Thursday, 14 January 2016 01:00

Concrete jungle brings sizzle to the suburbs

Greenfield development on the edge of Sydney. Greenfield development on the edge of Sydney.

Western Sydney is hot and is set to get hotter as green fields make way for new housing developments; exacerbating what scientists call the urban heat island effect. 

According to recent research from the Office of Environment and Heritage, sprawling greenfield developments will see western Sydney experience between five and 10 additional hot days by 20301.

Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) President, Cllr Tony Hadchiti said “When the hot summer sun beats directly onto urban surfaces such as roads, footpaths and roofs they heat up. These materials absorb and hold heat well past the heat of the day, raising temperatures in our towns,” said Cllr Hadchiti.

“Urban heat is an issue for all cities, but Western Sydney’s unique geography and lack of sea-breeze means the region is already much hotter than its eastern counterparts,” he said.

“With 180,000 homes set to be built in Western Sydney’s Priority Growth Areas over the next 15 years2, now is the ideal time to think about how these new communities will be designed,” said Cllr Hadchiti.

“Huge, greenfield developments, such as those proposed in Sydney’s West don’t happen every day,and we need to harness the opportunity to build the liveable communities of the future,” he said.

“The resilience of our communities will be greatly affected by our ability to reduce the contributing factors that increase the absorption of heat and its re-radiation in our urban environments.”

“The type and colour of construction materials used, the quality of insulation in a home, and the amount of green cover included in community plans can all help to prevent the accumulation of excess heat,” said Cllr Hadchiti. 

“We need support from all levels of government to ensure our cities remain liveable and our communities resilient, while the size and density of our urban areas increases,” he said.
“Together we need to ensure buildings and public spaces are designed to prevent heat impacts on the community.

“Better regulation for new developments, and incentives for developers who choose liveable designs are a few ways this could be achieved,” said Cllr Hadchiti.

“WSROC invites state planning authorities to work with councils to develop a Western Sydney urban heat strategy to inform and support local planning controls,” he said.

“With good strategic planning we can create cool communities with great public amenity. If we continue to ignore the effects of urban heat the West will sizzle.”


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. 


1 NSW Government Office of Environment and Heritage. Urban Heat. Available from: 

2 NSW Government Department of Planning and Environment (2015). 2014 NSW Household and Dwelling Projections data. Available from:

Last modified on Friday, 22 January 2016 10:15