Wednesday, 28 April 2021 11:53

WSROC releases urban heat planning toolkit

WSROC recently released the Urban heat planning toolkit, which provides guidance for better urban planning and design. This Toolkit has been developed in partnership with WSROC member councils to help strengthen local planning provisions to reduce heat impacts in line with the Greater Sydney Commission’s District Plans.

Extreme heat and urban heat present significant and growing risks to NSW communities. These risks are particularly pronounced in Western Sydney and are projected to become worse with detrimental impacts on human health, economic productivity, infrastructure resilience and the environment. There is an urgent need to review our planning instruments to build resilience to heat and ensure our cities remain liveable into the future.

Supported by a growing body of research, there is increasing recognition that our response to heat should go beyond greening. The reason for this is that green space can only partially offset urban heat and will do very little to address the impacts of extreme heat events. It is therefore critical that we not only mitigate the urban heat island effect, but also ensure that people can be safe when extreme heat events occur.

The evidence and the resilience approach underpinning this Toolkit provides practical guidance to do exactly that. The Planning Toolkit:

  • Identifies key planning and design measures to reduce heat impacts
  • Outlines how each measure works
  • Summarises key evidence relating to each recommendation
  • Provides case studies and example clauses used by other LGAs.

WSROC believes the Toolkit has broader relevance. Local planning provisions are just one part of our planning system and effective measures to address urban heat require a holistic approach, including the support of state planning instruments such as the NSW Design and Place SEPP currently under development, but also national standards such as the National Construction Code.

WSROC’s Urban Heat Planning Toolkit is part of a larger body of work to assist better urban design outcomes that mitigate and adapt to heat. A complimentary project, Cool Suburbs, is currently being developed and will deliver detailed design guidance and decision support for industry and government. Both the Planning Toolkit and Cool Suburbs are delivered in partnership with leading heat scientists, and via extensive engagement with government and industry experts.

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

Last modified on Wednesday, 28 April 2021 14:15