Our vision is to enable sustainable, liveable and healthy communities through urban greening outcomes

Greening the Pipeline pilot park at Williams Landing

Greg Hunt speaking at the launch of the 1 Million Trees project

Greening the West

Municipalities of Brimbank, Hobsons Bay, Maribyrnong, Melton, Moonee Valley and Wyndham

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Project Overview

Greening the West is a regional initiative that brings together 23 member organisations to achieve urban greening in Melbourne’s west, across the municipalities of Brimbank, Hobsons Bay, Maribyrnong, Melton, Moonee Valley and Wyndham.

Initiated by City West Water in 2011, the group has built momentum ever since, and shows increasing participation and ownership from councils. The group was successful in obtaining $5M Federal Government funding which, by the end of 2018, will have been used to plant 1 million trees. Greening the West has a strong focus on partnerships with developers and other stakeholders, and supports liveability projects such as Greening the Pipeline and the Upper Stony Creek Transformation Project.

Drivers and Objectives

The project is mainly focussed on improving community wellbeing and public health, in order to address the following:

  • Western Melbourne has reduced tree canopy cover compared to city averages (below 20% of canopy cover, Institute of Sustainable Futures, 2014)
  • Urban greening and cooling was identified as a key issue during a stakeholder and community think tank organised by City West Water in 2011


The group includes 23 members, including councils, water utilities, government departments and agencies, and community groups (full list available on greeningthewest.org.au). in particular:

  • City West Water took the lead in setting up the group
  • Local councils, as well as community groups, played a central role in terms of project implementation and cultural change
  • Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority and LeadWest were key players in the 1 Million Trees project
  • Melbourne Water has been crucial to the Greening the Pipeline and Stony Creek actions supported by Greening the West

Project Outcomes

  • Due to the group’s existence more than one million additional trees will be planted in Melbourne’s west and surrounds by the end of 2018
  • These trees will, over time, contribute to reducing heat, increasing amenity, increasing outdoor activity, and supporting biodiversity 
  • All stakeholders now have strong relationships and communication channels, enabling them to collectively deal with challenges

Lessons Learnt

  • Collaboration is crucial to solving complex urban challenges such as urban greening, because through working together practitioners are able to access a much larger collective base of knowledge, and can implement more significant and complex projects through partnerships
  • Collective ownership of the initiative was crucial to maintaining buy-in from so many different organisations, and the group provides an excellent example of how to achieve this
  • Winning government grants is facilitated by a collaborative model, because it demonstrates that many stakeholders are in agreement, and that there is increased capacity to deliver on projects
  • More work is needed to investigate and strengthen local and state government planning controls to protect and enhance urban greenery in the context of densification. If nothing is done then a large proportion of Melbourne’s urban greenery on private land will be lost as smaller footprint residential houses are replaced by larger houses and apartment buildings.

Project Cost

Total cost is complex to work out, given that the group involves 23 members and the project spans over the course of almost 7 years.

The 1 Million Trees project received $5M in Federal funding, which was supplemented by members taking responsibility for tree maintenance and other costs.


Greening the West has been running since 2011 and is ongoing. 

The 1 Million Trees project has run from 2015 and is expected to be completed during 2018


Darren Coughlan,  Operations - Healthy Urban Habitats
Mobile 0400 557 139 - Landline 03 9313 8739


This case study was pulled together by Casey Furlong (RMIT University) and reviewed by City West Water.