Green plan for Highton shopping centre

February 14, 2023 BY

Greening suggestions for the North Valley Road shopping centre include planting trees in the centre of the road to create a canopy. Photo: CITY OF GREATER GEELONG

THE City of Greater Geelong has budgeted $50,000 towards the greening of Highton’s North Valley Road shopping centre.

The community has a chance to contribute to the plan that is intended to reduce heat, improve stormwater use and create habitat, while making the precinct more desirable to frequent.

Ideas and suggestions on how to contribute to the project are open to the public on council’s website until February 17, and will be used to develop a draft concept that will be presented to traders and the community for consideration before a final plan is developed.

The city’s suggested options for greening include tree canopy in the centre of the road, low height vegetation plantings and climbing plants on shopfront trellises.

The shopping centre and street received a small upgrade in 2011 with new trees, plantings and furniture, but Cr Bruce Harwood said the area is “due for another refresh”, and one that was more sustainable and collaborative.

He urged community input to the project that involves users making suggestions on the city’s online interactive map.

“Not only will planting more trees at the North Valley Road Shopping Centre make the strip a more attractive place to visit, but it will also have a cooling effect and attract more birds and wildlife,” Cr Ron Nelson said of the plan.

“The council funding aims to create a healthy environment and vital shopping centre and is part of our commitment to sustainable growth and liveability.”

The city is working on two major greening projects for the city; the first is its preparation for a draft business case for a One Million Trees Plan; the second is its pending application to be recognised by the United Nations (UN) as a “tree city of the world.”

Councillors unanimously voted at their January meeting to seek inclusion in the Trees of the World initiative from the UN’s food and agriculture organisation and the US-based non-profit the Arbor Foundation.

If successful, Geelong will become the first Victorian city to join the vision that compels participants to establish conservation rules, allocate resources and keep track of achievements.

To learn more about the project or contribute to its potential design, head to yoursay.geelongaustralia.com.au/NVRG