Auckland’s ‘leafy suburbs’ is a term we’ve heard a lot over the last few years as debate about the Unitary Plan has raged. But what suburbs are the leafiest? Now we have an answer.
Reader Euan has put together some maps looking at the number of public trees within 500m of each residential property and normalised the results to provide a degree of comparison between residences on the isthmus. He hopes to be able to do the North Shore and West Auckland in the future but unfortunately he says there is very little data available for the old Manukau City Council area.
On the analysis, he also notes:
The two major shortcomings associated with this analysis are: A) the public tree data was incomplete; and B) there is an underlying bug with the tool used that has not been fixed. While there’s not much I can do about the incomplete data, there are ways around the software bug. Unfortunately, they are time intensive, and I do not currently have the time to implement the work around. I can always return and fix them later.
In many ways the analysis serves to highlight the change in how we’ve developed cities and streets over the years. If you take a google streetview tour through some of the red areas, like those south of SH20, there are some trees but they’re generally only on private property rather than in the road corridor. I’d also suggest there’s probably a high correlation with the leafiness of an area and the quality of the footpaths. Again those mid-late 20th century developments south of SH20 tend to have narrow footpaths often right up against the road.
Despite the shortcomings, the results are fascinating. As already mentioned there is a serious lack of public trees outside of the streetcar suburbs with the exception being some of the eastern suburbs. One area that bucks this trend though is around Remuera where there is a surprising amount of red, more so than even the CBD. You can also see a fairly dense patch of public trees in Stonefields and I’d expect to see similar results in other new suburbs as the importance of street trees is now more understood.
The second map highlights the top 20% most leafy residences to more clearly show where the leafiest suburbs are
Lastly this is an earlier map Euan sent me highlighting the data and showing the number of street trees in the CBD
All up a fascinating piece of work so thanks Euan for putting it together.