Last year I did research into, and gave speeches about, the public health benefits of public open space. [See also, "Kelvin Thomson: Too few trees make high-density Coburg and Glenroy risky during heat waves"] My view about the importance of this is reinforced by recent statements in the Moreland Leader by University of Sydney Associate Professor Tonia Gray that research shows that neighbourhoods with more green spaces are much healthier and socially cohesive. She says, "Nature has a calming effect, it recalibrates your body. Australian kids spend an average of 52 hours a week in front of a screen but an average of 40 minutes outside". (Originally published at http://kelvinthomson.blogspot.com.au/2015/02/melbourne-heat-island-effect.html)
urban heat islands
In place of urban sprawl, urban consolidation is supposed to reduce our environmental footprint, by compacting housing for less car usage, more “affordable housing”, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. On the contrary, it tends to have the opposite effect.
This threat to clearfell half of Melbourne's street and park trees because they are supposedly "nearing the end of their lives" is an unprecedented threat to Melbourne's heritage. I regard the threat to Melbourne's trees as one of greatest threats to Melbourne and its livability. Plus the revival of the East West Link tollway-in-a-tunnel through the inner suburbs and parks.