Friday, 22 January 2016 10:55

WSROC welcomes federal action on urban heat

A temperature gauge reads 43 degrees in the Blacktown CBD. A temperature gauge reads 43 degrees in the Blacktown CBD.

Media release, 19 January 2016

The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) has welcomed the Federal Government’s plan to tackle urban heat in Australia’s cities and invites the government to work with councils to develop a multi-tiered approach.

President of the (WSROC) Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils, Cllr Tony Hadchiti, said “Urban heat is a major issue for all cities, but Western Sydney is particularly affected due to its unique geography and rapid rate of development.”

“On a hot day, the West suffers much higher temperatures than the Sydney CBD,” he said.

“A number of Western Sydney councils are trialling innovative programs to reduce urban heat at the local level, and we encourage the government to work with councils to see whether there is potential for these programs to be rolled out on a regional scale,” said Cllr Hadchiti.

“Both Parramatta and Penrith councils have conducted aerial heat mapping of their local area in order to identify and mitigate extreme heat pockets,” he said.

“The maps are not only a great visual tool for informing the community about the impacts of extreme heat, but are the basis for council identifying high priority areas for action,” said Cllr Hadchiti.

“Parramatta City Council has also recently launched Cool Parramatta, a summer program to assist the community manage the impacts of extreme heat. The Cool Parramatta website contains information, initiatives and tips on what to do and where to go when the temperature rises.”

“Further west, Blacktown City Council’s urban heat project, The Cool Streets, is looking at how street trees can prevent heat build-up in residential areas. This includes testing the effectiveness of various tree species, as well as how their positioning can maximise the cooling effect on community spaces,” he said.

Several councils are also collaborating with the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and Western Sydney University (WSU) to redesign bus shelters to cope with increasing urban heat in the region.

“Our most frequent users of public transport - school children, young families and the elderly - are also most vulnerable to the effects of extreme heat,” said Cllr Hadchiti.

“The Climate Adapted People Shelter (CAPS) project is looking at how to offer these residents increased protection from the effects of heat through good urban design,” he said.

“All of these programs are working towards keeping our cities cool and liveable, but a wide scale approach is needed if we are to significantly reduce the effect of urban heat in our city; we hope the Government’s urban heat initiative provides this approach,” said Cllr Hadchiti.

“This initiative is particularly welcome as we move towards high density living and the North West and South West Priority Growth Areas continue to expand,” he said.

“Together we can ensure our cities remain liveable, while the size and density of our urban areas increases,” said Cllr Hadchiti.

 

Media contact: Kelly-Anne Gee, 02 9671 4333 (ext. 118), 0425 871 868 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Related stories:

 

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Sydney Morning Herald - Sydney area an 'urban heat island' vulnerable to extreme temperatures

 

Sydney Morning Herald - Beat the heat: western Sydney tackles the urban heat island effect

Last modified on Tuesday, 02 February 2016 14:36

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