Streets in low socio-economic areas that are vulnerable to heat will be priority locations for tree planting under City of Ballarat's Urban Forest Action Plan.
The plan, which aims to more than double existing canopy cover in Ballarat by 2040, is expected to be adopted at a City of Ballarat council meeting on Wednesday night.
Wendouree, Sebastopol, Delacombe and parts of Ballarat North and Ballarat East were identified through the Cool It Project as areas of social vulnerability to heat which is directed related to low urban tree canopy cover.
Data shows Ballarat’s trees have the capacity to cool surface temperatures on streets by up to 20 degrees.
City of Ballarat councillor Belinda Coates said the tree planting strategy popular with residents and had a multitude of benefits.
"There are health, social, environmental and economic benefits and this a terrific way we can take local action on climate change as well," she said.
"The plan is exciting as it gives us this next step and the information to prioritise funding. It is a long term vision for a greener city and in years to come future generations will really benefit from it as well."
More than 200 submissions were made during consultation of the Urban Forest Discussion Paper in 2017 and Draft Urban Forest Action Plan in February.
Community feedback outlined a need for council to increase the number of trees planted each year to meet its 40 per cent canopy coverage target and a desire to include fruit trees within public spaces for food security.
A fruit tree trial will be conducted in Ballarat within two years if the plan is adopted.
There are health, social, environmental and economic benefits and this a terrific way we can take local action on climate change as well.Belinda Coates, City of Ballarat councillor
Some fruit trees are already planted on public land around Ballarat at Brown Hill Reserve, Crouch Park in Mount Pleasant and the west end of Sturt Street.
Food is Free Inc. founder Lou Ridsdale advocated for the consideration of fruit tree planting in her submission to the draft plan in February.
"We’d love some of our city trees to also being productive trees, such as fruit and nut trees which will help ease our food security issues," she said.
"We’d love to see Ballarat replicate Todmorden, a town in the UK known also as Incredible Edible where the entire town is taken over by productive food crops and maintained by volunteers."
The Urban Forest Action Plan reveals City of Ballarat currently plants around 1000 street and park trees and removes around 200 to 400 trees each year.
The report states council will need to ‘dramatically increase’ the number of trees planted each year and allocate effective resources and budgets for ongoing maintenance.
Councillors will vote on the City of Ballarat Urban Forest Action Plan at a council meeting on Wednesday.
The full plan is available on the City of Ballarat March 13 council agenda.