Wednesday, 28 April 2021 12:00

Cool Suburbs user-testing workshops

The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils’ (WSROC) Cool Suburbs Tool has hit a new milestone with government and industry user-testing workshops held in April.

The Cool Suburbs Tool is an industry-based design support tool to address the impacts of urban heat in Western Sydney; supporting cooler, safer development outcomes for communities.

Underpinned by the latest urban heat science, the Cool Suburbs Tool is being developed by WSROC in partnership with the Greater Sydney Commission, and Resilient Sydney.

The tool will help identify, support, and celebrate best practice in reducing, adapting and responding to urban heat by providing developments with a ‘cool rating’ which can be marketed by a developer. Governments can incorporate the tool in planning instruments and design guidelines as desired.

WSROC President, Clr Barry Calvert, said “The Cool Suburbs Tool is based on solid evidence brought together by a panel of leading scientists in the urban heat and design space. However, we know that the usability of the tool is equally important.

“Ultimately we want to support better practice and better outcomes for our community. If our tool isn’t user friendly, outcomes won’t be achieved on the ground,” he said.

“Throughout the user-engagement workshops, we have been seeking feedback and input from those who can influence and drive better urban heat outcomes: decision-makers, planners, designers and developers,” said Clr Calvert.

The next steps for Cool Suburbs include refining the Tool and piloting the tool on actual developments.

This project has been assisted by the New South Wales Government and supported by Local Government NSW.

The Cool Suburbs tool is one of a suite of projects WSROC is implementing to address urban heat in Western Sydney. For more information on our Turn Down the Heat Strategy and our current projects, please visit: