Growing 1,000 new street trees

Over the next 30 years, NIWA is forecasting more than 20 additional hot days (over 25°c) in Nelson. Many of the existing trees in the city centre will need to be replaced as they grow past their peak health.

Greener streets will prepare Nelson’s city centre for its future. As more people live in apartments in the city centre, additional shade and amenity will be necessary. Trees provide a good way to sequester carbon, enabling improved air quality for residents living and people working in the city centre.

Greener streets will be implemented using a mix of native and exotic trees. Native trees are typically evergreen and grow at a slower rate. These species foster food and habitat for native bird life. Exotic trees are deciduous and fast growing. Species selection will be crucial to achieve proper scale and maintenance for good growth.

What is a Green Boulevard?

Green Boulevards are urban streets that have been transformed into strong ‘green’ places, where biodiversity is enhanced, stormwater is managed, and pedestrian and cyclist movements are made safer and more pleasant.

The north-south streets of Rutherford, Trafalgar and Collingwood are re-imagined as Green Boulevards, strengthening biodiversity, sense of place, and resilience to the effects of climate change.


  • Enhance ecological diversity and resilience

Greener streets will provide enhanced treatments to waterways and associated ecologies through improved stormwater treatment. Growing a stronger network of trees across the City Centre will encourage more bird life and assist in the management of increased storm activity associated with climate change.

  • Strengthen connectivity between harbour and hills

Green Boulevards that orient north-south will strengthen the connection between the hills and harbour, making it more pleasant to walk or cycle from The Wood and Brook to the city centre.

  • Improve social, economic and cultural outcomes

Greener streets provide a range of social benefits: improve health and well-being, reduce the urban heat island effect (capture and retention of heat inside buildings), provide shade, and enhance visual amenity. Economic benefits include increased property values and reduced flood, energy and healthcare costs. Cultural benefits support education, sustain and enhance mauri and cultural heritage.

Strengthening connections between the hills and the harbour, the Green Boulevards capture, store and clean stormwater during high water events, mitigating surface flooding and filtering pollutants.