Cardno prepared a literature review for Georges River Council which reviewed development control plans, guidelines and strategies to identify what other councils were doing to manage urban tree canopy. These findings were integrated into a GIS methodology for vegetation mapping which used a combination of WorldView-3 multispectral satellite imagery, LiDAR elevation data and recent aerial photography.
The local government area (LGA) was divided into different land uses as the targets were identified to be different for areas of high, medium and low density residential compared to bushland, open space and mangrove areas. Field surveys were undertaken at 30 representative sites to capture finer scale canopy cover and confirm (ground truth) the canopy heights from the desktop GIS analysis.
From the desktop and field assessments, Cardno was able to identify the existing percentage of vegetation cover across the LGA and the different land uses. A vegetation mapping report helped Council to develop goals, targets and made recommendations including possible areas for regeneration areas and areas wildlife linkages beneficial to an overall enhancement of vegetation connectivity and quality.
Finally, the Cardno team presented the finding to Georges River Councillors.