Auckland’s Urban Ngāhere (Forest) Strategy

Name of case study

 Auckland’s Urban Ngāhere (Forest) Strategy


  •  Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland
  • Aotearoa New Zealand


2018 – ongoing



Area / size

All of Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland

NbS employed

Urban forest creation / urban ngāhere

Type of NbS

Created or constructed living ecosystems; Ecosystem restoration


Auckland Council


Auckland Council, developers, businesses, and the wider community


Not specified

Design group

Auckland Council

Benefits of Urban Ngāhere. Image by Auckland City Council (2019).
Climate change benefits
  • Biomass cover loss
  • Changes in rainfall
  • Flooding
  • Increased temperatures
  • Reduced air quality
  • Reduced water quality
  • Urban heat island effect.
Societal / socio-cultural benefits
  • Disaster risk reduction
  • Water security
Ecological benefits
  • Climate regulation
  • Disturbance prevention
  • Habitat provision
  • Purification

Summary of case study

Auckland’s Urban Ngāhere (Forest) Strategy for renaturing the city recognises the social, environmental, economic, and cultural benefits that the urban forest can give. The driving goal for the strategy is to reach a 30% canopy cover over Auckland’s urban area and around 15% in each local board area (Auckland Council, 2019). This framework has been developed in relation to issues including urban population growth, rising inequality, impacts from invasive pests, and climate change (Auckland Council, 2019). 

Adding more green infrastructure to the urban network has enabled climate change adaptation by ensuring a more absorbent city for water and carbon emissions. With increased storm intensities, increased canopy cover ensures a more absorbent structure and areas for water to flow into during extreme weather events.

Through the Auckland Urban Ngāhere strategy, social benefits have been outlined and include improved health and well-being, reduction of the urban heat island effect, increased tree shading and enhanced visual amenities (Auckland Council, 2019). 

The established planting prior to this project represents a part of Auckland’s cultural heritage. Native planting once was used as a traditional supermarket, learning centre, medicine cabinet, school, and spiritual domain (Auckland City Council, 2019). Trees also represented landing places for waka and birth whenua (Auckland City Council, 2019).

An aerial view of unequal canopy cover in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. Image by Auckland City Council (2019).
  • Bujan, J. A. C., & Sura, T. (2016). Terminal evaluation report strongem waka lo community fo kaikai (SWoCK): Resilience in agriculture and food security in the Solomon Islands.
  • UNDP Climate (Director). (2015, November 27). SWoCK Project Backyard Organic farming in the Langalanga Lagoon [Video]. YouTube.
  • UNDP Climate (Director). (2016, August 23). Climate-resilient farming in the Solomon Islands [Video]. YouTube.
  • United Nations Development Programme. (2014, August 9). Sea-level rise mapping: An eye-opener for a Solomon Islands community. UNDP.

Further resources:

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