Information | Rezoning for Housing

Public hearing on April 22, 2024. Proposed rezoning will support more housing options in all communities.

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8.25% tree canopy cover

Needs Improvement

Needs Improvement

Calgary is currently not on track on its target of expanding the tree canopy to nine per cent by 2026 due to annual tree losses and new tree planting going towards replacements versus canopy growth.

Trees provide a myriad of environmental and climate benefits and contribute to positive mental well-being.  

A healthy and growing urban forest directly supports Climate Resilience. As part of the Urban Forestry plan and budget (2023-2026), performance targets include increasing Calgary’s urban canopy percentage to nine per cent by 2026. 

Annual tree losses from climate-related changes (such as drought, extreme heat, severe storms, and shifts in seasonality) in combination with natural tree decline, resource constraints and development practices are challenging The City’s ability to increase our tree canopy cover and meet our targets.

For example, to account for annual tree losses and increase the total number of trees in Calgary, The City needs to plant 7,500 new trees annually - while actual plantings are closer to 5,600 per year.  

The City is working to grow and expand our tree canopy and needs public support through tree retention, planting, and maintenance on private property to reduce tree loss. Programs like the Branching Out Program help us meet these goals.

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Trees are one of our most vital natural resources in an urban environment.  A healthy tree canopy supports Calgary’s climate resilience by providing shade and cooling during heat waves, reducing stormwater runoff, and improving air quality.

Trees also sequester carbon as they grow and mature, and support Calgary’s biodiversity. They improve property values and support wellness by creating attractive, stress-reducing environments. 

Calgary has approximately seven million trees, located on both public and private lands, in parks, natural areas, and green space. This is a remarkable achievement given Calgary’s arid climate. Protecting and growing our tree canopy is becoming more difficult as climate change shifts our seasons, changes our natural rainfall patterns, and increases our average temperatures. 

The City’s urban forestry service line manages Calgary’s tree canopy by planting and maintaining public trees to replace those lost from construction, and through natural decline. Calgarians can do their part by planting and maintaining trees on their own property, and in their communities.  

City-planted new saplings stand next to older Brandon elm trees in Country Hills
City-planted new saplings stand next to older Brandon elm trees in Country Hills

Plans and strategies

Fulfilling the 2023-2026 Climate Implementation Plan

Focus Area: Natural Infrastructure

Supporting Calgary’s Climate Strategy 

Theme: Natural Infrastructure