We understand there is significant interest in the community about our rural lands and how they are managed. Although we have undertaken planning control reviews and community surveys in the past, we have not undertaken a comprehensive evidence-based Rural Lands Study since 1995. A lot has changed since that time.
Council is now undertaking a new Rural Lands Study to set the strategic direction for the rural areas within Hornsby Shire. The Study will help Council decide how rural lands will be managed into the future. It will address State Government requirements in the North District Plan to use place-based planning to maintain the values of the rural area and deliver targeted environmental, social and economic outcomes.
The Sustainable Hornsby 2040 Strategy provides an overarching framework to achieve an innovative and environmentally sustainable Shire with resilient, diverse and thriving communities and ecosystems. Sustainable Hornsby 2040 draws together several supporting documents:
- Biodiversity Conservation Strategy
- Urban Forest Strategy
- Water Sensitive Hornsby Strategy
- Climate Wise Hornsby Plan
- Waste Matters Strategy (adopted February 2020)
- Walking and Cycling Strategy
Urban heat island effect is a scientific term that describes the tendency of cities to be much hotter than surrounding rural areas.
As a city develops trees and vegetation make way for roads, roofs and footpaths. These hard, man-made surfaces are very good at absorbing and holding on to heat, raising the temperature in our towns.
Human activity such as traffic, industry and electricity usage add to the heat. The temperature difference between built up and rural areas is even more pronounced at night because urban surfaces continue to hold on to heat from the previous day; re-radiating back into the environment.
In Sydney, morning summer surface temperatures in treeless urban areas are on average 12.8°C higher than vegetated non-urban areas (NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH), 2015).
Development planned for Sydney to accommodate growing populations, jobs and housing have the potential to lead to further increases in urban temperatures.
In order to understand the impacts of Urban Heat and plan for any future mitigation, Hornsby Shire Council have partnered with several other Councils to engage consultants Squarelink to develop a regional approach to embed urban heat objectives into our local strategic planning statements and local environmental plans.
The NSW Office of Environment & Heritage has recently provided Council with Urban Heat Mapping for Hornsby Shire. The mapping identifies areas within the Shire currently experiencing high temperatures in comparison to non-urbanised areas. This mapping has been incorporated into the LSPS.
Hornsby Shire Council is committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions and action on climate change. In 2009 through our Climate Change Adaptation Plan, Council set the emissions reduction target of 30% reduction based on 1995/96 levels by 2020.
Council is now looking to update its Climate Change Adaptation Plan and set new emissions reduction targets which are more in line with State, National and International Targets.
Hornsby Council is one of 33 Sydney Metropolitan Council’s taking part in Action 13 of the Resilient Sydney Strategy – Measure Metropolitan Carbon Emissions program. Action 13 will pioneer a standardised metropolitan-wide process for measuring and reporting on community carbon emissions in Sydney. This measuring and reporting process is compliant with the Global Protocol for Community-scale Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories.
Council has received community emissions data, prepared by Kinesis, for the 2016/17 year as part of Action 13. To date, our total community carbon emissions equate to 1.24 tonnes of CO2e. This data is currently being analysed and actions to address how we can help our community lower their carbon emissions are currently being developed and will be included in our Climate Change Adaptation Plan.
Council has also engaged Ironbark Sustainability to help standardise Council’s corporate emissions reporting framework and to undertake a corporate emissions inventory (scope 1, 2 & 3) for financial years 2016-17 and 2017-18. This process is expected to be completed by August 2019.
Council is currently obtaining community sector data compliant with Global Protocol for Community-scale GHG Emission Inventories as part of Action 13 of the Resilient Sydney Strategy – Measure Metropolitan Carbon Emissions program. Action 13 will pioneer a standardised metropolitan-wide process for measuring and reporting on community carbon emissions in Sydney.
Council is also interested in standardising its emissions reporting framework for corporate level emissions. Consequently Council is looking to engage a suitably experienced and qualified consultant to advise on current best practice emissions reporting protocols and to subsequently undertake a corporate emissions inventory (scope 1, 2 & 3) for financial years 2016-17 and 2017-18 to be completed by 30 April 2019.
The draft Climate Wise Hornsby Plan exhibition closed on Friday, 13 November 2020.
Biological diversity, or biodiversity, is the diversity of plants, animals, communities and ecosystems and how these biological features interact. Biodiversity supports the provision of essential services ranging from soil, water, food and medicine. Biodiversity loss is occurring at a global scale with reductions in vegetation extent and the number of species which are all vital in providing resilience for these essential services for current and future generations. To mitigate the effects of biodiversity losses at a regional scale the Greater Sydney Commission, through the North District Plan, has identified key planning priorities that protect and enhance bushland and biodiversity. To address these biodiversity conservation priorities at a local scale Hornsby Council has developed a long-term plan that provides strategic direction for future land use and assists in prioritising actions that conserve biodiversity.
The preparation of a Biodiversity Conservation Strategy gives Council direction in undertaking actions to conserve biodiversity and support existing conservation programs. The Strategy provides Council with a 20-year approach with a matrix of five interconnected strategies identified to assist Council and community to meet their broad objectives of biodiversity and conservation management. They aim to:
- Protect and conserve ecological values
- Connect urban habitat
- Restore disturbed ecosystems to enhance ecological value and function
- Create new ecosystems
- Connect people to nature
Key outcomes include a prioritised action plan for conservation works, identify areas for future vegetation corridors and links and provide recommendations for amendments to the Hornsby Local Environment Plan and Development Control Plan that support biodiversity conservation.
The draft Biodiversity Conservation Strategy exhibition closed on Friday, 13 November 2020.
The Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities (CRC WSC) has been engaged to prepare a Water Sensitive Hornsby Strategy. The initial stages of the strategy development, including benchmarking, visioning and the setting of local waterways values, will be used to inform the preparation of the draft Local Strategic Planning Statement.
The vision of a Water Sensitive City (WSC) represents an aspirational concept in which water has a central role in shaping a city. In a WSC the community is active in caring for water and the environment and can enjoy minimal disruption by flooding, reliable water supply, effective sanitation, healthy ecosystems, cool, green and connected landscapes, efficient use of resources and beautiful urban spaces that feature water and bring the community together.
The draft Water Sensitive Hornsby Strategy exhibition closed on Friday, 13 November 2020.
An urban forest comprises all trees and other vegetation, on public and private land, within urban areas. It comprises of a variety of trees types such as exotics, natives, deciduous and evergreens occupying a range of environments from busy city centres to streets, parks, gardens, creek embankments, wetlands, railway corridors, balconies and private gardens
Urban forests provide critical ecosystem services such as air and water filtration, shade, habitat, oxygen, carbon sequestration and nutrient cycling, and as such, are essentially the ‘engine room’ for urban ecosystems. The urban forest also provides opportunities for experiencing a connection to nature, something that is often perceived to be missing in the urban areas.
The Urban Forest Strategy will be prepared in consultation with the community and will involve mapping, benchmarking and the development of actions to improve and protect our urban forest and will be used to inform the preparation of the draft Local Strategic Planning Statement.
The draft Urban Forest Strategy exhibition closed on Friday, 13 November 2020.