Thursday, 03 December 2020 14:07

WSROC Stoked with Minister’s cooler species stance

A blend of exotic and native species in a public domain planting A blend of exotic and native species in a public domain planting Western Sydney University

Media Response 1 December 2020, WSROC welcomes the NSW Government’s more comprehensive approach to urban greening but adds that the community experience of increasing heat in Western Sydney requires additional consideration.  

As heat mitigation programs continue to feature highly on the NSW Government agenda, WSROC President Barry Calvert stated his support for cooling strategies that incorporate current research, including healthy urban forests.

Clr Calvert said “Investing in urban canopy that will help cool our suburbs in a changing climate is critical for heath and liveability – most particularly in Western Sydney.

“As Minister Stokes said, we need to start selecting the right species for any effective tree-planting program. However, even the right kind of trees need time to grow and become established. We also encourage the Government to look beyond greening for cooling effects.

“Research shows that effective cooling requires an holistic approach to better urban design, which combines greening, better material choices and retaining water in the landscape,” said Clr Calvert.

“It is also important to be realistic about what cooling outcomes are actually attainable and to prioritise community safety during heatwaves. While trees and other urban design initiatives are important in reducing the urban heat island effect, they have very limited impact for people during an extreme heat event.

“When temperatures soar over 40 degrees, like today and last weekend, we need to make sure that people can be safe indoors. Prioritising robust energy supply and reducing peak demand through renewables and battery storage as well as better home and building design, are absolutely critical to getting this right,” he said.

“As we continue to work together in addressing increasing heat in Western Sydney, WSROC would welcome a partnership with the NSW Government, to develop and implement programs that support our most vulnerable communities during extreme heat events.”

[ENDS]

Image credit: Western Sydney University

Media contact: Kate O’Connell or Kelly Gee, 02 9671 4333, 0425 871 868 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Last modified on Thursday, 18 March 2021 11:18