in the last 15 years.

The analysis found that the ability to deliver public canopy tree cover outcomes is dependent on a range of factors across the design, construction and occupancy phases. HV.H and the University of Melbourne identified a range of practical solutions for each phase that can support overall achievement of the target.

  • Developed an evidence base for public realm canopy tree coverage in greenfield developments
  • Created 7 case studies, plus 2 established example areas, analysing design, construction and occupancy factors influencing canopy coverage in Melbourne's growth areas
  • Highlighted critical success factors, barriers and solutions to improved tree canopy coverage