This document provides practical guidance for built environment professionals and regulatory agencies seeking to optimise development projects to moderate urban microclimates and mitigate urban heat island effects in major urban centres across a range of climates in Australia
Urban spaces are experiencing warmer microclimates as the combined result of climate change and the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect. While climate change projections indicate a likely increase of 2°C in Australia by 2070, an additional heat load of 10°C exists in the built environment.
During summer heatwaves, heat load exacerbates in urban heat islands (especially in hot climates) and threatens public life in cities. This paper examines the links between urban microclimates, outdoor thermal discomfort and public life through an exploratory case study.
Cities experience the effect of extra heat compared to their rural surroundings. This phenomenon is known as the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect. Urban geometry, land cover, landscape and metabolism have been cited as the main contributors to the UHI effect.
Australia has had seven extreme heatwaves since the beginning of the 20th century. During heatwaves, public spaces in cities are frequently warmer than is confortable for humans. The regional warming projection of 2-5°C in Australia (by 2070) will be added to an existing 4-8°C extra heat in higher urban densities.
During summer heatwaves, public spaces are frequently warmer than human thermal comfort preferences in a majority of Australian Cities. Citizens’ preferences of public space elements and supportive features during heat-stress conditions are under particular focus in this paper.
Climate change projections indicate a likely 3.8°C increase in the average temperature in Australia by 2090. During summer, outdoor heat-stress causes significant thermal discomfort, altering outdoor living preferences. This paper aims to explore the neutral and critical thresholds for outdoor thermal adaptation.
Smarter urban futures require resilient built environment in the context of climate change. This chapter demonstrates the application of satellite-based surface cover and temperature data to support planning for urban heat resilience. Landsat 7 ETM+ and Landsat 8 data is used to analyse the correlation of urban surface covers to the urban heat island effect in Adelaide.
The Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect can result in higher urban densities being significantly hotter (frequently more than 4 °C, even up to 10 °C) compared to their peri-urban surroundings. Such artificial heat stress increases the health risk of spending time outdoors and boosts the need for energy consumption, particularly for cooling during summer.
Cities are frequently experiencing artificial heat stress, known as the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect. The UHI effect is commonly present in cities due to increased urbanization, where anthropogenic heat and human modifications have altered the characteristics of surfaces and atmosphere.