Greater Sydney is particularly prone to the ‘urban
heat island’ effect, where areas with dense concrete and a lack of green
spaces absorb and amplify heat, raising temperatures to dangerous
levels. So, in the face of climate change, cities like Sydney need to
plant more trees to combat this effect and increase their resilience to
Planting more trees in Sydney was one of the Premier’s Priorities, but how do we get residents of Greater Sydney to plant trees on their private property, and register that tree on the NSW department of Planning and Environment’s 5 Million Trees Campaign Website?
Behavioural Economics Lens Review of literature, programs and initiatives with a similar aim, and the Campaign website.
Stakeholder Interviews to gather expert perspectives on the triggers and barriers to tree planting on private property.
Community Consultations with Sydney residents.
Behavioural Detectives with Sydney residents, with a behavioural mission to research and plan the planting of a tree.
Quantitative measurement of community sentiment regarding trees on private property.
The challenge with tree planting on private property is that people’s default association with the word ‘tree’ is a large tree, the type seen in public space, and this unlocks a negative availability cascade.
Whilst people don’t necessarily plant trees, they do plant solutions to problems i.e., a desire for shade, privacy, fruit, or wildlife.
By giving salience to the benefits of trees and framing them as solutions to personal problems people were more motivated to plant trees, and chunking the tree-planting journey down made this intention easier to act on.
Over 1 million trees have been planted and registered so far!