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Cooling our city

Urban areas are usually warmer than their rural surroundings, creating what is known as the ‘urban heat island effect’. As cities continue to grow, vegetation is lost and surfaces are paved or covered with buildings, which absorb and radiate heat. 

Man sitting under big tree in park with city buildings behind

As part of our commitment to the Paris Climate agreement, to limit global temperature rise to under 2°C by 2050, we are working towards cooling our city. One way we are doing this is through greening projects, such as tree planting. Our goal is to plant 3000 trees in Melbourne every year to increase the resilience of the urban forest and to cool our city by 4°C.

Trees and vegetation can cool our cities by providing shade, reflecting sunlight and by releasing moisture into the air through their leaves in a process called transpiration. We want to see more greening in Melbourne in order to grow our urban forest.

Here are some actions you can take to keep Melbourne cool, healthy and liveable.


Strategies and plans

Emissions Reduction Plan

A comprehensive commitment to emissions reduction action that Council will deliver for its own operations out to 2026.

Climate Change Mitigation Strategy

We're proud to be part of a movement of cities that will act to reduce emissions and address climate change impacts.

Climate Change Adaptation Strategy

This strategy maps out our actions to cushion, neutralise, adjust or avoid climate change impacts.

Municipal Integrated Water Management Plan

Water is fundamental to the liveability of the city and the health and wellbeing of our community. 

our acknowledgement

  • Torres Strait Islander Flag
  • Aboriginal People Flag

The City of Melbourne respectfully acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land we govern, the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung and Bunurong / Boon Wurrung peoples of the Kulin and pays respect to their Elders past and present. 


We acknowledge and honour the unbroken spiritual, cultural and political connection they have maintained to this unique place for more than 2000 generations.

We accept the invitation in the Uluru Statement from the Heart and are committed to walking together to build a better future.