Sydney’s Leafy Suburbs

‘Leafy suburbs’ is a term that gets used a fair bit as as short hand for the economically advantaged parts of Australian cities.

I wondered if there would be a way to calculate which suburbs in Sydney, Australia are the “leafiest”.

I found the 2011 NSW woody vegetation extent data available here, which displays FPC;  “FPC is the fraction of the ground that is obscured by green leaf, and is a measure of density.” Based on this data I was able to calculate the average FPC for each suburb in the Sydney area.

This gives a quantitative representation of the leafiest suburbs of Sydney. The map below displays the suburbs of Sydney broken up into quintiles, you can also click on your suburb to see its FPC value.

As you might expect the North Shore,  Northern Suburbs and areas near the Blue Mountains are among the leafiest.

In future I’d like to do a comparison of this data against other social and economic indicators. House prices are something I’d be particularly interested in comparing. But for the time being I thought it’d be cool to share this.

Title image uses data from here and Stamen Toner/OSM layer in QGIS.


3 thoughts on “Sydney’s Leafy Suburbs

  1. Hi Colin,

    I was wondering whether I could use that first map “leafytitle.png” in a presentation I am doing? I would of course be putting a reference to you and your blog for the image in my references. I’m looking to use it as visual “beautification” in my headers/margins (it really is gorgeous). Let me know if that’s OK.

    Otherwise great maps and looking forward to seeing an aggregate with socio-economic data!



    1. Sure thing CJ! Thanks for the kind words and really glad you like it 😀

      I’ve updated the post with a little bit more information at the very end, in case you wanted a little more info too.


      1. Thank you, I really appreciated it! 🙂

        I checked out the OEH website, there’s really a lot of data in their ‘Spatial Data Online’ catalogue, I wish I could do what you do! I really enjoy mapping/data renditions but I’m not very well versed in using/manipulating it myself, my experience ends at playing with layers and maps in photoshop.

        Well anyways, keep up the good work for all of us to enjoy and thanks again!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s