Trees and tech deployed to #BeatAirPollution

05 Jun 2019

City of Newcastle celebrated a city-wide tree planting drive today and the upcoming installation of an environmental sensor network as part of World Environment Day’s global campaign to combat air pollution.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes helped plant a Port Jackson Fig in Centennial Park, Cooks Hill, this morning as the City's Environment teams continued their work in driving rain to minimise carbon pollution on World Environment Day 2019.

The Fig will eventually grow to a height of 30 metres and is just one of 205 trees the City will plant before 23 June at parks and playgrounds in Cooks Hill, Broadmeadow, Wallsend and Shortland.

The Port Jackson Fig was winched into its new home via crane

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes helped in the planting efforts

“Our City has never been more invested in local and global climate issues than we are right now,” Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.

“Today’s tree planting and the ongoing projects our environment and smart city teams are working on are practical efforts we’re making following our commitment to the UN’s Sustainable Goal Development goals, which we incorporated into our 2030 Community Strategic Plan last year.

“While small in stature right now, this Port Jackson fig may absorb more than two tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere over its lifetime whilst producing oxygen, aligning perfectly with the theme of World Environment Day today, which is #BeatAirPollution.”

Also harnessing the environmental benefits of technology, the City will soon deploy up to 40 clusters of Internet of Things sensors right across the local government area, providing a comprehensive analysis of environmental conditions in real-time, including particulate pollution, flooding, humidity and soil moisture.

L-R City staff Angus Weingott, Michael Linsley and Matthew Warby with the Lord Mayor at Centennial Park

The Lord Mayor said the network had been designed to grow as new applications and challenges were identified, with data collected, communicated and aggregated on smart city technology platforms and made freely available to the public.

“By collecting real-time data on air quality and environmental conditions, City planners will be able to make more-informed decisions about the impacts of urban design decisions and better understand industrial processes,” the Lord mayor said. “Researchers can also use the data to inform projects to improve liveability and maintain urban amenity.”

The envirosensing network is a leading smart city application of the Hunter Innovation Project. Initial installation is funded by the NSW State Government as part of the Hunter Infrastructure Investment Fund.

The City of Newcastle received $4.9M for the Hunter Innovation Project to deploy smart city infrastructure across the city and local government area.

For more information about World Environment Day, visit