The City of Melbourne has once again been recognised as a global climate leader, winning a C40 & Siemens City Climate Leadership Award for its Urban Landscapes Climate Adaptation Program.

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle accepted the award at a ceremony in New York in front of more than 250 Mayors, city planners, policy-makers, and influential thinkers from around the world. It is the second year in a row the City of Melbourne has received the prestigious award.

“The City of Melbourne implemented our Urban Landscape Adaptation Program in 2010 to protect our people, businesses, trees, and other environmental assets after more than a decade of drought, low rainfalls, and record-breaking extreme heat,” the Lord Mayor said.

“We have spent $40 million above ‘business as usual’ implementing scalable solutions to reduce our susceptibility to drought and cool our city by four degrees celsius.”

Chair of Council’s Environment Portfolio, Cr Arron Wood, said the City of Melbourne’s Urban Forest Strategy, Open Space Strategy, and stormwater harvesting initiatives had contributed to the Urban Landscape Adaptation Program.

“Our Urban Forest Strategy aims to double our tree canopy cover from 20 to 40 per cent to make the city cooler: in four years we’ve planted 12,000 new trees,” Cr Wood said.

“We have created an additional 10,000 sqm of green space in the city since 2012, including converting 5000 sqm from asphalt to parkland.”

“The City of Melbourne has also installed major water harvesting infrastructure at Fitzroy Gardens, Birrarung Marr, Queen Victoria Gardens, and Darling Street which provides 25 per cent of our annual landscape water requirements.”

The program was also recognised with awards from The United Nations Association of Australia and the Banksia Association in 2013. This is the second consecutive year Melbourne has won a C40 & Siemens City Climate Leadership Award, after the Melbourne Sustainable Buildings Program won the Energy Efficient Built Environment category last year.

The Lord Mayor particularly thanked City of Melbourne staff, Cr Wood and Deputy Chair of the Environment Portfolio Cr Dr Cathy Oke for their work and vision.

Further information on the awards can be found on their website.

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