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. Outdoor activity choices in different thermal environments were surveyed in Adelaide from September 2013 to April 2014. This post-activity survey indicates that necessary, optional and social activities decreased during outdoor heat-stress more than any other thermal conditions. Outdoor activities were chosen the most in neutral and warm thermal environments. Outdoor activity choices were affected significantly by the magnitude of solar radiation. Tree canopy, shading (from buildings or temporary elements) and water features were the most attractive public space features for outdoor participants during heat-stress conditions in Adelaide. Meanwhile, essential shopping and dining facilities and social events affect citizens’ outdoor activity choices during heat-stress conditions. Thus, increased green infrastructures and supportive land uses are a prerequisite of urban transformation for climate change adaptation.
Rapid global urbanization and the increase of the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect make urban cooling a necessity as well as an opportunity to increase the liveability and amenity of cities. This review is a scoping study of the relevant worldwide UHI mitigation/adaptation...Read more
Industry misconceptions around high cost and poor market interest in energy efficient homes continue to obstruct the mass adoption of low carbon housing. Josh’s House demonstrates that low carbon housing is accessible and cost effective. The Star Performers series showcases how...Read more
In response to feedback, high-income households can reduce their energy use to a larger degree than low-income households (17% vs 3% reduction). This and other insights were gained by two rapid reviews into research, both Australian and International, on digital services and...Read more
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.
Outdoor thermal discomfort pushes citizens into air-conditioned buildings and causes increased demand for water and electricity in the majority of Australian urban heat islands. Citizens’ spatial and activity preferences during heat stress conditions are under investigation in this paper.
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, 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.