A World-First Management Tool To Address Large Scale Urban Greening

Goodbye Mesh Block and iTree; hello strategy, visibility and visualisation, KPIs and accountability.

Active Green Services has worked with LGAs around Australia to develop a world-first management tool to address large scale urban greening, providing unprecedented insight into canopy cover, critical to urban greening strategy, planning, execution and verification.

Active Green Services uses 0.5m resolution satellite imagery taken at a specified time each year and interpreted with AI (artificial intelligence – a trained, convolutional neutral network) to identify trees from visual and NIR spectral data. This is audited and re-interpreted by Certificate V qualified arborists and GIS specialists to render a tool which not only provides % canopy cover for the LGA, year on year, but does this dynamically, measuring and segregating the % canopy cover based on and any viewable, subset area.

For VMOs and TMOs, removed and hazard (dead) trees, tree growth and pruning/decline are clearly visualized. Information can be compared to climatic data (abiotic) and human effort, pest and disease (biotic).

For Environment, Sustainability and Urban Heat managers, this tool provides the basis for correlation and demonstration of heat island amelioration and green corridors.

For Planners, it provides and facilitates analysis of varying spatial areas and dimensions such as Local Government Area boundaries, land management boundaries, catchment management boundaries, private property and open space.

Annual data capture and comparison to prior year is critical. Previously unaffordable through other methods, this fit-for-purpose approach lays the foundation for clearly articulated urban greening strategy which can now be described and verified in broad categories such as tree planting, tree nurturing (water and nutrient supply) and retention (removal minimisation).

This tool has been described as a game changer. It changes the conversation from urban greening and tree canopy strategy having a “tree planting” bias (because this has been the simplest measurable) to strategies encompassing a wholistic view which, for the first time, can be measured, demonstrated and verified. It delivers hard data, practical and transparent accountability, for stakeholder management.

Mosman Council (NSW) have graciously allowed Active Green Services to share the work done for them. Various images are shown here but a copy of their full report is available as is a demonstration of the live link via Zoom.

Contact Simon Strauss on 0417 441 649 or simonst@active.com.au

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